Report: Former Summerville police sergeant had stolen evidence money in his pants

Published: Nov. 2, 2021 at 8:24 PM EDT|Updated: Nov. 4, 2021 at 5:40 PM EDT
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SUMMERVILLE, S.C. (WCSC) - A sergeant with the Summerville Police Department pulled money out from his pants after being confronted about missing evidence funds, a newly released incident report says.

Wade Rollings is currently facing charges of misconduct in office and grand larceny in connection with two allegations, one of which involves the theft of $7,493 that belonged to someone who was in custody.

Documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act from Summerville’s municipal government state that Rollings, who also served as an evidence custodian, was being interviewed by other SPD employees about the lost money in Dec. 2020 when he was shown a system log.

“When Rollings was provided with this new information, his demeanor quickly changed,” the report says. “He put his head down and stated ok I need to tell you something.”

Rollings was then reportedly read his Miranda rights and said that he understood them.

“Wade Rollings then stood up and stated that he had the money on his person,” the report says. “Captain O’Meara asked him where the money was located and he stated in his pants. Wade Rollings then reached inside of his pants and pulled out a large sum of United States currency. At this time, Wade Rollings admitted to taking the money and took full ownership of the situation.”

Rollings is listed as having apologized, stating that “he had never done anything like this before.”

He was subsequently arrested and terminated by SPD.

The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division alleges that Rollings also stole firearms from SPD’s evidence room while still employed. Shortly after his termination and initial arrest, Rollings allegedly went to a Ladson pawn shop and sold four firearms that were missing from the evidence room. Rollings is listed as a crime scene technician on SLED’s arrest warrant.

Rollings was arrested by SLED in October on two charges related to the firearms matter.

“We have no video footage of Wade Rollings removing firearms from the evidence room,” Summerville Police spokesperson and investigations supervisor Chris Hirsch wrote in an email. “Security cameras were not installed during this time frame.”

An internal audit regarding SPD’s evidence room has not yet been released.

“The main reason is SLED has not completed the audit,” Summerville Town Attorney G.W. Parker said, adding that his “understanding is the delay was caused by the SLED Officer assigned to the case being pulled down to Hampton County to assist with the Murdaugh saga.”

The personnel file for Rollings shows that in his Jan. 2020 performance appraisal, his supervisor praised him for having a “great understanding of crime investigations,” preparing “accurate reports,” working “extremely well with the detectives in the Criminal Investigations Division,” and “always [being] at work early.”

However, Rollings received a warning from Hirsch in 2020 for “substandard work quality” pertaining to a search for bullet projectiles or bullet fragments during the investigation into the unsolved killing of a five-year-old girl at a house in Summerville.

“It appears Sgt. Rollings haphazardly searched the residence which delayed the recovery of the projectile,” the warning says, adding that a bullet was not recovered until another SPD employee conducted a search of the house weeks later.

Rollings’ defense attorney declined to comment for this report.

UPDATE: In an email to WCSC-TV on Nov. 4, Summerville Town Attorney G.W. Parker said: “I need to qualify and amend my prior e-mail concerning the delay of furnishing the internal audit. In my e-mail I attributed the delay solely to the assigned SLED Officer being pulled down to Hampton to assist with the Murdaugh saga. This was only partially correct. In fact the SPD remains in the process of completing its own internal audit which entailed thousands upon thousands items of stored evidence. The SPD Internal Audit is, of course, not complete at this time. SLED continues to investigate the wrong doings of Wade Rollings and will conduct an External Audit once the Internal Audit is completed by SPD. The investigation is fluid and ongoing. I apologize for laying the delay at SLED’s doorstep.”

A SLED spokesperson did not respond to a request for information on Nov. 2 regarding this matter.

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