Police Say Ex-Officer Last Logical Suspect Long Burglary Investigation Ultimately Led to the Accused

By Gordon, Tony | Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), January 20, 2001 | Go to article overview

Police Say Ex-Officer Last Logical Suspect Long Burglary Investigation Ultimately Led to the Accused


Gordon, Tony, Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)


Byline: Tony Gordon Daily Herald Staff Writer

Authorities said Friday it was a "complicated and involved" investigation that led to the arrest of a former Lake Forest police officer on burglary charges.

Robert Coyle, 34, is being held on $500,000 bond and is accused of using his position as a police officer to help himself to between $15,000 and $20,000 worth of property owned by people he was paid to protect.

"Anytime you have to investigate one of your own it is difficult," Police Chief Michael Hosking said.

Coyle, who resigned in June after 12 years on the force, is believed to have broken into three homes and the Knollwood Country Club and Conway Farms Golf Club while on duty between August 1999 and June.

Coyle was arrested about 8:30 p.m. Thursday at an Elk Grove Village factory where he works. Lake County State's Attorney Michael Waller said Coyle is charged with residential burglary, burglary, theft and official misconduct and could face up to 15 years in prison if convicted.

Hosking and Waller said Lake Forest detectives investigating the residential burglaries became stymied because the crimes did not resemble standard burglaries.

"There was no sign of forced entry to the homes and no ransacking as you normally see in a burglary," Hosking said. "Only specific items were taken and sometimes it was weeks after the homeowners returned from vacation that they realized something was missing."

Hosking said Coyle became a suspect in the investigation when it was learned he was involved in checking the homes when their owners were on vacation.

"We eliminated every other logical possibility before deciding there may have been a police officer involved," Hosking said. "It was the only answer that made sense, and the last answer we were looking for.

Waller said Lake Forest investigators and members of his office's Computer Crime Unit discovered that Coyle had set up an account on the Internet auction site eBay and was selling jewelry, watches, golf clubs and other property. …

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