DUPAGE COUNTY, Ill. (WTVO) — A man accused of stealing $68,000 in merchandise from a high-end boutique shop has been released from custody under Illinois’ new SAFE-T Act law, prosecutors said Thursday.
Terry Johnson, 30, of Chicago, was arrested Wednesday after DNA evidence matched him to a smash-and-grab burglary at Kelsey Resale Boutique, at 49 S. Washington Street, in Hinsdale, in May.
According to Hinsdale Police, around 1:19 a.m. on May 30th, Johnson and six accomplices used a sledgehammer to enter the store and stole purses and other merchandise. The thieves fled in two vehicles prior to police arrival.
Blood located near the front door was used to match Johnson’s DNA. He was arrested on September 20th, 2023.
Johnson is charged with Armed Violence and Burglary and was fitted with a GPS device and ordered to stay away from the resale shop.
He is currently on parole for armed robbery and aggravated battery in Cook County, prosecutors said.
“The fact that Mr. Johnson, who is currently on parole and now accused of a forcible felony, will be out on the streets pending his trial illustrates a deficiency in the new law,” DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert Berlin said. “I have been saying all along that after hearing the facts and circumstances of a case, a judge, not the legislature, is in the best position to decide if pre-trial release for a defendant is appropriate. This morning, while Judge Dieden expressed his concern over the implementation of the law, his hands were tied as he was required by law to release Mr. Johnson pre-trial because the forcible felony of burglary is excluded from the list of detainable offenses under a dangerousness standard unless there is use of force against another person.”
Johnson’s next court appearance is scheduled for October 16, 2023.
This month, Illinois became the first state in the nation to outlaw the use of cash bail to keep offenders in jail until their court hearing.