Toronto police launched an investigation Thursday into two decommissioned, pre-amalgamation Metropolitan Toronto Police badges that had been up for sale on eBay.
EBay took the pages taken down later in the day, as police were investigating how they ended up online and who was trying to sell them.
The seller’s name is northernboy50, and the items were said to be in Sudbury.
When CityNews showed Chief Mark Saunders the items for sale on eBay, he was both surprised and concerned. And TPS spokesman Mark Pugash added personating a peace officer is a serious crime.
“What concerns us is if somebody tries to use a badge who is not an officer or no longer an officer, then you’re getting into significant criminal liability, and that’s the major concern,” he said.
Before the pages were taken down, a man said he was trying to buy the items so he could turn them in to Toronto police.
“I think it’s a dangerous item in the wrong people’s hands,” said the man, who wanted to remain anonymous.
“Somebody earned that badge and I think it should be respected as that.”
When officers retire from the force, they are supposed to turn in their badge.
Pugash said he has seen items that are “much less credible” than the badges for sale eBay, but CityNews has not been able to confirm their authenticity.
One of the items is an auxiliary badge complete with badge number; the second is a deputy chief badge.
A York Regional Police badge was also among the items offered by the same seller.
EBay has not yet responded to a request for comment.