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Crime & Courts

Algonquin employee fired, accused of stealing from village

ALGONQUIN – A village employee faces felony theft charges for allegedly stealing from the municipality more than two years ago.

According to the criminal complaint, 45-year-old Vincent C. Olsen is accused of taking an 89-by-42 inch steel gate, valued at less than $500. The incident happened in July 2012.

Olsen, of 2002 Menge Road, Marengo, began employment with the Village in February 2005. He was terminated from his internal service superintendent position on March 17. Just five days earlier, he was placed on paid administrative leave, Village Manager Tim Schloneger said.

He turned himself in at the Marengo Police Department on March 27, and posted $1,000 to be released.

Olsen called the gate "scrap," and said village employees used it to practice welding. The gate in question has no hinges and doesn't function, he said. It's been in a barn at his house, and he had since forgotten about it.

"It makes me sick and it breaks my heart that it's diminished to this," Olsen said of his arrest and subsequent firing.

As internal service superintendent, Olsen earned $96,577 annually. Schloneger said he oversaw of the village's vehicle fleet and equipment – a position that fell under the public works umbrella.

Village officials and police administration were tight lipped on Olsen's arrest. Calls to the police department were referred to the village manager who refused to provide further information calling it a "personnel matter"

Theft of government property is a probational, Class 4 felony that carries a possible prison term between one to three years.

This is the second recent arrest of a public employee accused of stealing government property. In mid-March, Woodstock fired its street supervisor Dale Behm for allegedly taking road salt and snow plow skids valued at about $160. His case is still pending.

Olsen's next court date is April 8.

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