2-year sentence for shoplifter accused of targeting Lululemon store 30+ times

CHICAGO — A Chicago woman who prosecutors accused of burglarizing the Gold Coast Lululemon store more than 30 times has been handed a two-year sentence.

Phyllis Johnson, 49, agreed to plead guilty to four counts of retail theft in exchange for the sentence from Judge Joanne Rosado. Prosecutors dropped the most serious charge she faced, the operation of a continuing financial crime enterprise, in the deal.

Phyllis Johnson and the Lululemon store at 930 North Rush Street | Cook County sheriff’s office; Google

Johnson was in jail for less than nine months, but she accrued 371 credit days toward her two-year sentence. Combined with the state’s automatic 50% sentence reduction for good behavior, she walked out of prison on Friday, the same day she walked in.

Illinois Department of Corrections records show Johnson has been sentenced to prison for felony retail theft in 2018, 2017, 2013, 2011, 2009, 2002, 1999, and 1998. She was convicted of two armed robberies in 1991 and received a 13-year sentence for attempted aggravated arson in 2002, according to IDOC.

Lululemon policy prohibits employees from disrupting shoplifting in progress. The company’s CEO defended the policy in June after it fired two employees who intervened in a theft at its Atlanta location.

“We have a zero-tolerance policy… around engaging during a theft. Why? Because we put the safety of our team, of our guests, front and center. It’s only merchandise,” CEO Calvin McDonald told CNBC.

About CWBChicago 6676 Articles
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