Caught on video: Sheriff’s officers quit after on-duty theft of NASCAR banners from River North bar

Two Cook County sheriff’s officers pull up to Mother Hubbard’s, 5 West Hubbard, moments before they stole two NASCAR banners from the tavern’s fence. | City of Chicago

CHICAGO — Two Cook County sheriff’s officers have resigned after surveillance cameras recorded them stealing two NASCAR banners from outside a River North bar this month.

Officers Patrick Felker and Paul Gregoire quit on July 14 upon being questioned about the incident by the sheriff’s office of professional review, a sheriff’s office statement said.

City of Chicago surveillance camera footage obtained by CWBChicago through a Freedom of Information Act request shows what happened.

Around 8:25 a.m. on July 12, a sheriff’s office patrol car turned onto the first block of West Hubbard from State Street. The squad car stopped and pulled a three-point turn in front of Mother Hubbard’s, the bar at 5 West Hubbard that decorated its outdoor fencing with the banners.

The squad car drove away, then returned just over an hour later.

Once again, the driver pulled a three-point turn. This time, he parked in front of the bar. An officer in the squad car’s passenger seat got out and seemingly worked as a lookout, standing in the middle of the sidewalk as the driver headed to the fence to remove a banner.

He folded the banner neatly, placed it in the squad car’s trunk, and returned to take the other banner.

Both officers then returned to their seats, and the squad drove away.

Mother Hubbard’s management filed a report with the Chicago Police Department, and CPD contacted the sheriff’s office.

“The Office of Professional Review immediately opened an internal investigation and summoned the officers to meet with investigators,” the sheriff’s office said in a written statement. “On Friday, July 14, both officers resigned following individual interviews with OPR investigators. The Office is cooperating fully with Chicago Police regarding the initial complaint.”

“Gregoire and Felker are both retired Chicago Police officers hired by the Sheriff’s Office to conduct community-focused operations,” the statement continued. “Gregoire was hired in March 2022, and Felker was hired in October 2022.”

Mother Hubbard’s did not respond to an email about the incident.

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CWBChicago was created in 2013 by five residents of Wrigleyville and Boystown who had grown disheartened with inaccurate information that was being provided at local Community Policing (CAPS) meetings. Our coverage area has expanded since then to cover Lincoln Park, River North, The Loop, Uptown, and other North Side Areas. But our mission remains unchanged: To provide original public safety reporting with better context and greater detail than mainstream media outlets. Our editorial email address is news@cwbchicago.com