Cops accused of stealing cash run from cameras

February 28, 2012 3:23:46 PM PST
Two Chicago police officers accused of stealing cash from an FBI informant ran from cameras on Monday after appearing in federal court.

Sgt. Ronald Watts, 48, and Officer Kallat Mohammed, 47, are charged with theft of government funds following an FBI sting in which they allegedly stole $5,200 cash from a federal informant -- a homeless man with a criminal record who had been arrested by the officers before. The cooperating witness, called CS5, wore a wire on November 21, 2011, when the officers allegedly took the satchel containing cash from the man. Then CS5 complains he didn't get a share of the loot.

Watts said, "No, never doubt a brother. Who always takes care of you?"

CS5 said, "You do Watts."

Watts then reportedly gives C5 some cash and says, "There's five large, brother."

Video surveillance also shows the interaction, officials said.

That led to the arrest of Watts and Mohammed by FBI agents on Sunday, February 12, 2012. Both appeared at the Dirksen Federal Building on Monday and both Chicago police officers took off at full sprint in an attempt to get away from the cameras.

Watts is a second district tactical officer with 18 years with the CPD. Watts refused to answer questions from ABC7's Paul Meincke, and ABC7's cameraman went down when Watts' ride arrived, but no one was hurt. He got behind the wheel and drove away with an envelope containing his criminal complaint over his face.

Mohammed is a 14-year veteran of the Chicago Police Department who is also in the second district tact. He tried to get away from the cameras by slipping into a State Street shoe store. But when he bolted out the door, reporters followed. And officers in an unmarked squad car stopped Mohammed and his friend in the alley since they had such a following.

Watts and Mohammed are free on $10,000 bond. They have both been stripped of their police powers- and are not getting paid.

Last month, Watts became the financial secretary for the Chicago Police Sergeant's Association. The president of that group says he can't comment on the charges, but that the association will ask Watts for his resignation.