Man freed during jail’s huge COVID release now charged with having $4,000 worth of looted merch in his car

Kevin Purdis and some of the allegedly looted merchandise that police found in his car. | CPD

Prosecutors say a man who was among hundreds of jail inmates that authorities released in March due to COVID-19 concerns had thousands of dollars worth of looted merchandise in his car during a police traffic stop this week.

The accused man, Kevin Purdis, had been held without bail since May 2019 for three felony counts of aggravated identity theft and a separate felony burglary case, according to sheriff’s department records obtained by CWBChicago. But Judge Alfredo Maldonado granted a defense motion to release Purdis on a recognizance bond due to COVID-19 concerns on March 25.

Now, Purdis is back in jail after police allegedly found electronics and other merchandise from the Apple Store, Target, and Best Buy in the trunk of his car during a traffic stop on the 400 block of West Blackhawk in Old Town on Wednesday afternoon.

Prosecutors said cops pulled Purdis over for not wearing his seatbelt, then took him into custody because he was driving on a suspended license. Police allegedly found boxes of Apple products, Roku devices, earbuds, and other products when they impounded his car.

The looted goods included $2,948 worth of Apple gear, $180 worth of Best Buy merchandise, and $616 in Target inventory, prosecutors said. Some of the boxes still had anti-theft devices attached, according to Assistant State’s Attorney James Murphy. All three stores allegedly identified the recovered goods as being stolen from their stores.

Prosecutors charged Purdis, age 27, with felony theft and driving with a suspended license. Judge Arthur Willis ordered him held in lieu of $50,000 bail and ordered Purdis to go onto electronic monitoring if he can post the mandatory $5,000 deposit bond.

But Purdis may not be able to get out any time soon. Willis also ordered him held without bail for violating the terms of bond in the pending felony cases.

Last May, Purdis was ordered held without bail for allegedly burglarizing a home on the 2100 block of North Clifton in Lincoln Park. At the time, he was already on bail while awaiting trial for three counts of felony aggravated identity theft after he allegedly used credit cards that were taken in a series of burglaries in 2018.

In the past week, at least two other people who were freed from jail during the mass COVID release have been charged with committing new felonies.

Joseph Perry, an accused robber who was released March 27, was charged last week with carjacking a man in Lincoln Park three months ago.

Mario Williams, who was in jail on a burglary charge until authorities released him in late March, was charged with robbing a 10-year-old boy outside Union Station on August 13.

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CWBChicago was created in 2013 by five residents of Wrigleyville and Boystown who had grown disheartened with inaccurate information that was being provided at local Community Policing (CAPS) meetings. Our coverage area has expanded since then to cover Lincoln Park, River North, The Loop, Uptown, and other North Side Areas. But our mission remains unchanged: To provide original public safety reporting with better context and greater detail than mainstream media outlets. Our editorial email address is