By Rosemary Regina Sobol
CHICAGO — An Elmwood Park police officer is accused of stealing $20,000 from an 84-year-old man with dementia after befriending him, authorities announced today.
John A. Wasilenko, 39, of Norridge, was taken into custody this morning at the Cook County sheriff's police headquarters in Maywood, according to the sheriff's office. He was charged with senior financial exploitation and official misconduct.
The investigation began in December, 2012 when employees at a Brookfield bank contacted police after the man told bank workers he did not write a $20,000 check that was made out to Wasilenko, the office said.
The customer's account was already being monitored for unusual activity because he had reported thefts earlier in 2012 at his Elmwood Park home, authorities said. Brookfield police contacted the sheriff's office's financial crimes unit to assist with the investigation, according to the office.
Investigators learned that Wasilenko was one of the police officers the man had spoken to about the thefts at his home. Wasilenko later befriended the victim, who has advanced dementia, the office said.
In December of 2012, Wasilenko deposited a $20,000 check issued to him from the man's account, the office said.
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