A former Porterdale Police officer was arrested Wednesday for reportedly stealing handguns from the department almost three years ago.
GBI Special Agent Brian Johnston said there had been few leads in the case since its opening in 2004, but a tip Wednesday led directly to the arrest of Shannon Brown, 31, of Mansfield.
"It's very frustrating when you get a case like this," Johnston said. "Some cases take a while, but then one tip and they all unravel."
In 2004 Brown was a patrol officer for the Porterdale Police Department, Johnston said. She quit shortly before the department's evidence locker was to be audited. During the review, four Colt .45 pistols were found to be missing.
The pistols were reportedly located Wednesday in their original casing at Brown's former residence, Johnston said. The pistols, along with two M14 rifles, were given to the PPD by the Georgia Emergency Management Agency. The four pistols were logged into the system at the PPD, but were later reported as missing.
"It doesn't appear they made it to the street or that she tried to sell them," Johnston said. "We really don't know why she took them."
All told, 11 guns were found at the house. Seven of the guns were confirmed as stolen. The guns included the four missing Colts, a Glock .40 owned by the PPD and two other guns formerly in evidence from inactive cases at the PPD.
"We are unsure if the other four guns were stolen or if they belonged to her," Johnston said.
Once Brown was confronted, Johnston said she was very cooperative. She has been charged with two counts of theft by taking and a count of theft by conversion. The stolen guns were worth approximately $4,000.
Johnson was transported to the Newton County Detention Center where she was later released on bond. Further charges against Brown are likely, said Johnston.