Police arrested Paul Martin three times in three months for allegedly stealing bikes downtown and on the North Side in 2019. Now, prosecutors are giving him a second chance. Or maybe it’s a third chance. Possibly a fourth. It’s hard to know for sure.
On July 9, 2019, Martin was detained by an off-duty police officer who said he saw Martin try to cut the lock off a bike with bolt cutters in the 300 block of North Financial Plaza downtown.
Martin was charged with attempted theft and criminal damage to property. But prosecutors dropped that case a few weeks later.
One week after charges were dropped, on September 6, 2019, police arrested Martin at his home to face charges for two more bike thefts.
In one case, Martin allegedly cut the lock from a bike outside the Addison Red Line station and rode away with it while the dismissed theft case was still pending. Police said they used CTA surveillance footage and records of a pawn shop transaction to track him down.
In the other case, police said they linked him to the theft of a woman’s bike from the 2400 block of West Addison on June 27.
Cops arrested Martin again when he showed up for his first court hearing in those matters. Why? Well, because police allegedly discovered that he stole another bike from the 3800 block of Oakley shortly before they arrested him on September 6.
According to court records, Martin has now pleaded guilty to theft in exchange for 24 months of “second chance probation” and 30 hours of community service for the bicycle thefts. In Illinois, successful completion of second chance probation terms results in the dismissal of proceedings.