Outlet contractor hired to dispose of NYPD’s bullet proof vests, but they sold the armor to criminals on eBay instead

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SHOT show 2017, body armor, ballistic vests

The Daily News found out that the NYPD discovered that their old bulletproof vests were ending up on criminals and as a result, the city’s contract with the tactical gear supplier Body Amor Outlet was shredded not too long ago.

When NYPD officials learned that the bullet proof vests that were once worn by New York’s Finest ended up on suspected criminals, the contract with Body Armor Outlet based in New Hampshire was canceled by the city.

The city’s Department of Citywide Administrative Services contract with Body Armor Outlet to dispose of the NYPD’s old vests was worth $20,000. As per the contact, Body Armor Outlet had to destroy the bulletproof vests or have them recycled in a way that they could not be used in an illegal manner.

However, Body Armor Outlet resold a number of the bullet proof vests on eBay, which included some that were uncovered during arrests.

In November the city’s Department of Investigation was notified by the NYPD about the vests that were recovered and according to sources, this lead to the agency opening an investigation.

A cease-and-desist letter was sent to Body Armor Outlet a month later by the NYPD, which ordered the company to stop selling the old NYPD bullet proof vests on sites like eBay.

Body Armor Outlet also met with investigators from the city and they offered to stop reselling the bullet proof vests and will dispose of them according to NYPD guidelines. Even so, the investigators from the city did not recommend that the DCAS renew Body Armor Outlet’s contract or provide any new contracts to the company to dispose of old vests.

They NYPD and DCAS also immediately canceled the current contract, which was coming to an end in May.

In a Daily News statement, the NYPD stated that New York City contracted Body Armor Outlet to destroy the old bullet-resistant vests in a way that they cannot be used for illegal purposes.

The investigators at the DOI also forwarded the case to the office of Manhattan district attorney for possible criminal prosecution as per the Mayor’s Office of Contract Services documents.

However, the DA’s office didn’t proceed with prosecution because of the loosely written language in the contract, which allowed for a wide interpretation of the meaning of the word “recycling”.

Raymond Bellia, president of Body Armor Outlet, has not made any comments yet.

5 COMMENTS

  1. Your story is factually incorrect. BAO was NOT under contract to destroy the vests. The contract made no mention whatsoever what they could and couldn’t do with the vests, although the NY Daily News did their best to make it look like the contract was violated.
    Furthermore, the NYPD would not cooperate and report the serial numbers of the vest(s) they found on criminal(s), so there would be no way to track where the vests went.
    Additionally, BAO has a verification system on their site so that all buyers need to prove they have a legitimate need for ballistic protection.
    This whole thing smells. If the NYPD was so concerned about where their used body armor went, why would they not call BAO and ask for info to track this sale? Are they worried that one of their own is buying and reselling body armor on the street?
    And that’s amusing that you put, “Raymond Bellia… has not made any comments yet.” Maybe because you haven’t called him?

    • Yes NYC misled. But you just did as well. Sold on eBay does NOT in anyway allow for verification. Obviously criminals do have need though so its not strictly speaking a lie. Recycling would fall outside laws for original retail sales — loophole. Its even possible that the serial numbers had been removed.

      BAO sole concern is to make money within legal limits …including those legal gray areas. BAO has no legal reason to care if body armor is sold to criminals…as long as no enforceable law is violated.

      BAO does care somewhat about PR for purposes of marketing to other police departments. But truthfully very few cities and departments will be swayed by sales to criminals. Like any smart government the only real considerations are price and quality. Which is why most criminals and governments actually do buy from the same sources worldwide.

      LOL – the only sales that firms with quality products do worry about are – bulk sales made directly to known terrorists or their known front organizations. That can get you closed down. Criminals are merely ordinary citizens until convicted and placed behind bars.

  2. Contract breaking is NOT a criminal charge. It is merely a civil lawsuit. What is the law about selling body armor in NY and USA as a whole? If it was Texas its both illegal for felons to own and anyone but LEOs to possess without LEO authorized permits. But in NY body armor can legally be purchased and used by felons.

    The Police association can proceed with a civil lawsuit regardless of what contract says. Its just a weaker case without a contract violation. On the other hand, awards could be bigger and would go to police association account rather than general city coffers.

    Yup NYC still encourages corruption through its standard of “impractical to enforce” contract work. Contract lawsuits usually have awards for breaches limited by the contract. ULTIMATELY shoddy NYC contract work means contact-based lawsuits are seldom pursued because the awards for breaches are too low to be worth pursuing (cost more to sue than returns).

  3. there are many other police forces in the USA that do not have bullet proof vests why not donate these gently used to them instead of destroy or put on EBAY

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