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St. Charles police officer charged with stealing, tampering evidence

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ST. CHARLES, MO (KTVI)-- A St. Charles County Police officer finds himself on the other side of the law.  Matthew Howze is charged with stealing and tampering with physical evidence.

Court documents list cash, a money clip, a digital camera, a parka, a cordless drill and tool bag as items Howze is accused of taking from a vehicle.  Police say the charges stem from a sting the department executed after suspicions were raised from both inside and outside the department.

"This is painful for us today," said St. Charles County Police Chief David Todd.  "But we caught the guy, and he's done."

Todd said the investigation is continuing and more charges could be filed.  Todd says stolen items were found inside Howze's home in Bowling Green.

St. Charles County Prosecutor Tim Lohmar was unavailable to say whether the charges could lead to problems in any of the cases Howze investigated.  Todd apologized for what happened.

"We're sorry but we're still going to do the fine job that we do."