Store owner thankful for security cameras after officer caught stealing

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MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- A Milwaukee police officer is accused of stealing money from a food market during the course of investigating a burglary at the business. 37-year-old Carl Howell has been charged with one count of misconduct in public office and one count of theft.

The criminal complaint against Howell indicates that he responded to a burglary complaint at the Hopkins Food Mart in Milwaukee on Tuesday, November 20th.

The complaint indicates that during the investigation, the owner of the food mart showed Howell a drawer that contained cash belonging to the business that was not taken during the burglary.

The complaint says, "Several minutes later, Howell returned to the drawer alone, and retrieved cash from this drawer and placed it into his pocket." The complaint says Howell retained possession of the money after leaving the store -- and there was "no lawful reason related to the burglary investigation for Howell to take this money."

The criminal complaint says Howell's actions were captured on store surveillance video.

In a statement to law enforcement officials after his arrest, the complaint says "Howell admitted that he stole approximately $200 in cash from a drawer inside the Hopkins Food Mart. He stated "he needed the money because he was behind in his rent."

The store owner, who spoke with FOX6 News said he is thankful for the store's security cameras.

"It was clear he was getting money from the drawer. I was sad that, how could this happen? They are the protection force. They are to protect the citizens, but he totally failed to protect me," the store's owner said.

If convicted, Howell faces up to three-and-a-half years in prison plus $10,000 in fines.