Grovetown public safety officer on leave after his service weapon is stolen from his car

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Thursday, August 1, 2019

GROVETOWN, GA (WRDW/WAGT) -- A Grovetown Department of Public Safety officer is on administrative leave with pay after his service weapon was stolen from his car.

A Richmond County Sheriff's Office incident report says a deputy arrived a Motel 6 on Boy Scout Road on Monday morning and found Officer Justin Durden.

Durden's car, a 2007 Mercedes Benz, had a broken driver's door window and the officer told deputies that his weapon and holster had been taken from under the driver's seat.

The report says Durden immediately told the deputy he was a police officer with GPD and that he'd already spoken with his supervisor on the matter.

Durden, according to the report, told deputies he had arrived at the hotel around midnight to hang out with friends, but he had fallen asleep and never returned to the car until 7 a.m. when he noticed the broken window.

The report said deputies then reviewed video footage from the scene and found Durden arrived at the hotel around 11:30 p.m. However, that same footage also showed Durden leaving with his car around 2:14 a.m. and returning to the hotel around 7 a.m.

The deputy, according to the statement, then asked Durden why his statement didn't match with the surveillance video. Durden reportedly told the deputy that he woke up in one of the hotel rooms and no one was around, so he went home.

Durden then told the deputy that he woke up at home several hours later and noticed the broken window when he went outside. He also told the deputy that he believed the theft occurred at the hotel because there was no broken glass in his driveway.

According to Chief Scott Wheatley, Durden is now on administrative leave with pay during the investigation.

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