Chicagoland: Man marks his 78th arrest with shoplifting at the Mag Mile. Surprise, he’s already out.

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CHICAGO, IL – A man in Chicago has met a threshold that most do not achieve – being arrested 78 times.

The milestone was reached by Andre Burnett after he was arrested at Saks Fifth Avenue on the Magnificent Mile for allegedly stealing a jacket which was worth $1,250.

Police allege that Burnett had walked into the store, removed the jacket from a display, put it on and simply walked out of the store.

Prosecutors noted that Burnett was found with what they called a ‘booster bag’ upon his arrest. A booster bag is one that has aluminum foil inside of it which is supposed to thwart any type of retail theft alarms.

Boosting is a common term used by criminals which refers to stealing items.

Cook County prosecutors charged Burnett with felony retail theft and noted this is not the first time, by far, that he has stolen items from a store.

In addition to these new criminal charges, prosecutors informed the judge that out of Burnett’s 12 felony convictions, mot of those were for retail theft.

Burnett was assigned a public defender, Courtney Smallwood, in the case who argued that he has ties to the community and gainful employment, therefore he should be released pending his court date without a monetary bond.

While the judge, Mary Marubio, listened to the argument, she ruled that there would be a monetary bond assigned because he was a “nuisance” to the criminal justice system.

Marubio said:

“You’re a nuisance to the system, Mr. Burnett. And a drain on the system…There’s not going to be an I-Bond here [non-monetary release].”

Marubio then set the monetary bond for Burnett’s release at $1,500 based upon the value of the item he allegedly stole. If Burnett wants to be released earlier than his next court date, January 10th, he will have to post a minimum of 10 percent of $1,500 and provide something worth that amount to a bondsman.

The ten percent, $150, should be fairly easy for him to reach considering he earns $30 a day for every day that he is in custody.

Marubio’s decision to assign a bond in this case is something that is surprising, considering the number of alleged felons that are being released from the Cook County criminal justice system on a daily basis. Fox News reported one example of an alleged felon who was released while pending trial.

In this case, Malik Perteet, was out on a $7,500 bond after being arrested for a felony gun possession case stemming from a shooting in March of 2021.

In that case, and 11-year-old girl died from a shot fired by a person Perteet was with during an altercation.

Perteet was court ordered to wear a GPS monitoring device upon his release, something that did not seem to deter further criminal behavior as he was arrested again two months later for manufacture-delivery of narcotics which was a violation of his bond.

However, instead of being remanded into custody, Fox News states that he was released from custody without having to post any additional bail.

Then, in December of 2021, Perteet was allegedly conducting a drug deal in which he fired a shot which struck a 17-year-old girl.

Thankfully, the girl survived the shooting and Perteet was taken into custody for the third time in just a few months, this time held without bond.

Two men arrested and charged with the attempted murder of a Chicago cop after shooting him during a traffic stop

Prison reform? Former federal prosecutor why suspects in the ambush shooting of a cop weren’t already in prison

BALTIMORE, MD – The two suspects in the ambush-style shooting of a Baltimore Police Officer have violent histories – so much so that a former city and federal prosecutor is questioning why they were not in prison.

 

Baltimore Police Officer Keona Holley lays in the Shock Trauma Center fighting for her life after allegedly being shot by 31-year-old Elliott Knox and 32-year-old Travon Shaw. Both suspects have violent histories as noted by Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison:

“I don’t know that they [Knox and Shaw] were actually on supervised probation at the moment. They both, one more than the other, have a pretty extensive criminal history and in more than one jurisdiction.”

Shaw, who is scheduled to go to court for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon in March, had previously been convicted for armed robbery and assault when he was 17 years old in 2006.

Former city and federal prosecutor Thiru Vignarajah expressed his concern that Shaw was allowed to go free, given his violent history and a gun charge.

Vignarajah said:

“With respect to this individual being out, I think we should be concerned about that. When I was a federal prosecutor there were certain categories of crimes for which there was a presumption that the person was potentially dangerous and therefore couldn’t be released on bail.

Carrying a gun after having a prior felony conviction, by the way, a prior felony conviction for a violent crime, ought to fall into the category. In those circumstances, judges ought to be incredibly reticent to let a person out on their own recognizance.

That does seem strange and it requires a change not only in the legislation but also in the judicial attitude toward these kinds of crimes.”

 

While Vignarajah specifically is talking about Shaw here, it is important to note that Knox also has a violent history. Knox’s first interaction with the criminal justice system, at least according to news reports, was when he was 16 years old.

Knox was arrested and convicted of using a gun to rob three different convenience stores. Upon his conviction, a judge ordered that Knox serve 15 years in prison, however, up until now, he was free. It is unknown if he is on any type of probation or parole at the time of the shooting.

Vignarajah noted how the case in this incident was solved, by good old-fashioned police work and hitting the ground while searching for leads. Vignarajah points to that aspect of the investigation being crucial and wants all homicide cases treated in the same manner.

Vignarajah said:

“We want all cases to be treated at this high-level where dozens of officers are canvassing the neighborhood, looking for camera footage. That’s what gave ultimately the lead to the car. They followed that car. They were able to do a search.

They interrogated the first suspect. All of those critical steps are possible when you devote resources, and yes there’s a lot of murders, but if we’re going to devote resources to anything at all it should be to these homicides.

“We have one of the lowest clearance rates in the country. That’s nothing to celebrate that we’re a couple percentage points up from last year. Violent crime is now up in every category, from homicides to shooting to carjacking to rapes. It’s higher than it’s ever been. That’s a problem and we ought to realize if we devote the resources to these serious crimes, we actually can bring a measure of justice and comfort to these families.”

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