A former police chief has pled guilty after an FBI sting caught him pilfering stolen Xboxes.
Now, logically, if something has been stolen once, then it can’t be stolen again, right? Wrong. As former East Saint Louis police Chief Michael Baxton found out to his cost.
Back in October of last year, the FBI, acting on information from an unnamed officer, set up a test for Baxton. They took a federal vehicle, bought five 360s, stuck them in the trunk, then reported the car stolen.
Baxton and an unnamed sidekick, who just so happened to be the same officer who’d reported Baxton’s misconduct in the first place now equipped with covert surveillance gear, responded to the call.
When he found the gaming systems, instead of checking them into evidence as per police procedure, Baxton instead decided to invoke the ancient, unwritten law of ‘finders keepers.’ Baxton told the other officer to put four of the 360s in his trunk and to help himself to the remaining unit. Baxton advised the officer to destroy the box it came in.
Baxton faces a potential 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $500,000 for lying to federal agents when he was first arrested. According to U.S Attorney Steve Wigginton, Baxton, who was convicted of theft and burglary back in 1982, yet somewhow still managed to make police chief, initially tried to frame another officer for the thefts. Classy.