Monday, November 06, 2017

Charged With Shoplifting 8 Times This Year, Convicted Felon Keeps Catching Breaks

If someone told you that prosecutors chose not to file felony shoplifting charges against a defendant due to the person’s “prior criminal history,” you’d probably assume that the person had a relatively clean record, right?

Grothe | Cook County Sheriff
You’d be safe in that assumption in most places. But not Cook County.

Let us introduce you to John Grothe and his stroll through our local justice system.

In Illinois, it is a felony to shoplift more than $300 in a single event or in separate transactions over a period of one year. Also, shoplifting with a value of $300 or less is a felony if the defendant has a prior theft conviction.

So, let’s look at 45-year-old Grothe’s criminal history:

December 2010: 3-year prison sentence for receiving-possessing a stolen vehicle

May 2013: 3-year prison sentence for receiving-possessing a stolen vehicle

September 2014: 5-year sentence for theft from a person.

January 13, 2017: Released on parole.

He certainly qualifies for “prior theft conviction.” So, what has he been up to since he was released from the Hill Correctional Center on January 13? Let’s take a look…

January 27, 2017: Charged with two counts of misdemeanor theft from an unknown location in the city. Charges are dropped when the victim fails to appear in court.

July 25, 2017: 13-day sentence for misdemeanor shoplifting $306 worth of shirts from Carson’s in Orland Park.

August 13, 2017: Charged with misdemeanor shoplifting $217 worth of merchandise from Macy’s on State Street. Charges are dropped when Macy’s fails to show up in court on September 19.

September 24, 2017: Charged with misdemeanor shoplifting $348 worth of allergy medication from an Uptown Mariano’s. Charges are dropped when Mariano’s fails to appear in court on October 3.

October 18, 2017: 2-day sentence for misdemeanor shoplifting $666 worth of allergy medication from a South Loop Jewel-Osco. Felony charges were declined by the state’s attorney.

Five days later, Grothe was arrested at the Target store in Streeterville for shoplifting $524 worth of allergy medication. He was also charged with stealing $335 worth of merchandise from the same shop on October 14 and shoplifting $401 worth of allergy meds from a South Loop Target store and battering a security guard who confronted him on October 20.

Incredibly, when 18th District officers asked the state’s attorney’s office to file felony charges against Grothe for the Target crimes, they were told “no,” court records show.

“Felony upgrade was denied by (Assistant State’s Attorney) Hanichak due to prosecutorial discretion and offender’s prior criminal history.”

Grothe was charged with three misdemeanor counts of shoplifting and one count of battery. Last week, he pleaded guilty to the battery charge, and the shoplifting counts were dropped by the state. He was sentenced to 30-days in jail with eight-days credit for time served. With 50% credit for good behavior, Grothe is scheduled to be released on Wednesday.

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Never Saw It Coming?

You probably heard about the former employee of the Lawry’s Prime Rib who returned to the Michigan Avenue restaurant on October 30 to rob his former co-workers at gunpoint. In the end, one employee was shot, three employees were robbed, and two were beaten in the assault, prosecutors said.

Norwood | Chicago Police Dept
According to police, Marcus Norwood, 39, donned a ski mask, walked into the restaurant after closing time and confronted several male employees in the locker room. The victims were restrained with duct tape and relieved of their cash tips which exceeded $600 in one victim’s case, prosecutors said.

Prosecutors charged Norwood with attempted first-degree murder; three counts of armed robbery with a firearm; two counts of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon; three counts of aggravated unlawful restraint; and obstructing identification.

Who could’ve predicted that such a thing might happen? Anyone who bothered to do a background check.

A simple review of Norwood’s court records shows that he was sentenced to 12-years in prison for armed robbery in 1998. And almost as soon as he was finished serving that time, he received a 54-month sentence for being a felon in possession of a firearm and aggravated discharge of a handgun in 2011.

Who could’ve guessed?
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  1. Daniel Hanichak was the ASA. Strong work, Danny.

    Grothe will be back in jail by Thanksgiving, only to have another ASA not give a crap. That office is a joke.

    1. Kent College...that's where they get all the worst lawyers.

  2. And yet Rahm believes that criminal scum like this should be given city jobs.

  3. Growth and Tally from the other story look like a couple of extras or nightmare on elm street. scary ugly looking dudes.

  4. Wow grothe should really see a doctor for that serious allergy condition that he has. Why would anyone need that much allergy medicine?? I thought they stopped selling or highly regulated the allergy meds used to cook meth. What else would he use it for??

    1. I was wondering the same thing...strange.

  5. Just look at that Norwood slime and tell me has any remorse at all. This guy will kill with no regrets.

  6. You can thank Kim Foxx. She has directed her SA's to only file charges if the shoplifting adds up to $1000 or more.
    Keep on voting for the D's and this is what you get.

  7. I think the police should no longer respond to theft/robbery calls at businesses like Macy's if they won't follow through and go to court to have these guys charged.

  8. The master thief should get a refund from whoever taught him how to shoplift.

  9. I agree with Anonymous. It makes a great point trolling from behind a computer. Hanichak is a hack. Great ass though.

  10. Hanichak is playin poker with peoples lives. Hope he doesn’t fold under pressure!

    1. This isn't the Assistant State's Attorney's fault. He is merely following marching orders from Kim Foxx and her leadership team that prefers criminals over victims. The ASAs must follow her directives or they will be out of a job. Most of them are desperately trying to find different jobs anyway to escape from the new State's Attorney's Office and its pro-criminal policies.

  11. Ummmm, did no one pay attention when the new State's Attorney Kim Foxx announced that she was no longer going to prosecute shop lifting unless the person has 10 felony convictions or the value of the property is more than $1000?!?!? That's our new State's Attorney, ladies and gentlemen. Pro-criminal all the way!

  12. Crime and it being rampant out of control , but it can be traced to lenient judges, a new elected states attorney who prefers criminals over victims, cumbersome and hours of lengthy procedures for law enforcement to follow, and an overt lack of respect for police in 2017. Just wait to see what 2020 will look like ! You think it's bad now ?

  13. If you think ASA Hanichak is bad just wait till you deal with ASA Newman. He never approves ANY of the cases we call in.

  14. Criminals are victims, who were victimized by their own circumstances & everyone told them they are not responsible for their own behavior, so they are out victimizing, killing, maiming, robbing & raping, because, hey, it's not THEIR fault!

  15. HanicHACK has been a bum his whole professional career. Before the State's Attorney's Office he worked on Dinkins' mayoral campaign in New York City and he singlehandedly torpedoed it by suggesting that everyone in NYC should be forced to wear name tags in order to make the city more friendly. He had a nervous breakdown after that.