PEKIN — A Springfield man allegedly posed as a police officer or store security guard in a scheme to steal thousands of dollars in merchandise from East Peoria stores.
Last month Steven Dilley, 45, brazenly repeated his ploy at Bass Pro Shop within hours after he was released on bond for allegedly using it at Kohl’s department store days earlier, a prosecutor’s court affidavit stated.
Dilley also impersonated officers to shoplift from stores in Normal earlier in June, police in that city told East Peoria detectives.
A Tazewell County grand jury indicted him last week on charges of continuing a criminal enterprise, punishable by up to 15 years in prison, impersonating a peace officer and felony retail theft.
Over a week beginning June 22, Dilley struck Bass Pro as well as the Kohl’s and Lowe’s stores in East Peoria, the affidavit stated. He made calls to the stores in which he claimed he was a Metamora or Peoria police officer or another store’s security officer and reported that suspected shoplifters were in their stores or parking lots.
When the guards searched for the fictional thieves, Dilley stuffed bags with expensive items and clothing, the affidavit stated. Surveillance video revealed him making one call inside Bass Pro and then stealing up to $3,000 worth of clothing, the affidavit stated.
Three days later, Dilley returned to the same store, which summoned East Peoria police who arrested him in its parking lot.
Normal police found about $5,000 in stolen goods in Dilley’s hotel room there, while East Peoria police also recovered merchandise worth thousands of dollars in his hotel room in that city, the affidavit stated.
Dilley posted $3,000 in cash after his second arrest in East Peoria for his release from custody pending prosecution. He has prior convictions for retail theft and burglary.