ALLEN COUNTY, Ind. (Indiana’s NewsCenter) - An Allen County sheriff's sergeant is out of a job while facing theft accusations.
Police say Sergeant Louis Lee, while on duty on third-shift, broke into an unlocked vehicle at Klopfenstein Furniture in Leo early last Thursday morning and stole tools from inside the vehicle. The estimated value of those tools, according to Allen County Sheriff Ken Fries, is estimated to be between $1,000 and $3,000.
Recently installed surveillance footage from Klopfenstein Furniture showed Lee stealing the tools while in uniform. They also show him placing the tools into his squad car.
Surveillance footage first showed Lee around 12:47 a.m. opening the doors to the van. The video shows him taking something out of the van but leaving with nothing. Lee left the store, but returned at approximately 3:20 a.m. Video then shows Lee walking directly towards the van and taking a bucket from the van. The bucket was then placed into his squad car.
Lee, a 32 year veteran, resigned from the force last Friday and admitted to stealing the tools. Lee, who has no disciplinary history according to the sheriff’s department, said he did not know why he stole the tools. Lee has received 13 commendation letters from both the department and citizens for his service in the Allen County area.
Fries called Lee’s actions sad.
“It's sad and it's sickening at the same time. I mean, here's a guy who dedicated his entire adult life to doing what he's supposed to do and then to end it like this is sad. And he told me Friday he said he didn't know why this happened and didn't want his career to end this way.”
Lee has been charged with felony theft and will appear in court Monday for his initial hearing.
He is not being held and has been released on his own recognizance.
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