Metro-East News

Man on probation charged for string of retail thefts

Violent and property crime stats for Illinois

According to data from the FBI, property and violent crimes continue to decrease in Illinois, though the violent crime's are still slightly higher than the national average.
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According to data from the FBI, property and violent crimes continue to decrease in Illinois, though the violent crime's are still slightly higher than the national average.

A St. Louis man, who was previously sentenced to probation, has been charged with multiple counts of retail theft and resisting a police officer in connection to a string of thefts, according to a Fairview Heights Police Department news release.

Jermaine R. Wesley, 27, in November had visited Kohl’s on multiple occasions with other men, police said. They would pick out hundreds of dollars worth of merchandise then run to a vehicle and flee to Missouri, often evading police when signaled to stop.

During the investigation, Wesley was identified as a suspect in thefts at the Kohl’s but also at TJ Maxx and other Kohl’s Department Stores in the St. Louis area.

On Tuesday, officers responded to the Burlington Coat Factory, at 1 Plaza Drive, for a theft which had just occurred, police said.

When officers arrived, employees reported that two males had entered the store and stole merchandise, but had since left the business, police said. While officers investigated the theft an unknown witness reported seeing the suspects at a store close to Burlington.

Officers responded there and attempted to take Wesley into custody, who tried to run away. Wesley was taken to the ground where he was wrestled into handcuffs, police said.

The second suspect was able to enter a getaway vehicle and drove away. Officers from several jurisdictions tried to stop the vehicle on Interstate 64, but the vehicle kept going into St. Louis.

Wesley was charged with three counts of retail theft, three counts of retail theft-subsequent offenses, and two counts of resisting arrest.

Wesley is currently being held at the St. Clair County Jail on a $75,000 bond and on a probation violation warrant, which has a $40,000 bond.

Wesley was previously charged in grab-and-run thefts at St. Clair Square in December 2017. He pleaded guilty in January 2018 and was sentenced to two years probation, according to online court records.

Joseph Bustos is the state affairs and politics reporter for the Belleville News-Democrat, where he strives to hold elected officials accountable and provide context to decisions they make. He has won multiple awards from the Illinois Press Association for coverage of sales tax referenda.
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