Forest Park police are cooperating with a federal agency investigating the theft and subsequent return of three guns and over 00,000 in cash from the La Grange home of Sgt. Maureen Frawley, according to Chief James Ryan.
He declined to offer any details regarding the nature of the investigation, but said the department will be looking to determine “whether any illegal activity was involved.” Ryan also said that, at one point Forest Park Sgt. Dan Harder was considered a suspect in the burglary.
According to a LaGrange police report, Frawley reported the items stolen on April 27. She told police that, after returning home to find that her bedroom appeared to have been rummaged through, she noticed ,000 missing from a dresser drawer. She also found that her off-duty 38-caliber snub-nose revolver, which she kept in a hamper, was missing.
She then reportedly went downstairs to her laundry room where she found 00,000 kept in 00 increments to be missing from another drawer.
She called police later the same day to report that two more guns, kept near the drawer in the laundry room were also missing. The missing cash, according to police reports, allegedly belonged to Frawley’s brother, Daniel Frawley, 55, of Chicago.
Both Frawley and her brother told police they did not know who might have been responsible for the burglary. There were no signs of forced entry at the home, according to the police report.
Two days later, Frawley called police to report that the money and guns had been returned. She told police she and her brother, along with a friend, were at her home when they heard a knock at the front door. She went to investigate and allegedly found her black nylon travel bag, containing the stolen money and guns, sitting on the stoop.
According to police reports, Frawley then contacted LaGrange police and said she did not wish for the case to be pursued any further because her brother might be involved. The LaGrange police investigation was then concluded.
Ryan said that during the investigation, he was told by LaGrange police that relatives of Frawley whom they interviewed told them they suspected Harder may have been involved in the burglary.
“They told the detectives that [Harder] had a serious gambling problem,” said Ryan. “The presumption is that Frawley confronted him and he returned the money.”
A page of a police report provided by the LaGrange police, which was heavily blacked out before being sent to the Review, states that a person who was interviewed told police that [name blacked out] frequently visits the house to use Frawley’s computer and knows the overhead garage door code. The person told police that [name blacked out] had been present in three past incidents at the home during which thousands of dollars in cash had gone missing, and said he believes that [name blacked out] may have taken the money to support a gambling addiction.
The unnamed person told police he did not wish for Frawley to know that he had discussed the matter with police. LaGrange Police Chief Michael Holub (River Forest’s former police chief) declined to comment on the identity of the unnamed individuals.
“We’re staying out of this. We don’t want to get involved in whatever’s going on in Forest Park,” he said.
Harder could not be reached for comment Tuesday morning. Daniel Frawley, according to a police report, told LaGrange police that he had given his sister the money in question to put in her safety deposit box at the bank. He said he withdrew the money from New Century Bank in Chicago about four weeks before the incident.
The manager of the bank told police Frawley withdraws large amounts of cash all the time, which police stated was confirmed by copies of his bank statements.
According to a police report, when asked what he does for a living, Daniel Frawley hesitated before stating that he was in real estate investment.
Frawley, the reports said, provided police a copy of her homeowner’s insurance policy, which had a deductible of 00 on claims. A representative from her insurance company told police the policy does not cover cash damage of over 00, nor does it cover any money belonging to anyone other than Frawley.
Ryan said the police department would await the findings of the federal investigation before possibly conducting its own investigation into the incident. He said he was first informed of the incident by Frawley, who sent an e-mail to notify him that her service revolver was missing and then another reporting that it was returned.
Frawley has been on medical leave from her job with the police department for nearly a year. During that time, she has received some attention for her support of Harder during the village’s ongoing attempt to fire him. She has attended each of his termination hearings before the Board of Fire and Police Commissioners, which first began last September.
She was also one of three plaintiffs, along with Harder and Officer Andrea Caines, in a sexual harassment lawsuit filed against the village in 2002. Harder’s defense in the current case asserts that he is being retaliated against for his role in that lawsuit.
Frawley acknowledged on Monday that she was the victim of another burglary “well over a year ago” at Harder’s house in La Grange Park. “I was an idiot … I left my purse outside,” she said.
She said she and Harder saw two teenagers run off with the purse, but were too late to track the thieves down. Sources have said she reported about ,000 stolen in that incident, though the Review was unable to obtain a copy of the police report.
Asked about the contents of her purse, she said, “There was a lot of cash … I was about to leave for vacation.”