John Ray Lomack repeat shoplifter steals 70 inch TV from Seattle store but is released with no bail as cities across the US struggle with brazen store thefts.
A homeless man with a history of prolific shoplifting was released without bail after he was captured on surveillance video stealing a 70 inch TV out of a Seattle Target store last month.
John Ray Lomack, 55, was seen on surveillance footage staking out the Target store where he was banned from going after stealing from it at least 22 times in the past three months, KTTH reported.
Footage (see below) from late December shows him repeatedly checking that the coast is clear before pulling something from his pocket to snip the plastic straps holding three LG TVs together.
The man proceeds to carry one of the TVs to an elevator, even as his pants fall, all while nearby security guards doing seemingly little to preempt the theft according to video.
Video shows several security guards surrounding Lomack — with the undaunted homeless man barging into them as they repeatedly try to hold onto the box holding the TV and bring it back into the store. But to no avail.
So how does a repeat offender avoid prosecution?
Once outside, the shoplifter appears to pause to catch his breath from the struggle, before finally being busted by cops called to the scene.
The normally $750 UHD TV, had been on sale for $599.99. Of note, the serial shoplifter had stolen no less than $6,000 worth of property from the Target location since October, KTTH reported.
During his arrest, one of the responding officers immediately recognizes Lomack as a person trespassed from the Target for multiple thefts.
A King County prosecutor called for Lomack to be held on $5,000 bail, noting ‘warrant activity’ on his 32 prior cases dating back to 1985. The charges represented only a fraction of the accusations against him, a spokesperson for the office told KTTH.
However, Judge Kuljinder Dhillon ignored the pleas and instead released Lomack on his own personal recognizance.
The judge was already under fire for previous leniency, including lowering a $25,000 bail request to just $1,000 for a homeless man accused of gouging the eye of a Seattle police officer, KTTH reported.
Prosecutors warned that Lomack would just strike again — and he was back in court on Jan. 26, where he was again released by another judge, KTTH reported.
Prosecution laws vs social dilemma
Casey McNerthney, a spokesperson for the Kings County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, told the outlet that they were ‘concerned with the defendant’s pattern of repeat behavior.’
‘We’re also concerned he’s unlikely to return to court with his extensive criminal history that includes warrant activity on 32 cases,’ the office said of its pleas ignored by both judges, KTTH said.
Staff at the Target, meanwhile, told the station that shoplifters strike at least once every 10 minutes.
‘Homeless people have completely taken over downtown Seattle,’ KTTH host Jason Rantz claimed.
It remained unclear what efforts city officials were pursuing to curtail rising homelessness and addressing ongoing poverty. Efforts which could stem lawlessness.
The Seattle episode comes as cities across the US – including New York City, San Francisco and Chicago – are experiencing large numbers of brazen thefts. Citizens are calling for reform as many city leaders and ‘woke’ prosecutors continue to take lenient stances on crime.
The thefts dovetail with the ever expanding divide between haves and have nots in the US amid the ongoing pandemic which has seen a vast upward distribution of wealth to the top 1% while most have suffered economically amid ruined finances and little public redress.