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Official: Fox Lake cop stole from youth program, shot himself

Official: Fox Lake cop stole from youth program, shot himself

By Dan Hinkel and Lauren Zumbach for Chicago Tribune

Fox Lake police Lt. Charles Joseph Gliniewicz committed suicide two months ago after committing a series of alleged crimes over the course of years, Lake County authorities said Wednesday.

At a news conference, Lake County Major Crime Task Force Cmdr. George Filenko said Gliniewicz, 52, shot himself to death in a "carefully staged suicide" as the result of "extensive criminal acts."

Gliniewicz for years ran the village’s Explorers program, which gave aspiring officers policing experience, and he had been stealing and laundering money for years, Filenko said. He stole thousands of dollars that he used for personal purposes, including mortgage payments, travel and adult websites, Filenko said.

The amount of theft was "in the five-figure range," Filenko said. 

"This is the first time as a law enforcement officer...that I’ve felt ashamed by the acts of another police officer," he added.

He forged signatures on requisitions for federal equipment, authorities said. Before he killed himself, Gliniewicz knew the village was conducting an audit that might have turned up his thefts, Filenko said.

After these acts, Gliniewicz staged his death to look like a murder, leaving a trail of his equipment around the scene to try to mislead investigators, Filenko said. He fired a shot into his protective vest and aimed a second, fatal bullet beneath his vest in his upper torso, Filenko said.

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