Philadelphia police officer pleads guilty for using seized Porsche as prom ride

PHILADELPHIA -- A former Philadelphia police officer charged with taking a Porsche SUV from an impound lot and using it for his stepdaughter's prom has pleaded guilty, prosecutors announced Friday.

James Coolen Jr., 47, pleaded guilty Thursday to a misdemeanor count of unauthorized use of a motor vehicle. He was sentenced to a year of probation. Coolen resigned from the department in October before surrendering to authorities.

Coolen seized the Porsche Cayenne during a drug investigation in April and placed it in the Narcotics Bureau Headquarters' secure impound lot, according to prosecutors. They said surveillance footage showed Coolen entering the lot in his personal pickup truck April 25 and leaving in the Porsche. Two days later, the Porsche was returned and a driver that couldn't be identified because it was dark, drove away in Coolen's truck.

Prosecutors cited other evidence including GPS data from the Porsche to show Coolen had used it for his stepdaughter's prom.

"It is never easy, but it is always right, to hold a friend or colleague accountable when they do wrong," District Attorney Larry Krasner said in a statement Friday.

The police Internal Affairs Unit opened an investigation two weeks after the car was taken after receiving info from the Narcotics Bureau about a possible theft or use of an unauthorized vehicle, officials said.
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