The Orange County Sheriffs’ Department can’t find over $2 million worth of equipment according to a new report they submitted to the OC Board of Supervisors. 

While none of the equipment that went missing included weapons or the department’s military grade equipment, there wasn’t any explanation for when or how around 2% of the department’s entire equipment cache went missing on Tuesday morning. 

[Read: M4 Carbines, Armored Vehicles: A Look at OC Sheriff’s $4 Million Military Arsenal

The most common missing item is a slate of Getac Laptops, which are specially reinforced laptops that cost around $6,000 a piece – the department listed over three dozen of them missing. 

That’s just under $200,000 in laptops missing from the sheriff’s inventory. 

Sheriff officials did not respond to multiple requests for comment through email and phone. 

None of the OC Board of Supervisors asked any questions about the issue at their public Tuesday meeting. 

All the equipment was found missing in the department’s inventory as of March 2022 according to a letter from OC Sheriff Don Barnes to the county’s auditor, asking to remove the items from the department’s list of assets. 

“As required, every attempt was made to locate the missing items on the exception list. We have checked and rechecked all physical locations within our department several times with no success in locating the missing items,” Barnes wrote. 

It remains unclear when any of the equipment in question went missing, with the disclosures only listing when the equipment was purchased. 

“To prevent future recurrence of missing, stolen, dismantled/destroyed equipment, staff have been retrained to ensure that all assets are documented and reported on the day changes occur,” he added. 

To review Barnes’ letter and the department’s entire list of missing equipment, click here

The most common missing equipment were laptops, surveillance equipment and other pieces of technology that were used in the field by the department.

No weapons were listed as having gone missing. 

It also remains unclear exactly just how much equipment was lost or destroyed. 

In his letter to county supervisors, Barnes claimed the department only lost around $1.6 million worth of equipment, but in the official list presented by the auditor controller’s office, over $2.1 million assets were listed as “missing.” 

To view the auditor’s list, click here

The department also listed other equipment that was destroyed, stolen or sold off worth over $700,000, including one camera purchased in 2019, designed to be attached to aircraft worth $372,000 that was destroyed. 

Noah Biesiada is a Voice of OC reporter and corps member with Report for America, a GroundTruth initiative. Contact him at or on Twitter @NBiesiada.


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