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School security officer accused of pawning service weapon, other agency-issued equipment

Deputies say he blamed his financial difficulties.
Credit: Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office

SEFFNER, Fla. — A school security officer working for Mango Elementary School was arrested Friday after being accused of pawning his agency-issued gun and equipment multiple times between June and December.

Leroy King, 36, is accused of pawning multiple agency-issued items, citing financial difficulties. 

An investigation was launched Thursday, the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office says, after it was discovered he had replaced his duty-issued gun with a toy pellet gun during a random inspection.

Investigators say King pawned his agency-issued ballistic vest on Oct. 18, which deputies say belongs to the Hillsborough County School Security.  He signed his name and gave a thumbprint, swearing that the vest belonged to him and was paid $125 for the transaction, deputies say.

On Nov. 2, King is accused of pawning his agency-issued TLR1 Streamlight weapon mount light, which also belongs to school security. He was given $50 for the transaction, deputies say.

Deputies say they recovered the pawned ballistic vest and weapon mount light from the pawnshop and gave it back to school security. 

King later admitted to pawning his agency-issued Glock Model 22 .40 caliber handgun six different times between June 28 and November 12, the sheriff's office says. He paid the pawnshop back and got the firearm back, investigators say. 

He faces eight felonies for giving false information on a pawnbroker form. 

Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister provided the following statement:

"As a parent, I am outraged to know that someone given such a monumental task of protecting our children would so carelessly sell the weapon he was provided with to fulfill that purpose. We are fortunate that a catastrophic event did not happen during the time that Leroy King had sold his weapon, but it does not make his actions any less severe. We will ensure that he is prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law for breaking his oath to protect and serve."

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