Investigation into the theft of a cigarette machine from a police station reveals control failures in the Police City

Investigation into the theft of a cigarette machine from a police station reveals control failures in the Police City
Investigation into the theft of a cigarette machine from a police station reveals control failures in the Police City
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With 66 thousand square meters, the Civil Police City brings together 15 police stations, in Jacaré, in the North Zone of Rio. Among the police stations, there are some specialized ones, such as the Special Resources Coordination (Core) — the corporation’s elite troop. According to an investigation by the Federal Police, in 2023, the Robbery and Cargo Theft Police Station (DRFC) was the scene of negotiations between agents and traffickers over a seized truck with 16 tons of marijuana. Also last year, a seized five-ton cigarette machine was stolen from the DRFC warehouse. The Internal Affairs investigation reveals that there is a lack of control in the complex, which does not have security cameras monitoring who enters or leaves the premises.

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In testimony in the investigation that seeks to find out where the machine was taken, the “mayor of the Police City” said that he even installed monitoring equipment in mid-2023 (already after the theft), but that the cameras always present problems. Police Commissioner Reinaldo Falcão Rocha explained to the Internal Affairs Department that the problem was the programs used by the equipment:

2 of 3 Where the cigarette machine theft occurred — Photo: Editoria de Arte
Where the theft of the cigarette machine occurred — Photo: Editoria de Arte

“That (Reinaldo Rocha) was responsible for installing the security cameras at the CIDPOL entrance approximately six months ago, but there were always frequent problems with the functioning of the cameras, as the operating software needs to be updated periodically”, says an excerpt from the report of the investigation.

Despite being the “mayor” of the Police City, he said that he only discovers many movements when he arrives at the complex and that “there is only control over passers-by and impounded cars when they are returned.”

“The police stations are not obliged to inform the declarant of any movement, this being a discretionary decision of each police unit,” he said.

Not knowing who enters or leaves the Police City is also a flaw highlighted by another police officer in the investigation. Caretaker of the complex since 2013, Joaquim da Silva said that “there is little control over the entry and exit of vehicles” from the site. Due to the size of the machine, investigators believe that it was removed by truck and escorted to Mato Grosso by a vehicle from the police station itself.

Metal fence

Documents from the government itself show the fragility of the Civil Police City. The state’s Electronic Information System (SEI) portal reveals the intention to hire a company to install a double concertina (laminated security barrier, in a spiral shape, which has pointed and cutting blades), “in high-resistance galvanized steel, with a spiral minimum of 45 centimeters”, to be fixed on the Cidpol wall. The reason is “episodes of nighttime raids on its premises, and consequent theft of seized goods, as well as materials from building installations”. The height of the existing wall, according to the state, does not guarantee the safety of the building.

The order for the service, worth R$20,000, is due February 1st of this year. The Civil Police Secretariat did not say whether the installation will be carried out in the Police City, where a five-ton cigarette machine disappeared, a week after being auctioned, on February 8 last year. The police only noticed the disappearance of the device in June 2023, when a court official was at the scene in the company of the representative of the company that won the auction to check the condition of the purchased item. The ministry admitted that CidPol’s monitoring cameras are out of operation.

Precarious physical conditions

Another older document, with 34 pages, also available at the SEI, deals with the physical conditions of Cidpol’s facilities. Technical inspection carried out by technicians from the state Public Works Company (Emop), in February 2020, found the need, in eight blocks, to replace and fix tiles; gutter waterproofing; repair of flashings and ridges; lining recovery; and ceiling and wall painting. The Civil Police did not say whether part of these works had been carried out.

3 of 3 Photos of problems in facilities at Cidpol, included in an Emop report — Photo: Reproduction
Photos of problems in facilities at Cidpol, included in an Emop report — Photo: Reproduction

In Block 3, the main pavilion, where police stations operate, for example, the inspection considered it essential to “revise the entire roof to remove leaks, repair gutters, flashings and ridges. The problem repeats itself in Block 4, the operational pavilion, where bodies such as the Capture Division (Polinter), the Special Resources Coordination (Core) and the Carlos Éboli Criminalistics Institute (ICCE) are located.

In a statement, the Ciivl Police says that “it is committed to restructuring the security system of the Police City” and that “it has prepared an unprecedented security scheme, which is being implemented in phases; the first ends this month and, in itself , will already resolve most of the issues inherent to the topic.”

The article is in Portuguese

Tags: Investigation theft cigarette machine police station reveals control failures Police City

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