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2 East Cleveland Police officers indicted for allegedly robbing people while on duty

East Cleveland Police
Posted at 11:28 AM, Sep 16, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-16 11:28:16-04

EAST CLEVELAND, Ohio  — Two East Cleveland Police officers have been indicted for allegedly stealing from multiple people while on duty from July 2020 to July 2021.

According to the prosecutor's office, on July 7, 2020, 31-year-old Willie Sims responded to an altercation in the parking lot of a gas station near Euclid and Shaw Avenues when he saw a gun inside the victim's vehicle. Sims allegedly took $3,850 from the victim's car.

On Sept. 22, 2020, 34-year-old Alfonzo Cole executed a traffic stop near Euclid and Marloes avenues and took $850 and $400 of suspected marijuana, prosecutors state. Cole issued the 43-year-old driver a traffic citation, court records show.

Prosecutors said on Nov. 8, 2020, Sims executed a traffic stop on Paige Avenue and took $1,300 he found in the trunk of the vehicle.

According to court records, Cole executed a traffic stop on June 22, 2021 on Bender Avenue and took $4,000, suspected marijuana and a firearm from the vehicle.

On the same day, Cole executed another traffic stop and took the 18-year-old driver's mother's gun located under the seat and bullets from the vehicle, court records show.

Prosecutors said Sims executed a traffic stop on the same victim from Nov. 8, 2020 and removed $781 and suspected marijuana edibles from the vehicle.

Later the day, both Sims and Cole executed a traffic stop on a 21-year-old at a gas station near Euclid Avenue and Superior Road, when they allegedly took $4,000 from the victim's vehicle.

The victim reported the theft to the police department and the department contacted the Cuyahoga County Sheriff's Department.

A search warrant was issued for Cole's house on July 13, 2021, where the guns from the traffic stops on June 22, 2021 and suspected marijuana edibles were found.

Cole was indicted on the following charges:

  • Four counts of Aggravated Robbery.
  • Two counts of Grand Theft.
  • Three counts of Theft.
  • One count of Petty Theft.
  • Four counts of Theft In Office.
  • One count of Tampering With Records.

Sims was indicted on the following charges:

  • Four counts of Aggravated Robbery.
  • Five counts of Theft.
  • Four counts of Theft In Office.

The duo will be arraigned at a later date.

This is the third time this month that officers with East Cleveland Police have faced an indictment.

Earlier this month, two former East Cleveland Police officers were indicted for falsifying reports and accepting bribes.

RELATED: 2 former East Cleveland Police officers indicted for falsifying reports, bribery

On Sept. 2, two officers were indefinitely suspended after being indicted on charges including grand theft and theft in office.

RELATED: Two East Cleveland police officers indefinitely suspended following indictments for multiple charges

Late last month, East Cleveland Police Chief Scott Gardner was suspended and placed on administrative leave after being indicted on charges including grand theft and theft in office.

RELATED: East Cleveland police chief suspended after indictment for felony financial crimes