CHICAGO — A man has been sentenced to two years for participating in a series of shoplifting raids at Ulta Beauty stores that cost the popular cosmetics store more than $11,000 in lost merchandise.
Jaheim Jackson, 20, pleaded guilty to four counts of felony retail theft and received four concurrent two-year sentences from Judge William Gamboney. But, after receiving the state’s 50% good behavior discount and other credits, he only spent five days in prison.
Prosecutors said Jackson and three women entered the Ulta store at 3015 North Clark in Lakeview a couple of days after Thanksgiving 2021, but they were all asked to leave because Jackson wasn’t wearing a COVID mask. They all returned to the store within an hour and loaded baskets with merchandise from the fragrance department, prosecutors said. The group allegedly walked out with $8,500 worth of goods.
When Chicago police pulled over a car that a witness saw leaving the scene, Jackson was behind the wheel with Ulta merchandise lying on the back seat, prosecutors alleged. Cops said they could identify Jackson as one of the shoplifters because the store’s security cameras recorded him not wearing a mask during the group’s initial visit.
Investigators arrested Jackson again about a week later after they connected him to an earlier raid at an Ulta store in suburban Berwyn. Prosecutors said the thieves took fragrances worth $2,865 that time.
During Jackson’s first bail hearing, a judge allowed him to get out of jail by posting a $500 bail deposit. But a different judge handled his second hearing, and she saw things differently.
“The alleged value of the goods that were taken was $2,865,” Judge Maryam Ahmad said after hearing allegations about the Berwyn case. “With that amount in mind, bail is set in the amount of $30,000-D.”
“That’s … That’s $3,000?” Jackson stammered in a stunned tone.
“You need $3,000 to be released from custody, Mr. Jackson,” the judge confirmed. A so-called “D bond” requires a 10% deposit for release.
“I’m not going to be able to be bonded out!” Jackson whined.
“You need $3,000 to be released from custody, Mr. Jackson,” Ahmad repeated as she asked prosecutors to name Jackson’s next court date.
“I can’t make that bond.”
“Mr. Jackson, should someone post your bond, your next court date is December 8th,” Ahmad continued.
“Post bond today?” Jackson asked. “But that’s too much.”
“Good luck, sir,” Ahmad said as she moved on to her next case.
On the bright side, those days he spent in Cook County jail were subtracted from the year he could have spent inside Stateville Correctional Center. Illinois Department of Corrections records show he checked into the prison on March 16 and left on March 21. He will be on parole until mid-September.