A Drexel University police officer has been charged with stealing two items from a student during an on-campus drug bust, according to prosecutors.
Che Brown, 37, is charged with taking $500 in cash and two knives from the property confiscated from a Drexel student whose room he had searched during a marijuana-related investigation, D.A. Seth Williams announced Wednedsay.
Brown allegedly confessed to the theft after the student tried to get his property back and complained that some items were missing.
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"My bad, this is all on me,” Brown allegedly said to his supervisor when confronted over the reported theft, according to the DA's office.
The charges stem from the Jan. 14, 2015 search of a residence hall room where a student was reported to possess marijuana. Officers found "a bag of marijuana, cigarette rolling papers, knives, bags of white powder and $500," according to the DA's office.
Brown was supposed to put the items into evidence after they were inventoried. However, he allegedly did not record two knives or the $500, and didn't put them into evidence.
"Upon learning that Officer Che Brown had allegedly tampered with evidence collected from a scene while responding to an incident on Jan. 14, 2015, Drexel immediately began an internal investigation," Drexel spokeswoman Niki Gianakaris said in a statement. "The investigation confirmed Brown had violated police procedures."
While Brown allegedly did attempt to surreptitiously return the $500 to the evidence room, a surveillance camera caught him placing an Ibuprofen box with the money inside the evidence room.
The alleged theft came to light after the student sought the return of his property, the DA said. The student, who had received the money as a gift from his grandmother, complained that the cash was in different denominations when it was returned to him.
Brown, of Upper Darby, lost his job in February 2015 over the incident after two years on the force, prosecutors said.
“What former Officer Che Brown did was wrong — stealing is stealing no matter if it is $5, $50 or $500—and he will now have his day in court,” DA Seth Williams said in a statement.
Brown now faces charges of theft, unlawful taking, receiving stolen property, obstructing administration of law and official oppression.
In a statement, Drexel University said thheir police "will not tolerate behavior deviating from adhering to the highest standards of professional integrity." After Brown's arrest, they met with the D.A.'s office to coordinate additional training and review policies and procedures after the incident, the school said.
No court date has yet been scheduled in the case.