It’s prison time for one of the men who stole $862,500 worth of luxury watches from a downtown Chicago car dealership last December.
The heist made headlines as Joe Perillo, one of the dealership’s owners, slammed the crime-fighting policies of Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx in media interviews.
Lightfoot would visit Perillo personally within days, only to call him an “idiot” as she stormed out when the meeting soured, CWBChicago reported. A day or two later, a city inspector visited the dealership and unleashed a torrent of violations that the mayor’s office said was in response to an anonymous complaint.
Carlos Valliant, 29, pleaded guilty to one count of burglary in exchange for a three-year sentence from Judge Angela Munari-Petrone, according to court records. Prosecutors dropped a charge of theft of between $500,000 and $1 million.
Valliant, whose sentence will be reduced by 50% for good behavior, is scheduled to be paroled on July 20, 2023.
Prosecutors said Valliant stood lookout at the door while an accomplice who has never been charged broke the glass on a jewelry display in the showroom at Gold Coast Exotic Motor Cars, 834 North Rush, in the Gold Coast.
The guy who broke into the cases ran outside with the watches and sped away in a Maserati that he left idling curbside. Valliant found himself abandoned and being chased by armed employees of the dealership, prosecutors said.
Detectives painstakingly pieced together a string of public and private surveillance videos that allegedly tracked Valliant from the dealership to the Loop, where he borrowed a stranger’s phone to make a couple of calls on the corner of State and Monroe.
Cops identified the stranger, searched his phone, and identified the phone numbers Valliant called, prosecutors said. One of those numbers was in Hammond, Indiana, where local cops knew Valliant from previous contact.
Paperwork accompanying the phone search warrant said the watches were stolen from B. Young & Company Exquisite Jewels and Timepieces, a firm operating within the car dealership. According to the criminal complaint, the thieves took a Richard Mille RM 11-03, a Richard Mille RM 11-01, a Patek Phillipe 5712R, a Rolex Skydweller, and a Hublot rose gold all-diamond baguette. Mahoney said one of the Richard Mille watches was worth $450,000 and the other retailed for $240,000. The Rolex was the least valuable of the lot at $55,000.