Man Charged with DUI Has $400 Stolen from His Car, Elects to Not Press Charges

Officers at the Fourth of July parade, $400 stolen
Officers at the Fourth of July parade in Park Forest, 2021. (Photo: Gary Kopycinski)

Park Forest, IL-(ENEWSPF)- A University Park man who was arrested and charged with DUI in July had $400 stolen from his vehicle after it was impounded, Park Forest police confirmed in a letter and email. The man elected to not press charges.

The man, 34, requested that eNews Park Forest update the original story detailing his case which we did after confirming the alleged theft with Deputy Chief Paul Winfrey.

Park Forest Police confirmed in an August letter to the man that $400.00 was “unlawfully removed” from his vehicle by an employee of the towing company police used to seize and impound his car. The letter, which the man provided to eNews Park Forest, was written by Deputy Chief Paul A. Winfrey. The towing company terminated the employment of the employee, per the letter, “and has tendered $400.00 to you as reimbursement and they will recoup those funds from monies owed to the offender,” Dep. Chief Winfrey said in the letter.

“Thank you for bringing this issue to our attention. While I am disappointed in the behavior demonstrated by an employee for a vendor with whom the Park Forest Police Department does business, I am pleased that the vendor took immediate action to terminate the employee and reimburse you for your loss. I am also extremely glad that you had the belief in this police department to notify us of your complaint and to investigate your concerns and handle them appropriately,” Dep. Chief Winfrey told the man in the letter.

Dep. Chief Winfrey told this publication via email, “His complaint was investigated and it was learned that a non-police department employee did, in fact, take [his] money while his vehicle was at a tow yard.  The money was returned and [he] elected not to file charges for the theft.”

Dep. Chief Winfrey told this publication via email that the man “made a mistake, albeit a serious one,” yet “seemed to be someone who takes responsibility and wants to be a better person.”

We express our gratitude to the man for bringing this to our attention and to the Park Forest Police Department for following up on the man’s complaint.