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Lieutenant accused of stealing gun from Canton Police Department

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Canton Police Lieutenant Jerry Hardesty is accused of stealing a gun from his own department. Canton Police Lieutenant Jerry Hardesty is accused of stealing a gun from his own department.
CANTON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WJBK) -

A veteran member of the Canton Police Department is accused of being on the wrong side of the law.

55-year-old Lieutenant Jerry Hardesty is accused of stealing a gun from his own department.

Canton's public safety director said his department reported the missing gun to state police earlier this year.

"It was during [the] investigation that a suspect was developed," Lieutenant Mike Shaw from Michigan State Police said at a news conference Tuesday.

That suspect has been with the department for nearly 25 years.  Police will only describe the weapon as a long gun, but sources said it was a semi-automatic that was assigned to a member of the SWAT team.

Hardesty's attorney said the lieutenant had the gun legitimately.

"Canton Police Department holds its employees accountable to the high professional standards set by the organization," said Canton Public Safety Director Todd Mutchler.

Hardesty has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of an internal investigation and a criminal case.

Hardesty was arraigned Tuesday and is out on bond.  He will be back in court next month.

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