A police employee and his wife have been charged with two second-degree felonies after a search of the couple's home uncovered a houseful of stolen property.
Sesser Hood, 36, a community service officer with the Ogden police department, and his wife, Beverly Ann McGill, 32, were charged in 2nd District Court with possession of stolen property.Hood has been placed on unpaid suspension but maintains his innocence.
"I've done nothing criminal," he said. "I am an innocent victim caught up in the circumstances. Nobody can say they bought anything from me."
A court hearing on the case is scheduled for June 10.
Assistant Chief Steve Turner said it is probably true that nobody bought anything from Hood, but the officer still had to be aware of the extensive shoplifting operation McGill allegedly participated in.
"It appeared he had full knowledge and benefited from his wife's activities," Turner said.
According to court documents, McGill admitted taking items from area stores and businesses in Salt Lake City and Layton. Turner said the thefts had gone on for at least a year.
Officers executing a search warrant at the couple's home Friday night found stolen property, much of it still marked with store price tags.
"There wasn't a room in the house that wasn't full of stuff," Turner said.
Detective Sgt. Mike Ashment said a conservative estimate of the value of the stolen goods is $50,000. Police also found stolen property that had been placed in a storage shed.
Turner said Ogden police initiated an investigation after it was learned Hood allegedly lived a "lifestyle not indicative of what he was paid."
Ashment said McGill was selling the stolen property.
Ogden police sought help from Roy police and the Weber County Sheriff's Office to ensure they conducted a fair investigation, Turner said.
Hood was forced to leave the Ogden Police Department once before. In July 1992 he resigned after a class B misdemeanor assault charge was brought against him by a girlfriend who said he slapped her during a dispute. The charge was later dismissed.
Hood had been a patrol officer in Ogden for three years prior to his resignation. He was hired back as a community service officer, who are not sworn officers but deal with complaints that can be handled over the phone or minor traffic accidents.