Farrah Fazal and Alexandra Martellaro
ST. CHARLES -- An officer with the St. Charles Police Department is facing charges, accused of stealing evidence.
"We have a dirty cop. Officer Howse has been stealing, he has removed property from this department, some from my office," said St. Charles County Police Chief David Todd.
A probable cause statement from the St. Charles County Prosecuting Attorney's Office says Officer Matthew Howze admitted to stealing a digital camera, a parka, a money clip, cash, a cordless drill and a tool bag from an unlocked car. Chief Todd says Howze also stole gym equipment.
"We filmed him, property was taken, property was not turned it in was kept it was disposed of that's stealing," said Chief Todd.
Officers, the prosecutor and federal agents set up a sting to catch Howse in the act.
He said investigators found the stolen equipment when they searched Howze's home. Now, they're worried others may have been victims.
"We are asking for the citizens of St. Charles County, if they thought something might have been suspicious with a case, to call us. We don't believe it happened with every case Officer Howse dealt with, but it's possible," said Chief Todd.
The chief said Howse dishonored his duty and violated the trust of the people.
"We caught him but we are going to work so much harder to build the trust," he said.
The chief said "one bad apple" shouldn't reflect on a department full of officers who care about serving and protecting
Howze is a 10-year veteran of the police department. He is out on bond, and has received preliminary notice the department is proposing termination.