Former Chicago detective gets 15 years for theft

The former chief of detectives for the Chicago Police Department was sentenced to more than 15 years in prison Thursday for running a jewelry-theft ring that operated across the United States, Reuters reported.

William Hanhardt, 73, who had a 33-year career studded with commendations and high-profile arrests before retiring in 1986, was given a 15-year, eight-month sentence after pleading guilty to running an elaborate ring that robbed eight jewelry salesmen of $5 million worth of watches and precious gems in seven states, Reuters reported.

In all, the ring stole about $40 million worth of jewelry, prosecutors charged, none of which was recovered, Reuters reported.

“He helped identify more than 100 jewelry salesmen and gathered information (from police department databases) to determine the best place to rob their vehicles, hotel rooms and safety deposit boxes,” U.S. District Judge Charles Norgle, Sr., reportedly said before passing sentence.

The seven-member gang operated for more than 12 years in the 1980s and 1990s, staking out jewelry stores, conducting extensive surveillance of their targets and using sophisticated key-making machines, disguises, and an assortment of weaponry to carry out the crimes.

Hanhardt himself participated in some of the thefts that took place from California to Michigan and partnered with known organized crime figures, Norgle reportedly said.

Hanhardt was also ordered to pay $5 million in restitution, Reuters reported.

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