Prosecutors charged a Chicago man with stealing $24,000 worth of liquor during two burglaries of River North nightclubs last month.
Chicago police detectives have been investigating a months-long string of similar break-ins at high-end bars and restaurants in the area. Cops have been looking for Traivon Dorsey in connection with the investigation for weeks, according to a source.
Members of a regional fugitive apprehension task force caught up with him Wednesday, said Assistant State’s Attorney Loukas Kalliantasis during Dorsey’s bond hearing Thursday.
On December 10, Dorsey walked through the employee entrance of Clutch bar, 316 West Erie, during business hours and made his way to the basement where he loaded 18 bottles of liquor into trash bags, Kalliantasis alleged.
Dorsey allegedly walked out with the booze, which Kalliantasis said had a retail value of $18,000. The bar’s owner identified Dorsey in a photo line-up as the person who had done the same thing six or seven other times, according to Kalliantasis.
Then, on Christmas evening, Dorsey scaled a rear staircase and used a rock to break the second-floor window of Moe’s Cantina, 155 West Kinzie, Kalliantasis continued.
Dorsey allegedly went inside the business and stole 27 bottles of liquor worth $6,000. Kalliantasis said the bar’s manager identified Dorsey in a photo line-up.
According to Kalliantasis, Dorsey’s felony convictions included a 2016 theft and three residential burglaries in 2012 and 2013. He was adjudicated delinquent as a juvenile for theft in 2011, burglary in 2010, and aggravated battery in 2008, Kalliantasis said.
Private defense attorney Jonathan Feldman argued that Dorsey is a non-violent person who has been working for four or five years as an Uber and Lyft driver without any negative incidents.
Judge Charles Beach noted that stealing liquor “may not seem so significant, but the dollar value of those things that were stolen is quite significant.”
He set bail at $20,000 with electronic monitoring, meaning Dorsey must post a $2,000 deposit to go home on house arrest.
Last March, prosecutors charged a 15-time convicted felon with stealing six bottles of high-end liquor worth nearly $5,000 from Tao restaurant and nightclub, 632 North Dearborn.
Like Dorse, Mark Anderson, 62, was accused of slipping through the venue’s back door while employees prepared to open for the day.
Two employees tackled Anderson in the alley and held him until police arrived, according to a CPD report. A restaurant manager told police the restaurant’s surveillance cameras recorded the whole thing.
Judge Anthony Calabrese tossed out the burglary charge two days later, finding no probable cause. Anderson pleaded guilty to simple battery during the same hearing in exchange for a sentence of two days time served.