Case Study L. B.

Charge: Retail Theft of $94.86 of cough syrup and toiletries

Days in Jail: 331 days

Cost to taxpayers: In excess of $50,000

  • 109 arrests, 41 bookings into Cook County Jail, 13 admissions into the Illinois Department of Corrections. He has a long history of convictions, 85% of them being for theft.
  • Over 23 years and 41 booking, 61-year-old L.B. has spent a total of 1,489 days (or about 4 years) in Cook County Jail. His current booking is the longest by far – about double any previous stays.
  • L.B.’s most recent arrest occurred on May 21, 2014. He attempted to steal several items from Walgreens by placing them in his bag and leaving the store. Items included laundry detergent, candles, a pack of t-shirts, a pack of tank tops, and body wash – a total of $97.41.

    He was on probation for another retail theft from November 2012 at the time of this arrest. In this case, he was arrested after attempting to steal several bottles of cough syrup and baby toiletries totaling $94.86. L.B. spent about 2 months in CCDOC on this case before pleading guilty and being released onto probation on 1/16/13. He was compliant until he failed to appear in court on December 20, 2013. A warrant was issued for his arrest and was not returned until he was arrested for the May retail theft.

    He was in custody on these cases for 331 days before he was sentenced to 4 years in prison on April 8, 2015. The cost to taxpayers for this incarceration is well in excess of $50,000.

  • Every single one of L.B.’s arrests in the past 5 years has been for retail theft, usually of items totaling less than $100. In one case, he stole 10 packs of bacon from a grocery store. The case was dropped a month later when the complainant did not appear in court. Although his history is low-level and non-violent, it is lengthy and will continue to serve as a mitigating factor that will trigger extended prison sentences in the future, as it did in this case.