The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

March 14, 2013

Former firefighter arrested for theft

BY BRIAN L. HUCHEL
Commercial-News

GEORGETOWN — A former volunteer firefighter is accused of racking up hundreds of dollars in purchases on a fire department credit card.

Bryne Whitlock, 28, of Georgetown, was arrested at his home Wednesday afternoon by Georgetown police on preliminary charges of official misconduct, theft and violation of the credit card act. His bond was not immediately set.

Georgetown Police Chief R. Whitney Reneker said Thursday that his department had been investigating the theft of a credit card from the Georgetown Fire Department since the middle of February.

The missing card came to light when a statement came in the mail in February indicating additional charges on it. Reneker said the first purchase was made in early January and the last one was made earlier this week.

In each case, the credit card was used to purchase fuel in the Danville or Champaign-Urbana areas. Reneker said Georgetown police used surveillance video footage from the gas stations to identify the credit card user as Whitlock.

Overall, the fuel purchases amounted to around $800 on the credit card.

Reneker said he did not believe the official misconduct charge against Whitlock would be pursued since Whitlock had left the volunteer fire department in November. Reneker did not know under what circumstances Whitlock left the department.

Whitlock was not called to Vermilion County Circuit Court for arraignment on the charges on Thursday.

Whitlock would not speak to investigating officers following his arrest. Reneker said an investigation continues as to how and when Whitlock got the card from the department, located at 211 S. Main St. in Georgetown.