Cuyahoga County

Two East Cleveland Police Officers Indicted for Aggravated Robbery Among Other Charges for Stealing from Multiple Individuals While on Duty

9/16/2022

 

CLEVELAND - Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Michael C. O’Malley announced that a Cuyahoga County grand jury has returned an indictment charging East Cleveland Police Officers Alfonzo Cole, 34, and Willie Sims, 31, for stealing from multiple individuals while on duty from July 2020 to July 2021.

On July 7, 2020, the victim, 52, was engaged in a verbal altercation with a female in the parking lot of a gas station located near Euclid Avenue and Shaw Avenue in East Cleveland. East Cleveland Police Officer Willie Sims responded to the scene. Sims saw a gun in the victim’s car and searched the vehicle. He removed $3,850 from the victim’s vehicle.

On September 22, 2020, East Cleveland Police Officer Alfonzo Cole executed a traffic stop on the victim, 43, near Euclid Avenue and Marloes Avenue in East Cleveland. While stopped, Cole removed $850 and approximately $400 worth of suspected marijuana from the car. He then issued a traffic citation to the victim containing his signature and an East Cleveland Police sergeant’s signature.

On November 8, 2020, Willie Sims executed a traffic stop on Paige Avenue in East Cleveland. The individual stopped was driving the 34-year-old victim’s vehicle. While stopped, Sims found and removed $1,300 of the victim’s money from the trunk of the vehicle. 

On June 22, 2021, Alfonzo Cole executed a traffic stop on the victim, 26, on Bender Avenue in East Cleveland. Cole removed from the vehicle $4,000, suspected marijuana, and a firearm.

Also, on June 22, 2021, Alfonzo Cole executed a traffic stop on the victim, 18, on Noble Road in East Cleveland. Cole asked the victim if a gun was in the vehicle and then searched the vehicle. Cole removed the victim’s mother’s firearm, located under the seat, and bullets, located in the glove box, from the vehicle.

On July 8, 2021, Willie Sims executed a traffic stop on the same victim from the November 8, 2020, incident at a gas station located near Euclid Avenue and Superior Road in East Cleveland. Sims removed $781 and suspected marijuana edibles from the vehicle.

On July 8, 2021, Willie Sims and Alfonzo Cole executed a traffic stop on the victim, 21, at a gas station located near Euclid Avenue and Superior Road in East Cleveland. Cole and Sims removed $4,000 from the victim’s vehicle. The victim reported the theft to the East Cleveland Police Department (ECPD) and the ECPD contacted the Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Department (CCSD).

CCSD executed a search warrant at Alfonzo Cole’s residence on July 13, 2021, and recovered the guns from both June 22, 2021, traffic stops, along with suspected marijuana edibles.

The investigation further revealed that Cole forged an East Cleveland Police sergeant’s signature on the traffic citation issued on September 22, 2020, and that the sergeant was not on the scene at the time of the traffic stop. The investigation also revealed that a total of $14,781 was stolen along with two firearms from six total victims.


Alfonzo 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


Willie Sims was indicted on the following charges:

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


The investigation was conducted by the Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.


Cole and Sims will be arraigned at the Cuyahoga County Justice Center at a later date.

You can view the indictment here.


The Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office declines to comment further due to an ongoing investigation.