Chief: Police have two more suspects in theft of $100,000 from house safe

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Pedro Oliveira Jr.
November 18, 2009
— Police have two more suspects in connection with a $100,000 theft in Linn Township, the department's chief said Tuesday.

Linn Police Chief Dennis Wisniewski told the Gazette the list of suspects has doubled in what he calls the most significant Linn Township crime in at least five years.

The theft occurred in a Linn Township home between November 2008 and May 2009. The owner of the house had contracted remodeling work and the house alarm had been disconnected, according to the criminal complaint.

Months later, the victim was contacted by a sheriff's deputy from McHenry County, Ill., who said the man likely was the victim of a theft. Wisniewski said a confidential informant notified the McHenry County Sheriff's Office of the crime.

The man checked his safe and realized he was out $100,000.

"It was something he had been saving all his life," Wisniewski said.

The homeowner kept the combination for the safe under a pool table. He said someone could have found the combination and used it to steal the money because there were no signs of forced entry, according to the complaint.

One man has been charged with the theft. Patrick R. Vermett, 34, of Woodstock, Ill., admitted taking the $100,000 from the Linn Township house, according to court documents.

Vermett said he was involved with moving furniture from the house to a storage barn during construction in late 2008, according to the complaint. He noticed a piece of paper stuck to the bottom of the pool table containing the safe combination.

Vermett said he wrote down the numbers and admitted knowing the location of the safe, according to the complaint.

Vermett said he was shocked when he saw how much money was in the safe, and planned to take it at a later time when he returned to do more work at the residence, according to the complaint.

Vermett said he took about $20,000 late August 2009, according to the complaint. He admitted to coming back about a month later and taking an additional $80,000, according to the complaint.

About $13,400 of the money has been returned, Wisniewski said.

The police chief said he expects charges for a second suspect to be filed by the Walworth County District Attorney's Office in the coming days.

The newest two suspects still are being investigated, Wisniewski said. The chief is yet to decide on referring charges to the DA's office.

The relationship between the suspects is unclear.

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