APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS, SECOND DISTRICT
544 N.E.2d 825, 188 Ill. App. 3d 768, 136 Ill. Dec. 139 1989.IL.1487
Appeal from the Circuit Court of Du Page County; the Hon. Richard A. Lucas, Judge, presiding.
JUSTICE REINHARD delivered the opinion of the court. LINDBERG and McLAREN, JJ., concur.
DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE REINHARD
Defendant raises two issues on appeal relating to the denial of his motion to quash his arrest and suppress evidence: (1) whether the police had articulable facts to justify a stop of the vehicle in which he was a passenger; and (2) whether the police had probable cause to arrest him after searching the trunk of the vehicle.
The facts relevant to deciding the issues raised on appeal were adduced at the hearing on defendant's motion to quash arrest and suppress evidence and at his trial. According to Marshall Gauer, a police officer for the City of Aurora, he read a burglary report on September 1, 1987, which indicated that electrical wire had been reported stolen earlier that day from a construction trailer owned by Scheffler Electric Company and located near the intersection of Middlebury and 83d Streets in Aurora, Illinois. The report indicates that 30 boxes of No. 14 T.H.N.N. solid wire and one spool of No. 4 T.H.N.N solid wire were taken in the burglary. Later, during the early evening hours on September 1, 1987, Officer Gauer read a printed report of an anonymous telephone call received at the police station. According to the report, the caller indicated that Randy Crest and someone named "Sid" were trying to sell wire, a snowblower, and other stolen property stored in the basement of 60 South Spencer Street in Aurora to raise money to bond defendant, Jeffrey Crest, Randy's brother, out of jail. The typed summation of the telephone tip indicates that the caller had been contacted by Randy Crest and someone named "Sid" who wanted to sell some copper wire. The report states that the caller observed about 500 pounds of copper wire coated with black plastic.
On September 2, 1987, at about 9 to 9:30 a.m., Gauer received a telephone call from the anonymous informer, who told Gauer that the electrical wire was stored at the Crest home on Spencer Street and that it was going to be moved that day and sold to help get Jeff out of jail. At approximately 11:30 a.m., on September 2, Gauer received another call from the anonymous informer. The caller indicated that Jeff was out of jail and that the items would be moved from the Crest residence within the next couple of hours.
During his tour of duty on September 2, 1987, Gauer periodically monitored the Crest home, which he knew to be at 60 Spencer Street. On one such occasion, at about 2 p.m., Gauer observed an Oldsmobile backed into the driveway of the Crest residence with the trunk lid open and three males standing behind it. Gauer positioned his unmarked police car about 80 to 100 feet south of the Crest home on a cross street. From that position he recognized one of the males as defendant and one as Ronald Carty, both of whom he knew. He then observed the trio carrying several boxes approximately 15 to 18 inches square by 5 to 6 inches deep from the Crest home and placing them into the trunk of the Oldsmobile. Defendant carried one or two of the boxes. One of the boxes was open, and it had electrical wire protruding from it. The trio also placed a wooden stick with red wire wrapped around it and a white bucket into the trunk. All three males got into the Oldsmobile and, with a fourth person driving, left the Crest residence.
Gauer then radioed a marked squad car for assistance as he followed the Oldsmobile in his unmarked car. Gauer then requested the marked squad car to stop the Oldsmobile, which it did.
Gauer and Officer Danny Hornback of the Aurora police department approached the vehicle and ascertained that the driver was Brenda Goggins and that the front seat passenger was Ronald Carty. Defendant and Sidney Carty were seated in the rear of the Oldsmobile. It was subsequently learned that Goggins' driver's license was revoked.
Gauer then explained to Goggins that he had observed the three passengers placing wire that he believed was stolen in a burglary into the trunk. Gauer then advised Goggins of her right to refuse consent to a search of the trunk, and she indicated the vehicle belonged to her fiance. Goggins then told Gauer she would like to talk to Ronald Carty before deciding whether to consent to the search of the trunk.
Following her conversation with Ronald Carty, Goggins asked Gauer what would happen to the vehicle if she refused to consent to the search, and Gauer responded that he would tow and impound the vehicle and obtain a search warrant. Goggins responded that she did not want the car towed, that she would not go to jail for anyone, and that Gauer could search the trunk.
Gauer obtained the keys, but could not locate the trunk key on the key ring. Goggins then examined the key ring and indicated that one of the passengers in the Oldsmobile must have it. Defendant and Sidney Carty were then removed from the vehicle and told to empty their pockets on the trunk. The trunk key was not among the contents. Officer Hornback then observed that Ronald Carty's shoes were untied and, ...