In an odd twist, police in Kansas City, Kan., are asking for help from suspected drug dealers and other offenders whose homes they have searched.
Authorities believe that three officers indicted by a grand jury may have stolen more than the few electronics and $640 outlined in the indictment unsealed Monday.
"We believe that there are other victims out there who have yet to be identified," said Barry Grissom, U.S. attorney for Kansas. "We believe that those folks are fearful of coming forward because this was the police who allegedly perpetrated these crimes."
For a year, the three Kansas City, Kan., police officers in an elite unit conspired to steal money, video games and other property, according to the indictments.
Never miss a local story.
The three were among four officers arrested in January and suspended without pay following an FBI sting operation.
Jeffrey M. Bell, 33, Darryl M. Forrest, 31, and Dustin Sillings, 33, took money and goods from the FBI in the sting operation and from Tawana Webster and other unknown victims, the indictment states.
All three men pleaded not guilty at first appearances Monday in federal court and left without comment.
Grissom and Mayor Joe Reardon praised Police Chief Rick Armstrong, who took office last year, for starting an investigation that followed a citizen complaint.
"I applaud his decision to launch the internal investigation that led to these indictments," Reardon said in a press release. "My expectation is that we continue to have a police department that is responsible to its citizens and fights crime with the utmost integrity."
The FBI took over the investigation, as it often does.
The highly trained officers were part of SCORE, the Selective Crime Occurrence Reduction Enforcement Unit.
The unit works to "reduce violent crime through patrol and surveillance, and to address other complaints of criminal activity where special attention is needed," according to the police department's website.
Among allegations in the indictments:
* The SCORE officers conspired to steal while executing search warrants.
* On July 7, 2010, while serving a search warrant at Webster's home, they stole a PlayStation portable and a camcorder.
* From January 2010 to Jan. 4, 2011, Sillings served five search warrants and stole at least six PlayStation video games.
* During the Jan. 4 sting, Bell stole a Nintendo game player; Forrest stole a video game, an Apple iPod and $300; and Sillings stole $340.
The three officers are still suspended. Police did not give the status of the fourth arrested officer, who was not indicted.