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  1. #1
    TXCharlie's Avatar
    TXCharlie is offline Former & Future Reserve Officer
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    22-year Chicago police veteran fired over $1 bag of trail mix

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/l...,7368786.story

    Chicago officer says he forgot to pay

    By Angela Rozas | Tribune reporter November 20, 2008 A 22-year veteran Chicago police officer was fired last month over charges he stole a $1 bag of trail mix from Walgreens.

    Aaron Pena was known as the "mayor of 26th Street" by residents in the Ogden District for his helpfulness in the community, according to testimony before the Chicago Police Board released Wednesday.

    City attorneys alleged that Pena went to the Walgreens in the 1900 block of West Cermak Road in August 2007, bought two bags of trail mix and then took a third from the store without paying. Pena was recorded on store security cameras.

    Pena testified that he had opened one bag and thought it was so good he wanted a third. But he said that as he walked to the front of the store to pay, he became concerned that he couldn't hear his radio. He said he forgot about the extra bag when he went outside.

    "It had slipped my mind . . . what had occurred," Pena testified.

    Pena told the board he had a stroke in 2005 that occasionally left him "unfocused." He was criminally charged with misdemeanor retail theft but acquitted.

    The city's attorney, however, alluded to two prior incidents at the same Walgreens in which Pena allegedly walked out without paying for merchandise. But Pena was not charged in any other incident, and the board wouldn't allow testimony on them.

    The board also found he failed to follow an order because he did not tell a dispatcher he had left a burglary call and was at the Walgreens when he took the trail mix.

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  2. #2
    bird1's Avatar
    bird1 is offline Corporal
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    There are people who did worse than this guy, and they are still on the job he got plain ole railroaded.
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  3. #3
    Jenna's Avatar
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    There must be more to the story--firing him over a $1 bag of trail mix has to be a cover for someone's vendetta against this officer or for other things they have on him that they can't prove.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jenna View Post
    There must be more to the story--firing him over a $1 bag of trail mix has to be a cover for someone's vendetta against this officer or for other things they have on him that they can't prove.
    I agree, there must be more to this. With what is said, it is surprising they even let it go as far as it did, seems like a waste of taxpayers money.

  5. #5
    TXCharlie's Avatar
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    Could have also been a cost-saving measure to keep him from collecting disability after his stroke - Hopefully that isn't it!

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  6. #6
    MacLean's Avatar
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    There is a hint in the story as to what "more to the story" might be - it says this isn't the first time.

    As to others getting off with worse - that is the same excuse we hear from criminals.

    It works one of two ways:

    1. He has mental/memory issues because of his stroke, and should not be a police officer - although perhaps a medical retirement.

    2. He stole some shit while employed as an LEO, and should be fired.
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    Morris is offline Chief Wheaties Pisser
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    I dunno. ChiTown PD has been on a weird rampage as of late.

    As to remaining fit for duty after a stroke, that one made me scratch my head, especially if it makes one forgetful.

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    I've been in this business for a looooong time, and there are always 2 sides to the story. He has an obvious "history" and I'm sure there are other incidents in his past that may have led to the firing.
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  9. #9
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  10. #10
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    We've got a guy on my dept. that was caught stealing fishing lures on duty from Target. He's still with us years later. I guess the dept. liked him though. I'm sure if they didn't that they would have canned him.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by TXCharlie View Post
    Could have also been a cost-saving measure to keep him from collecting disability after his stroke - Hopefully that isn't it!

    I doubt that Stroke does not fall under the Federal Heart Bill, if he got disability it would on be half pay and taxed.


    Quote Originally Posted by keith720 View Post
    I've been in this business for a looooong time, and there are always 2 sides to the story. He has an obvious "history" and I'm sure there are other incidents in his past that may have led to the firing.

    Probably right on.

  12. #12
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    If you read the article it says that he stole stuff from the same store on 2 prior occasions. That would be why
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by maclean View Post
    1. He has mental/memory issues because of his stroke, and should not be a police officer - although perhaps a medical retirement.
    I'm thinking- and it's only a theory- that they could have been looking for a reason to fire him so the city wouldn't have to pay out a retirement.

    If I was that officer, i'd definately hire me an attorney and start going through some open records.

    If the charges were dropped, IMO, then it should be like it never happened. Just like it is for everyone else on the street. I'm so sick and tired of playing security guard for retailers who only back down when it comes time to go to court. They don't want the police, they want a recovery agency.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by bird1 View Post
    There are people who did worse than this guy, and they are still on the job he got plain ole railroaded.
    Maybe....but, a MAJOR issue here has to be the security video. The guys who do worse most likely do so in places not caught on video. When they have the allegations AND the video, it's hard not to do what NEEDS to be done.
    I'm not ruining your life, you are, and I'm just going to write a short story about it.

 

 

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