Police: Salvation Army Bell Ringer IDs Retail Thief

Chicago man charged with felony retail theft being held without bond at Cook County Jail, police say.

A Chicago man was charged with felony retail theft after police said he walked out of  the Jewel-Osco at 9424 S. Pulaski Ave. with a cart full of unbagged groceries, reports said.

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Oak Lawn Police said a Salvation Army bell ringer collecting donations in front of the store called police when she noticed a man identified as Joe E. Pearson, 48, allegedly pushing the cart full of groceries through the parking lot around 11:22 a.m. Dec. 10.

Pearson fled through the parking lot toward Evergreen Park, reports said. The bell ringer said she’d be able to identify the man if she saw him again.

Around 12:50 p.m., another caller reported a suspicious person to Evergreen Park police.

The caller said a man on a bike was pulling a shopping cart full of black bags, reports said. Evergreen Park police found Pearson in the 9100 block of South Ridgeway.

Oak Lawn cops brought the bell ringer to the scene where she positively identified Pearson, who was then placed under arrest, reports said.

Pearson was brought to the Oak Lawn police station. Police said the stolen groceries tallied up to $322.

According to the report, Pearson said he stole the groceries because he is currently unemployed and needed to feed his family.

The Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office approved felony charges for retail theft. Pearson was also charged with misdemeanor theft for stealing a shopping cart, police said.

He is currently being held without bond in the Cook County Jail.

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Mike Ruane December 20, 2012 at 01:32 PM
wonder why no bond?
CJM December 20, 2012 at 02:20 PM
I'm all for getting extremely tough on crime, but if true that this guy was trying to feed his family, there's got to be a better way than County jail with no bond. Even if his cart was filled with MD 20/20 and flaming hot Cheetos, we don't need these kinds of cases clogging the court system. I wish the cops were as aggressive and efficient with gangbangers.
PROUD OL BASEBALL MOM December 20, 2012 at 02:48 PM
UGH HELLLLLLO, if that story was true, ever hear of a food pantry!!!!!!!!!!
George Pickett December 20, 2012 at 02:54 PM
Pat F December 20, 2012 at 05:42 PM
$322 worth of groceries??? Not your typical hungry person looking for a meal for his family? Sounds more like a shoplifter taking big ticket items such as steaks and products from the pharmacy section......Depending on his record usually decides what they do with him..........


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