WARREN, Ohio (WKBN) — A Warren police officer’s affection for classic cars and poor judgment cost him his job.
Police Officer Reuben Shaw was fired Friday from the Warren Police Department for towing a car from a home in Warren to a private garage on Palmyra Road.
A Warren Internal Affairs Division investigation indicated that Shaw improperly took the 1969 Chevrolet Nova from a residential property on Kenwood Avenue June 30, 2013, according to a letter from Warren Police Chief Eric Merkel dated April 18.
Shaw was scheduled for a disciplinary hearing on Wednesday, but failed to appear.
In a letter from Chief Merkel to Shaw dated May 1, 2014, Shaw was fired for entering the locked garage on Kenwood Avenue and having the vehicle towed without permission.
The incident began on June 30, 2013 when Shaw and another officer were called to 2320 Kenwood Avenue. The house appeared abandoned and Shaw noticed the Chevy Nova in the locked garage. According to the letter, Shaw told the other officers at the scene that he would like to restore it.
Shaw came back to the house later that day, entered the locked garage and had the car towed to a private garage on Palmyra Road.
The next day, Merkel said Shaw told him about the vehicle and Merkel instructed Shaw to have the vehicle towed to May’s Towing with a new tow slip. Shaw did have the car towed, but put the originating address on the tow slip as Kenwood Ave., not the Palmyra Road garage.
“You did not have permission or authority, after the initial call for service to be on the premises or enter the locked garage. You did not have title to the vehicle or permission from the owners to seize the vehicle,” Merkel stated in the letter.
The letter indicates that Shaw was fired for “just cause” and alleged violations of the Police and or Procedures of the Warren Police Department. Shaw’s termination is effective immediately.
Prosecutors are reviewing the case to determine if any criminal charges will be filed.