Creative Criminals Still Get Caught in Will County
Robbery (stealing from a person by force) and burglary (theft from a building or vehicle) are not new crimes in Will County. However, the way these crimes are accomplished, and the items that are stolen, do change over time. Here are some examples of recent trends in crimes that occur in Illinois:
Package Theft on the Rise
The huge growth of online shopping, with Amazon boxes appearing regularly on doorsteps across the nation, has greatly expanded the incidence of theft in residential areas. According to Joliet police, this is an easy “crime of opportunity” when a package is sitting in plain view by a front door. This might seem like a very minor offense for which the offenders are unlikely to be caught and prosecuted, but as such thefts have increased, delivery service drivers and police are increasingly suspicious of vehicles that appear to be following delivery vans. In one December 2017 case, two individuals were tied to thefts of packages from at least 11 different homes, including several big-ticket items such as TVs and iPhones. The thieves were each charged with two counts of felony theft, 10 misdemeanor counts of theft, and 10 misdemeanor counts of criminal trespassing.
Criminals Use Social Media to Lure Unsuspecting Victims
Another recent type of theft scam involves the use of dating apps or other social apps to “meet” an unsuspecting victim and arrange an in-person meeting. When the victim arrives at the meeting site, two or more thieves set upon the victim, taking wallets, phones, and even cars There have been numerous reports of such crimes in Illinois in the past couple of years. In a variation on this scam, the “new friend” comes to the victim’s house and robs them at gunpoint.
Walmart Is a Common Target for Thieves
In Will County, Walmart is a common target for thieves. Employees have been caught stealing cash from their checkout register as well as tucking merchandise into a shopping bag to take home. One cashier even figured out how to give her friends some free gifts at checkout, by first scanning an item, then voiding the sale, but still placing the item in their friend’s shopping bag.
Shoplifting is also a common problem for Walmart. In one recent incident, three Joliet women allegedly filled a shopping cart and then tried to exit the store without paying. Walmart theft prevention officers caught the women, but when one became combative, Walmart called in the Joliet police. The women took off before police arrived at the store, but given a description of the women and their vehicle, police were able to apprehend them quickly.
Trust an Experienced Joliet Criminal Defense Attorney
If you or a family member has been arrested and charged with either misdemeanor or felony theft, understand that these charges are serious. A theft conviction will show up on your Illinois criminal record on any background check, which can impact your employment, housing, and educational opportunities. To protect your rights and minimize the impact of this mistake on your life, talk to a knowledgeable Will County Criminal Defense lawyer as soon as possible. Call the Law Offices of Jack L. Zaremba at 815-740-4025 for a free and confidential consultation.