Investigation: Hundreds of Thousands Worth of City Property Reported Missing by City Of San Diego - NBC 7 San Diego

Investigation: Hundreds of Thousands Worth of City Property Reported Missing by City Of San Diego

Paid for by taxpayers, hundreds of items such as shotguns and bicycles are nowhere to be found

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    City Property Missing by City of San Diego

    Hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of missing items reported by city employees. NBC 7's Danny Freeman has more on how this may be affecting taxpayers. (Published Friday, Aug. 9, 2019)

    Ten shotguns, 93 bicycles, a boat, a golf cart, shoes: all city-owned property reported lost or stolen in the City of San Diego.

    Since 2014, according to records obtained by NBC 7 Investigates, city employees reported over $800,000 worth of missing items.

    “The taxpayers are the victim here when property gets stolen,” said Haney Hong, President of the San Diego County Taxpayers Association. “This is real money, and it’s all taxpayer property.”

    The city says they have a system for keeping track of all the lost or stolen items. Employees report the missing item and the city opens a police investigation.

    Hong added, “We should expect, folks that taxpayers entrust, city employees to make sure that when something is stolen there are procedures in place to make sure that doesn’t happen again.”

    NBC 7 Investigates submitted public records requests to municipalities across San Diego County.

    Only six cities, including the City of San Diego, keep track of lost or stolen items. NBC 7 Investigates is waiting for a response from the County of San Diego and Poway.

    Of the lost or stolen items reported by the City of La Mesa were a $4,000 crosswalk sign, 21 cactus plants, three solar panels, 22 plants, and firefighter gear.

    In San Marcos; landscaping equipment, a pressure washer, and a chainsaw were all reported missing.

    Whereas in Coronado hundreds of dollars worth of library DVDs remain unaccounted for.

    None of the 11 remaining cities in San Diego County maintain records of lost or stolen items.

    Hong from the Taxpayers Association added that some smaller cities could find the cost of tracking lost or stolen items greater than the value of the missing property.

    But he emphasized the cost is still real.

    “It doesn't matter if it's $5, $100,000 or a million dollars,” said Hong. “Think about the number of police officers you could hire and pay their salaries for a year.”