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By Angela Rozas, Tribune reporter
Chicago Tribune

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.

Story From:Chicago Tribune

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2,134 Posts
Clearly, there's more to this story. If, in fact, he did take the merchandise without paying, regardless of the value, significant consequences are appropriate. Taking the story at face value, I'm guessing Pena took liberties with his position...
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