Prosecutors: Chicago Thief Shoplifted 12 More Times After His Release via Cashless Bail

James Tolbert, 43
Chicago Police

A man is accused of shoplifting numerous times in Chicago after he was released due to Illinois’ elimination of cash bail.

Officials charged the suspect, identified as James Tolbert, 43, in August with felony shoplifting as he was on bail for another felony shoplifting case, CWB Chicago reported Wednesday.

At the time, the man could not put up the $1,600 deposit for bail in order to be freed with an ankle monitor. However, a few weeks later the state scrubbed its cash bail system, and the suspect was allowed to return home under conditions set by Judge Kenneth Wadas that he must stay at his residence during the hours of 7:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m.

Since that time, Tolbert has been accused of shoplifting or robbing two stores in the Loop and on the famous Magnificent Mile 12 times. He is currently behind bars.

Illinois eliminated cash bail in September, which was a move that brought heavy criticism, according to Breitbart News.

Meanwhile, social media users shared their thoughts on the CWB Chicago report, one person writing, “He didn’t learn his lesson? The voters haven’t either apparently.”

Prosecutors charged Tolbert on July 15 with shoplifting at an Ulta Beauty store on Michigan Avenue. Judge William Fahy released the man on his own recognizance but he did not show up for his court date and a warrant was issued for his arrest.

The CWB Chicago article continued:

The long arm of the law caught up with him on August 10. Prosecutors said he shoplifted from the same Ulta location. They said he walked in, grabbed a basket, went directly to the fragrances, filled the basket, and walked out.

Charged with felony retail theft and operating a continuing financial crime enterprise, Judge Susana Ortiz ordered him to pay a $600 bail deposit to be released on electronic monitoring, and the judge handling the July shoplifting case ordered him to pay another $1,000 deposit. He couldn’t raise the money.

It was not long before cash bail was eliminated across the state and Tolbert was released without the monetary conditions but was ordered to stay at home during those designated hours.

However, Tolbert was arrested on February 8 at a Macy’s where he allegedly walked out of the store with several pairs of sunglasses worth more than $2,000.

Moments later, on the street outside, he allegedly kicked a loss prevention agent, knocking her down. However, the woman’s partner was able to handcuff the suspect as they waited for law enforcement to arrive and take over.

Authorities reportedly found metal knuckles connected to a switchblade and a credit card that did not belong to Tolbert on his person. Officials eventually levied several charges against him.

The CWB Chicago report also noted Tolbert was accused of shoplifting from several Sunglass Hut stores in January.

“In court on February 9, Judge Ankur Srivastava decided that Tolbert would be released with a 5 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew on the new charges. But he detained Tolbert for violating pretrial release in the already-pending case until the judge handling that matter reviews the new allegations. Tolbert is due in court again today,” the outlet said.

Will County state’s attorney Jim Glasgow (D) previously criticized the Illinois law regarding cashless bail, stating, “It will destroy the state of Illinois,” Breitbart News reported in September.


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