After five months on the run, a Bloomington man is back in jail on charges he posed as a police officer to steal thousands of dollars in goods from three East Peoria stores.
Steven Dilley, 46, was arrested Friday on a warrant charging him with continuing a criminal enterprise, impersonating a peace officer and felony retail theft. Now held without bond, he’ll next appear in Tazewell County Circuit Court on Jan. 24.
Dilley failed to appear for his preliminary hearing on the charges on July 26 after posting a $3,000 cash bond, which was then revoked.
He was arrested after allegedly striking the Bass Pro, Kohl’s and Lowe’s stores over a week in late June. Dilley made calls to the stores in which he claimed he was a Metamora or Peoria police officer or another store’s security guard and reported that known shoplifters were in their stores or parking lots, according to the charges.
When store guards searched for the fictional thieves, Dilley stuffed bags with expensive items and clothing, the charges allege. His arrest came after he tried the ruse a second time at Bass Pro.
Police in Normal said Dilley committed similar crimes in that city. A search warrant revealed about $8,000 in stolen items in his Normal hotel room, court records stated.