Illinois Alderman Lynne M. Johnson has now been charged with felony burglary for allegedly stealing $55.21 worth of merchandise from a Meijer store according to a statement from the DuPage County state’s attorney’s office. She had initially been charged with misdemeanor retail theft.
You may remember the story. On January 31st a loss prevention associate at Meijer allegedly witnessed Johnson hiding in her purse $55.21 worth of markers, pencils, holiday party favors, and two bottles of ibuprofen. Johnson paid for other items she had in her shopping cart with a credit card but according to the LP associate, she never opened her purse and left the store without paying for the items inside. The associate stopped Johnson outside the store, escorted her to the office without incident, and then notified Aurora, Illinois, police.
She was arrested with her brother outside the same Meijer store in August 2013. For that arrest, Johnson pled guilty to failing to pay for $86.60 worth of grocery items and to having $63.64 worth of health and beauty items concealed in her purse. According to court records she was granted supervision in that case.
“It is troubling any time an elected official is accused of wrongdoing,” DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert Berlin said in the statement, adding that the retail shoplifting charges were upgraded “following a thorough review of the facts and circumstances surrounding the allegations”.
Johnson was elected in April 2013, and her term is up in 2017. Her bail after her arrest was originally set at $1,500, and she was released later that evening, records show. Johnson is scheduled to appear in court March 7 at the DuPage County Judicial Center in Wheaton, Illinois.
A judge issued the upgraded $50,000 arrest warrant Friday, prosecutors said. Johnson turned herself in Monday and was released after posting the necessary 10 percent of the warrant.