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The People of the State of Illinois v. Melvin Rudd

June 7, 2012


Appeal from the Circuit Court of Madison County. No. 09-CF-377 Honorable Janet Heflin, Judge, presiding.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Justice Chapman


The text of this decision may be changed or corrected prior to the filing of a Petition for Rehearing or the disposition of the same.

JUSTICE CHAPMAN delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion.

Presiding Justice Donovan and Justice Spomer concurred in the judgment and opinion.


¶ 1 The defendant, Melvin Rudd, appeals his conviction for burglary. The charges stemmed from the theft of two vacuum cleaners from a Walmart store. The defendant argues that (1) the evidence was insufficient to prove that he entered the store with the intent to commit a theft because the only evidence of his intent was evidence of the theft itself and (2) he was entitled to four additional days of sentence credit for time spent in pretrial detention. We affirm the defendant's conviction but modify the order to reflect four days of additional sentence credit.

¶ 2 The defendant was arrested at a Walmart store in Collinsville, Illinois, after stealing two vacuum cleaners. He was charged with retail theft (merchandise with a value in excess of $150) (720 ILCS 5/16A-3(a) (West 2008)) and burglary (720 ILCS 5/19-1(a) (West 2008)).

¶ 3 At the defendant's trial, store loss prevention officer Michael Reitz testified that he first noticed the defendant when he saw the defendant and another individual pushing carts in the vacuum cleaner aisle. Reitz did not see the defendant or the other suspect enter the store. He saw both men put two identical items into their carts. Those items were a Hoover vacuum cleaner and a Bissel steam cleaner, which were two of the most expensive vacuum cleaners in the store. Reitz continued to observe the two suspects. They remained in the vacuum cleaner aisle for approximately five minutes. During this time, Reitz did not hear or observe any conversation between them.

¶ 4 Reitz testified that after five minutes, one of the suspects headed towards the cash registers. At this point, Reitz was the only loss prevention officer in the store. Although his supervisor was working that day, she had left the store for her lunch break. Thus, Reitz explained, he was unable to follow both suspects. He decided to follow the defendant, the suspect who did not head towards the cash registers. Reitz explained that he made this choice because he believed that the defendant was not going to pay for the merchandise in his cart. He testified that he wanted to be sure to catch at least one of the two suspects.

¶ 5 Reitz testified that after the other suspect left, the defendant went to the lawn and garden section of the store and continued to look at merchandise, but he did not put any other items in his cart. A few minutes later, the other suspect came into the lawn and garden section and handed the defendant a receipt. The two suspects were together for approximately two to three minutes. When they separated, Reitz again followed the defendant.

¶ 6 Reitz saw the defendant take an indirect route to the front of the store and then head towards the exit. Reitz went ahead to the vestibule so he could apprehend the defendant when he attempted to leave the store with the vacuum cleaners. He testified that a store greeter asked the defendant to show her his receipt as he left the store. The greeter allowed the defendant to leave after he showed her the receipt. Reitz then approached the defendant and asked to see his receipt. He asked the defendant to accompany him to the loss prevention office. The defendant began to walk with Reitz towards the office, but halfway to the back of the store, he turned around and ran towards the exit. Reitz was able to apprehend the defendant with the assistance of two other store employees. Reitz then called the Collinsville police department to report the theft.

¶ 7 Reitz testified that although the other suspect paid for the vacuum cleaners with a debit card, no effort was made to find out who he was and charge him in the theft. The receipt from the two vacuum cleaners was entered into evidence. It showed that the total value of the two items was $513.72.

ΒΆ 8 The State played a video recording from the store's security cameras. Although the recording itself was not admitted into evidence and is not part of the record on appeal, Reitz described for jurors what they were seeing. In relevant part, Reitz noted that the recording shows the defendant and the other suspect getting out of the same car and entering the store together. It also shows the other suspect leaving the store with the vacuum cleaners in a cart. Reitz then noted that the recording shows the other suspect pulling his car ...

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