Chicago man faces multiple theft charges

Vashion T. Freeman
Vashion T. Freeman

A Chicago man whose alleged theft strategy was simply to lift stolen items above theft-detection equipment in store doorways now faces a Class 1 Felony charge of undertaking a continuing financial theft enterprise, after Wilmette police arrested him in connection with three thefts at the Walgreens store, 3232 Lake Ave. in Edens Plaza.

Vashion T. Freeman, 31, of 7211 Bell Ave. in Chicago, was nabbed July 18 at the Cook County Courthouse in Skokie, when he appeared in court on charges from an unconnected Evanston arrest, Wilmette police said.

He is being held on a $150,000 bond and was again scheduled to appear July 22 in court.

Wilmette investigators charged Freeman with thefts from the Walgreens on Nov. 13 of 2013, and on March 26 and June 21 of this year, Detective Michael Clark said July 21. However, they believe his arrest will clear up another three Wilmette thefts, he said. Freeman is also being investigated in connection with similar thefts in Elk Grove Village, Hoffman Estates, Buffalo Grove, Wheeling, Schiller Park and Highland Park.

Clark credited the arrest to cooperation between member forces of the Cook County retail organized crime task force, and the ability of Wilmette investigators to make use of the task force’s bulletins. One such bulletin described a Hoffman Estates theft in which the suspect used a getaway vehicle that matched the description of a newer gray SUV used in connection with the June 21 theft from Wilmette’s Walgreens.

Clark said the three Wilmette incidents in which Freeman later identified himself as a suspect on video footage, resulted in the loss of thousands of dollars of goods.

Because the charge of undertaking a continuing financial theft enterprise is a Class 1 felony, Freeman faces between four and 15 years in prison if he is convicted.

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