Mag Mile shoplifter was wearing TWO electronic monitoring bracelets with GPS, prosecutors say

Robert Pettis | CPD

Prosecutors say a man was caught stealing more than $1,000 worth of designer sunglasses from a Magnificent Mile department store while wearing two ankle monitors — one from each of the electronic monitoring (EM) programs operated by Cook County authorities.

Here’s that story, along with a couple of other electronic monitoring “success stories” from recent court proceedings.

First up, there’s 30-year-old Robert Pettis.

Security officers monitoring surveillance cameras at Saks Fifth Avenue allegedly watched Pettis place three pairs of sunglasses in his coat pocket last Wednesday afternoon. They stopped him as he exited the store, 700 North Michigan Avenue.

“Do you know why we stopped you,” a loss prevention officer asked Pettis, according to a CPD report.

“Yeah,” Pettis allegedly replied. “It’s in my pocket.”

The security offers recovered designer sunglasses from Versace ($316), Tom Ford ($237.50), and Christian Dior ($460) from his coat, the report said.

That’s where the police report gets interesting.

“Offender is wearing two ankle monitors,” a CPD officer wrote. The cop contacted the Cook County Sheriff’s Office.

A representative “confirmed [Pettis] is ‘one of theirs,'” the cop continued.

As it turns out, Pettis was also on Cook County adult probation home confinement. The second ankle monitor was theirs.

“Offender is on home confinement GPS monitoring for a domestic incident,” the CPD report continued. “Offender is the subject of two orders of protection.”

A Cook County assistant state’s attorney who approved felony retail theft charges against Pettis told officers that “Cook County will deal with any further issues pertaining to the ankle monitors.”

Judge Charles Beach set bail for Pettis at $20,000 on the shoplifting charge. Separately, Beach held Pettis without bail for violating the conditions of his EM agreement with the sheriff’s office by getting charged with a new crime, according to court records.

However, Pettis is not charged with escaping from electronic monitoring because Illinois legislators passed a law last year that decriminalized EM absences of less than 48 hours. They also permitted EM participants to leave their homes two days a week to run errands like shopping.

Don’t go in there!

Edward Stewart, 29, has been on electronic monitoring for two years while fighting charges of being a felon in possession of a firearm from 2017 and a felony fleeing and eluding case from 2019.

Recently, he notified the sheriff’s department that he needed to move to a new residence for home confinement, and officers went to that location to get him set up on January 10, according to prosecutors.

After having the homeowner, Zana Tankey, sign the county’s electronic monitoring agreement, the officers conducted a standard inspection of the home as detailed in the paperwork she just signed, Assistant State’s Attorney Loukas Kalliantasis said.

As the officers approached a closed bedroom door, Tankey, 28, told them not to go in because it had not been sanitized since someone with COVID stayed inside, Kalliantasis said.

The officers went inside anyway and allegedly found a plastic bag containing $32,000 worth of cocaine and over five pounds of pot worth $24,000. In the home’s main bedroom, Kalliantasis continued, the officers found a money counter and $10,494 cash.

Stewart allegedly asked Tankey to take responsibility for the drugs while the officer’s bodyworn cameras were recording. They took him to jail. While he was there, Stewart called Tankey “multiple” times and asked her to contact other people to see if they would take responsibility for the drugs in exchange for cash, Kalliantasis said. Those phone calls were recorded.

Prosecutors charged Stewart and Tankey with Class X manufacture-delivery of a controlled substance, manufacture-delivery of cannabis, and child endangerment, a misdemeanor.

Private defense attorney Jayne Ingles said Tankey had nothing to do with anything authorities allegedly found in the home. In fact, Ingles said, Tankey had just returned to the home after being quarantined at her mother’s house for two weeks.

“What happened while she was gone, she had no idea,” Ingles told Judge Charles Beach, who released Tankey on her own recognizance.

Beach set bail for Stewart at $50,000 on the new allegations and ordered him to stay in the house 24-hours a day on the adult probation department’s electronic monitoring program.

So, potentially, Stewart may soon have two ankle monitors, too.

Out the window

Police went to Richard Dawson’s house to serve a search warrant. Dawson, 36, was inside the house on electronic monitoring while awaiting trial for two counts of being a felon in possession of a firearm and four counts of aggravated unlawful use of a weapon, according to court records.

As officers entered Dawson’s home, other officers maintaining a perimeter around the building saw something fall to the ground from Dawson’s window and then heard a gunshot, prosecutors said. Then, the cops allegedly saw a rifle and a spent shell casing lying next to a blue backpack on the ground below the window.

Inside the backpack was a loaded handgun with a 50-round ammunition magazine attached and a post-market switch that would allow it to generate automatic gunfire, prosecutors said. Also allegedly in the backpack: two sandwich bags containing about 2-1/2 ounces of cocaine, a scale, empty sandwich bags, and three phones.

Meanwhile, officers who entered Dawson’s home found $1,600 cash and 14 baggies containing heroin in his pockets, prosecutors said. There was a bin next to the front door containing about an ounce of crack, they continued.

The recovered narcotics were worth $16,800, Judge Charles Beach said.

Prosecutors charged Dawson with two counts of being a felon in possession of a firearm, manufacture-delivery of heroin, and manufacture-delivery of cocaine.

Dawson’s public defender said he works as a desk clerk.

Beach ordered him held in lieu of $250,000 bail on the new charges. Dawson must post 10% of that to get out of jail. But Beach also ordered him held without bail for violating the bond terms in his already-existing gun case, making him ineligible for release.

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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 news@cwbchicago.com