MONCKS CORNER, S.C. (Feb. 10, 2023) – A former Town of Summerville police officer has been sent to prison for stealing guns and money from the agency’s evidence room.
Wade Franklin Rollings, 47, pleaded guilty Thursday in General Sessions Court to two charges of misconduct in office and one charge of grand larceny. He also pleaded guilty to breach of trust with fraudulent intent in an unrelated case.
The crimes were committed in Dorchester and Berkeley counties. Rollings was sentenced to 10 years in prison, suspended to one year of active time and subsequent probation.
“Although these were his first offenses, crimes committed by police officers undermine the judicial system by eroding public confidence,” said Sean Thornton of the 14th Circuit Solicitor’s Office, who prosecuted the case. “Therefore, prison time was appropriate in this situation.”
Thornton prosecuted the case as part of the Public Integrity Unit, which consists of senior-level attorneys and investigators at the 14th and 1st Circuit Solicitor’s Offices and in conjunction with the 9th Circuit Solicitor’s Office on the charge arising out of Berkeley County.
Rollings was an evidence custodian with the Summerville Police Department when he reported in December 2020 that $7,439 was missing from an evidence room safe. An internal investigation revealed that Rollings was actually the culprit, entering false information into a case management system to make it appear as though another employee had authorized the release of the funds.
Confronted by Summerville Police Chief Douglas Wright, Deputy Chief John O’Meara and Capt. Christopher Hirsch, Rollings made a full confession. He was fired and charged with misconduct in office.
A follow-up audit of the evidence room, with the assistance of the S.C. State Law Enforcement Division, revealed that Rollings also had taken several firearms from the evidence room and sold them at local pawn shops.
While awaiting trial, Rollings then went to work for an agricultural retailer in neighboring Berkeley County. There, he set up fraudulent merchandise returns, generating refunds from the store to customers who never existed. Rollings did this on four separate occasions, stealing a total of $2,513.38. The transactions were captured on surveillance cameras.
“This conviction was made possible by the excellent work of the Summerville Police Department and SLED agents,” Thornton said. “I would especially like to thank Chief Wright and Capt. Hirsch for attending the plea hearing and speaking on behalf of the department. I believe their participation underscored the seriousness of Mr. Rolllings’ wrongdoing,”
Judge Bentley Price handed down the sentence.