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People v. Faulisi





APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. FRANK W. BARBARO, Judge, presiding.


After a bench trial in the circuit court of Cook County, defendants, Sam Robert Faulisi and Thomas Vogt, were each convicted of two counts of armed robbery involving a suburban home invasion. (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1973, ch. 38, par. 18-2.) Each defendant was sentenced to two concurrent terms of 15 to 35 years. Both defendants had filed motions to quash the arrests and suppress identification testimony and inculpatory statements, but after a hearing the motions were denied. The issues for review are (1) whether defendants' convictions were improperly based upon evidence which was the fruit of being unlawfully arrested and detained, and (2) whether defendants were properly convicted of two counts of armed robbery.

At the hearing on the motion to quash the arrests and suppress evidence, it was established defendants were arrested pursuant to an investigation of an armed robbery at the Chicago Coin Corporation during which a dark attache case and numerous coins were taken. Officers Lapidus and Carroll had a conversation with an informant who told them that an attempt would be made to sell the merchandise from the coin shop robbery at the Skylark Restaurant. He told the officers there would be approximately three persons arriving in a white, 1975 Cadillac and approximately three persons arriving in a white, 1974-75 Continental on November 18, 1974. The informant stated the attache case and coins would be brought in one of the cars.

Both officers staked out the restaurant and observed a white 1975 Cadillac and a white 1974 Continental arrive with three occupants in each car. One of the occupants of the Cadillac emerged carrying a dark attache case, and both defendants arrived in the Continental. All six occupants went into the restaurant and occupied the same booth. The officers observed the open attache case on the table and saw both defendants handling coins contained in clear plastic envelopes. All six persons left the restaurant at the same time, and all departed in the same cars they arrived in. The attache' case was still being carried by one of the men in the Cadillac. Both cars left the restaurant together, one behind the other.

Both cars were stopped approximately 10 or 12 blocks from the restaurant, and the occupants were arrested and taken to police headquarters where a lineup was held. The victim of the Chicago Coin Corporation robbery was able to identify the attache' case and its contents, but he was not able to identify anyone in the lineup. A second lineup was arranged for 8 p.m. the following evening for the victims of other coin shop robberies who were not able to attend the first lineup.

Prior to the second lineup, Officer Carroll saw a composite sketch of two people wanted in connection with a home invasion in Arlington Heights, Illinois. He testified the sketch appeared to be a "photograph" of the two defendants. The victims of the home invasion viewed the lineup later that evening, and each identified both defendants. Seven or eight coin shop victims also attended that lineup, but none was able to make a positive identification. It was stipulated that defendants were not charged with any crimes until the evening of November 19, 1974, after the second lineup.

The motions to quash were denied by the court and the case proceeded to trial. At trial Beverly Kelly testified she lived with her family in Arlington Heights, Illinois, and that at 11:30 a.m. on November 15, 1974, she was in her home with her daughter, Diane, when both defendants came to the door. Vogt told her they were from the sheriff's police and had a wallet they believed her husband had lost. She looked through it and identified it as her husband's, Vogt indicated he needed to have her signature to sign a release, and she admitted them to the house for that purpose. Upon gaining admission to the house, Vogt took a gun out of a briefcase and announced a "stickup." Faulisi also produced a small gun. While Faulisi watched Mrs. Kelly and her daughter in the family room, Vogt took money and credit cards from Mrs. Kelly's purse. Defendants tied the Kellys' hands with tape and some heavy cord, and while Faulisi continued to watch the Kellys, Vogt searched through the house and took jewelry belonging to Mrs. Kelly. When Diane Kelly told defendants that several children would soon be home for lunch, defendants left after cutting the phone wires and tying their ankles together with tape. Approximately $10 in cash, credit cards, a ring and some other jewelry were taken. They also took Mr. Kelly's wallet with them.

Diane Kelly testified to the same events as her mother, and both Kellys testified they viewed a lineup at which each was able to identify both defendants.

There was a stipulation that if Officer George Eckblad of the Arlington Heights Police Department were called, he would testify that on November 19, 1974, at approximately 9:30 p.m., he had a conversation with Sam Faulisi at the Arlington Heights police station. He admonished Faulisi with respect to his constitutional rights and Faulisi stated that he understood those rights and wanted to waive them. Faulisi admitted the armed robbery at the Kelly residence, but initially stated he did not know where the wallet was. About 20 minutes later, he stated he had lied and could tell where the wallet could be located if he made a telephone call. He was allowed to make the call and the wallet was recovered. There was also a stipulation that if Officer Dech of the Arlington Heights police force were called, his testimony would corroborate Faulisi's part in obtaining the wallet.

Defendants first contend their warrantless arrests were unlawful because the arresting officers did not have probable cause to believe they had committed an offense. Defendants suggest that even if the officers had probable cause to arrest the three men in the Cadillac who had possession of the attache case, there was no basis for their (defendants) arrests because there was no evidence to show they knew the coins were stolen, especially since they did not take possession of the coins. They conclude the identification testimony of the Kellys and the inculpatory statements given by Sam Faulisi were fruit of the unlawful arrests and detention, and the court erred in denying the motion to suppress evidence.

Defendants further contend they were held in custody over 24 hours solely for the purpose of an investigation regarding unrelated crimes, and except for their detention the identification testimony and inculpatory statement of Sam Faulisi would not have occurred. People v. Bean (1970), 121 Ill. App.2d 332, 335, 257 N.E.2d 562; People v. Hornal (1975), 29 Ill. App.3d 308, 317, 330 N.E.2d 225.

• 1 In the absence of a warrant, an arrest may be made when the officer has reasonable grounds to believe that the person is committing or has committed an offense. (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1973, ch. 38, par. 107-2.) Whether probable cause for arrest exists in a particular case depends upon the totality of the facts and circumstances known to the officer when the arrest is made. (People v. Clay (1973), 55 Ill.2d 501, 504-505, 304 N.E.2d 280; People v. Gwin (1971), 49 Ill.2d 255, 258, 274 N.E.2d 43.) In deciding the question of probable cause, the courts are not disposed to be unduly technical, and the determination is made based on the factual and practical considerations of every day life on which reasonable men, not legal technicians, act. (Draper v. United States (1959), 358 U.S. 307, 3 L.Ed.2d 327, 79 S.Ct. 329; People v. Clay.) The information upon which an arrest may be made is less than is necessary to secure a conviction. People v. Johnson (1973), 15 Ill. App.3d 741, 744, 305 N.E.2d 208; People v. Novak (1965), 33 Ill.2d 343, 346, 211 N.E.2d 235, cert. denied, 384 U.S. 1016.

In this case the arresting officers were investigating a series of coin robberies and knew a dark attache case and coins had been taken from a particular coin shop. Shortly thereafter, an informant gave them information that those coins would be sold or an attempt to sell would be made at a particular place and time. The informant described the cars and the number of men in each car who would be participating in the deal.

Although there had been no allegation about the reliability of the informant, his information was sufficient to establish probable cause, because there was independent corroboration of his information by the police officers. People v. Marlow (1976), 39 Ill. App.3d 177, 180-81, 350 ...

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