DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert Berlin, DuPage County Sheriff James Mendrick, Winfield Chief of Police David Schar and Wheaton Chief of Police William Murphy announced today that bond has been set for three men accused of impersonating a police officer. Corey Abendroth, 19 (d.o.b. 3/31/2000) of 26W150 Harrison Avenue, Wheaton, Luke Halstead, 19 (d.o.b. 8/3/1999) of 1N559 Turnberry Lane, Winfield and Thomas Kozie, 19 (d.o.b. 12/16/1999) of 944 Fair Oaks, Oak Park, appeared at a bond hearing this morning where Judge Jeffrey MacKay set bond at $35,000 with 10% to apply for Kozie, $20,000 with 10% to apply for Halstead and $7,500 with 10% to apply for Abendroth.
On June 3, 2019, the DuPage County Sheriff’s Office received a report of a male subject impersonating a police officer on Morningside Avenue in West Chicago. The subject, later identified as Kozie, was allegedly dressed in a suit and displayed what appeared to be a police badge on his belt. It is alleged that at approximately 10:05 p.m. on June 3, 2019, Kozie allegedly approached the house on Morningside, rang the doorbell and identified himself to the homeowner as Jeff Rushmore, an investigator with the Winfield Police Department. It is alleged that Kozie told the homeowner he was conducting a missing person report. After allegedly briefly speaking to the homeowner, Kozie entered a vehicle allegedly occupied by Abendroth and Halstead and left the area. After the encounter, the homeowner called the DuPage County Sheriff’s Office and reported the incident. It is further alleged that on that same evening, the three men went to several homes in West Chicago, Wheaton and Winfield. It is alleged that at each home Kozie rang the doorbell and identified himself as a police officer to the homeowner while Abendroth and Halstead waited in a nearby vehicle. An investigation conducted by the DuPage County Sheriff’s Office and the Wheaton and Winfield Police Departments led to the three men.
“The allegations against these three defendants are very serious and will be handled appropriately” Berlin said. “Thanks to the outstanding efforts and teamwork of the DuPage County Sheriff’s Office as well as the Wheaton and Winfield Police Department, the defendants in this case were quickly identified and apprehended. I would also like to thank Assistant State’s Attorney’s Helen Kapas and Alyssa Rabulinski for their work on this case the past several days."
“This type of reckless behavior will not be tolerated in DuPage County,” Mendrick said. “Through joint investigations with our Office, the State’s Attorney’s Office and both the Wheaton and Winfield Police Departments, we were able to identify everyone involved and build a conclusive case against the perpetrators. I'm thankful that no one got hurt and commend the teamwork across the different agencies involved.”
"Detectives from the Wheaton Police Department worked closely with members of DuPage County Sheriff Jim Mendrick's office, DuPage County State's Attorney Bob Berlin's office and the Winfield Police Department to take three suspects into custody,” Murphy said. “The investigation will continue to ensure all involved parties to the crime are held accountable. Thankfully no one was harmed during these crimes.”
“I would like to thank the members of the Wheaton Police Department, who took lead on this investigation,” Schar said. “This investigation required the teamwork of the Wheaton Police Department, the Winfield Police Department, the DuPage County Sheriff’s Office and the DuPage County State’s Attorney’s Office in order to bring it to a successful conclusion. Everyone involved put in a lot of work in to identify these individuals before someone got hurt.”
The next court appearance for Kozie is scheduled for July 11, 2019 for arraignment. The next court appearance for Abendroth is scheduled for July 9, 2019, for arraignment. The next court appearance for Halstead is scheduled for July 8, 2019 for arraignment.
Members of the public are reminded that this complaint contains only charges and is not proof of the defendants’ guilt. The defendants are presumed innocent and are entitled to a fair trial in which it is the government’s burden to prove their guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.