Volo business employee who reported theft charged with committing it

An employee at a Volo business who told police and his boss last week that he discovered money was missing from a safe was caught on camera stealing the money, the Lake County Sheriff’s Office said Tuesday.

Jonathan Elser

Jonathan Elser, 30, who lives on the 38600 block of North Miller Road near Lake Villa, is charged with felony theft. He was released from jail on a $50,000 recognizance bond, which means if he misses a court date a cash bond could be imposed.

Lake County Deputy Chief Christopher Covelli said a sheriff’s deputy entered the Volo business about 10:40 a.m. Jan. 18 as part of a routine check. Elser told the officer he opened the store and found a key sticking out of the keyhole in the safe.

The officer called the business owner, who said Elser already had reported the incident to her. The owner said Elser told her he had opened the safe, found a note that said “Gotcha!” and discovered that more than $3,000 in cash had been taken, Covelli said.

The next day, the owner and a sheriff’s deputy reviewed surveillance video and determined Elser was responsible for the theft, Covelli said. Elser was taken into custody later that day.

Elser is next due in court on Feb 10.