DUNDEE – A former elected official and town employee was arrested this weekend, and charged with stealing money from a parked car.
Robert Kampsen, 68, is a former Dundee town commissioner, who also served as the town’s code enforcement officer from 2004 to 2005. He was arrested on Saturday and booked into the Polk County Jail on one count of burglary of a conveyance and one count of petit theft. He was released from jail after posting bond.
The reason for the arrest: deputies with the Polk County Sheriff’s Office said he was seen taking a $50 bill from a parked car at a home in Dundee.
And the owner of the vehicle, deputies say, had no clue that the person she was reporting to authorities was a former town official.
On Saturday around 1 p.m., the sheriff’s office noted, a woman glanced outside the window of her home on Ridgewood Avenue in Dundee, when she noticed a man she didn’t recognize leaning the entire upper portion of his body through the open car window of her Honda Civic. It was parked in her driveway at the time.
From there, the incident got a little bit strange, noted Carrie Eleazer, the public information officer for the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, in her report on the arrest.
“When the suspect observed the victim looking at him through her window, he began honking her car horn and yelled, ‘Get your dog!’ “ Eleazer noted. “The victim replied, ‘Why are you in my car?’ but the suspect did not answer.”
The woman’s adult son went out into the driveway to confront the man leaning into their car, who deputies later say was identified as Kampsen.
As he approached Kampsen, deputies sat the son noticed something. The son had been given two $50 bills earlier that day by his mother, and deputies reported he had put one of the bills in his pocket, and the other one on top of the console inside the Honda Civic.
When the son looked inside the car, he noticed the $50 bill was missing, so he went back into the house and his mother called the sheriff’s office.
When deputies got to the house, Kampsen had a very different version of events, Eleazer said – including claiming that the homeowner’s dog was loose.
“He told deputies that he only reached his arm inside the car to honk the horn to alert the homeowner that her dog was at his friend’s house instead of in his own yard, and he denied taking the money out of the car,” Eleazer noted.
There was one problem, though, with his story.
“When deputies searched Kampsen, they found a $50 bill in his pocket, which appeared to match the $50 bill the victim’s son had,” Eleazer reported.
He was arrested and taken to the Polk County Jail.
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