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State Rep. Wheeler: News of Theft from Kendall Food Pantry 'Shocking'

Jun 08, 2016 04:09PM ● Published by Shannon Antinori

Yorkville Police have launched an investigation into allegations of “suspicious transactions” and theft of funds from the Kendall County Food Pantry.

Volunteers at the food pantry came forward to report the alleged thefts from food pantry accounts on May 26, according to police.

Deputy Chief Terry Klingel said search warrants were served June 1 at the pantry, 208 Beaver St. in Yorkville, and a private home in Kendall County.

Klingel said he couldn’t confirm whether the stolen funds are more or less than a reported $100,000.

“It’s still being investigated,” said Klingel, who also could not say whether police have identified a person of interest or if an arrest is pending.

The pantry, established in 1987, distributes food to Kendall County residents in need each Thursday.

A message left Wednesday at pantry for an official statement was not returned.

State Rep. Keith Wheeler (R-Oswego), who previously served as chairman of the pantry's board of directors, called reports of the alleged theft "shocking." 

"I'm very partial to the food pantry, so it's hard to see this come to light," said Wheeler, who stepped down from the board in 2014 prior to being elected. 

"When I was chairman, we did have our financial statements audited every year so something like this wouldn't happen," Wheeler said. "So I don't know what happened there."

Wheeler said he hopes news of the theft allegations doesn't keep people in need of food away from the pantry. 

"I spoke with my aunt, who is one of the full-time volunteers," Wheeler said. "The pantry will be fully functioning tomorrow and will be serving people who need food." Pantry distribution hours are Thursdays from 12 to 2 p.m. for senior citizens, people with disabilities and veterans, and noon to 6 p.m. for the general public.

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