KENNEWICK - Three former Hanford Patrol officers have been charged with second-degree theft after items went missing from the nuclear reservation.
Adam Blair Bowen, 38, and Dean Austin Badeaux, 33, were charged with one count each in Benton County Superior Court. Alfred Wayne Smith, Jr., 36, was charged with one count in Benton County District Court.
Second-degree theft covers thefts involving items worth $750 to $5,000. None of the three men is under arrest.
The items taken were small enough to be easily carried off, according to the Benton County Sheriff's Office, which investigated. Items at Hanford typically are federal property.
Bowen is accused of stealing two generators, a winch, a drill, night vision glasses, tools and a tool box, according to the probable cause statement by Deputy Prosecutor Terry Bloor.
The winch, valued at $1,200, was reported stolen from the Hanford 100 Area -- which includes the area around Hanford's nine production reactors along the Columbia River -- by a Babcock and Wilcox employee Nov. 24, 2009.
A generator valued at $1,200 was reported stolen from a central Hanford building Oct. 7, 2010.
Then several generators valued at $1,700, and tools and a tool box valued at $1,000 were reported stolen from the Hanford 100 Area by a Department of Energy employee on Jan. 3, 2011.
Badeaux acted as a lookout while Bowen stole the winch, according to the probable cause statement. Badeaux also is accused of stealing miscellaneous items, including safety glasses, a tool box, a flood light and a tool bag, according to the probable cause statement. That corresponds to the January 2011 report of missing items in the 100 Area.
No information was available on when those thefts occurred, only when they were reported.
Alfred Smith is accused of stealing a $1,200 generator Sept. 8, 2006, from former DOE contractor Fluor Hanford. He returned the generator to the Benton County Sheriff's Office on March 10, 2011, according to the probable cause document.
DOE will be reviewing the security clearance of employees it believes may have information about the alleged theft or inappropriate conduct, said Geoff Tyree, DOE spokesman.
Hanford employees granted a security clearance can lose it, along with the ability to perform jobs that require it, if DOE believes their action or lack of action warrants it.
"We have been cooperating fully with the Benton County Sheriff's Office," Tyree said. "As a precaution, we've asked our contractor for security to conduct a review of the situation and evaluate whether there should be any modifications to the existing procedures and the contractor's security program."
Two of the accused employees resigned and the other was terminated, said Deanna Smith, spokeswoman for Mission Support Alliance, which has provided security services for DOE at Hanford since late August 2009.
The alleged thefts were discovered when a Hanford employee became suspicious, she said. The Hanford Patrol looked into the suspicions and contacted the Benton County Sheriff's Office with concerns Jan. 21, 2011, according to Deanna Smith and the sheriff's office.
The success of the investigation largely was because of the initial information provided by the Hanford Patrol administration and its continuing cooperation, according to the sheriff's office.
Mission Support Alliance already had launched a review to see if it could enhance its procedures before the directive from DOE, Deanna Smith said. It's looking at whether there are additional processes that can be put in place for items that a dishonest employee could easily remove.