Retired officer's guns, badge, ID stolen from Phoenix home

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By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

PHOENIX -- A Phoenix man who spent years fighting crime has become the victim of a burglar, but what the thief or thieves stole could have serious consequences for the entire community.

Brian Livingston is a retired police officer and current head of the Arizona Board of Executive Clemency.

A well-known member of the community, he is no stranger to crime.

It got personal, however, when somebody broke into his North Phoenix home and ransacked it while he was at work Wednesday.

"You are always upset when you feel violated," Livingston said.

The thief or thieves stole four guns, several valuable pieces from his prized watch collection and, perhaps most disturbing, the badge and credentials he carried when he was a police officer.

"That's what draws me the most concern because somebody could take the picture out of that ID, put a simulated picture -- another picture -- in there, flash it and do who knows what kind of damage to citizens," Livingston said. "It's a real badge and the ID itself is real."

His concern for other citizens is backed up by his resume and his action.

While on the job in 1999, Livingston was shot in the face and torso during a face-off with a kidnapping bank robber.

"I've had total facial reconstruction," he said. "I've had jaw transplants. My right shoulder is half blown off. It's not there anymore. I only have one bone instead of two."

Wednesday's break-in at Livingston's home was not the first, or even the second. It was the third in five years.

"It really shows that if a person is destined and desires enough to get into a house, they're going to get into a house," he said. "You can only hope that someone will see something."

Concerned about the missing guns, badge and credentials and how they might be used, Livingston cannot help but wonder if his position with the clemency board might be related to the thefts.

The five-member board conducts monthly parole hearings and decides who can be released and who cannot. It also conducts hearings on whether inmates may be granted pardons, sentence commutations and reprieves.

"There are concerns because we deal with very some unsavory people," he said. "But we also deal with some very good people who have made amends and want to go back on the street. It's really hard to say that that's related. Does it cross your mind? Of course."

Gov. Jan Brewer appointed Livingston to the board in April 2012. He was named executive director and chairman a year ago.

At this point, it's not clear of the thief or thieves targeted Livingston's home or if the burglary was random.

If you know anything about the burglary at Livingston's home in the neighborhood of Ninth Avenue and Thunderbird Road, call the Phoenix Police Department at 602-262-6151 or Silent Witness at either 480-WITNESS (948-6377) or 1-800-343-TIPS (8477). Spanish speakers may call 480-TESTIGO (837-8446).