A Bloomington man who posed as a police officer to steal thousands of dollars in merchandise from stores across Illinois was sentenced last week for his efforts in East Peoria. Steven Dilley, 47, received a five-year prison term Monday in Tazewell County Circuit Court. It will be added to the eight-year term recently imposed in McLean County and any punishment in a case still pending in Champaign County.
Dilley pleaded guilty locally to felony retail theft and impersonating a peace officer. A charge of conducting a continuing criminal enterprise, for which he was convicted in McLean and also faces in Champaign, was dismissed. Dilley allegedly pursued the same method in all of the cases. He identified himself as an area police officer or retail security officer in calls to big-box stores reporting that suspected shoplifters were in their parking lots, according to court records.
When the stores’ guards went in search, Dilley stuffed bags with expensive items and clothing and made his escapes. Over a week in June 2018 he struck the Bass Pro, Kohl’s and Lowe’s stores in East Peoria. He was caught in the Lowe’s case, then hours after his release on bond he brazenly repeated his ploy at Bass Pro, where surveillance video caught him making his fake police call from inside the store, records stated. He was arrested in the store’s parking lot. Normal police found about $5,000 in stolen goods in Dilley’s hotel room there, while East Peoria police also recovered thousands of dollars in goods in the room, records stated… Journal Star