3 more charged in recent looting, including woman on bond for same crime

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - AUGUST 10: A Police officers inspect a damaged Best Buy store after parts of the city had widespread looting and vandalism, on August 10, 2020 in Chicago, Illinois. Police made several arrests during the night of unrest and recove

Three more people appeared in court Tuesday on charges connected to recent looting downtown, including a woman already accused of the same crime days before and a man who allegedly said he was pressured into it.

Gabrielle McGriff — a mother of four who serves at a Maywood restaurant — arranged online to sell the $1,400 boots for $1,100, but was unknowingly speaking with undercover officers who arrested her and her boyfriend Monday at a Far South Side McDonalds, Assistant State’s Attorney James Murphy said.

Boutique Brunello Cucinelli, the Rush Street store the woman stole from, sustained $1 million in damages from last week’s looting, prosecutors said.

McGriff was ordered her held on $5,000 bail for theft. Her boyfriend, Cornelius Lyons, also charged with theft, was ordered held on $2,000 bail.

McGriff, 29, had just appeared in court last week for allegedly looting a downtown Macy’s Aug. 10.

In that case, she told investigators she was downtown with friends when she saw people inside the closed store and said, “F— it,” and went it, Murphy said. She allegedly took four shirts, but dropped them when she was confronted by officers who chased her to a vestibule, where she was arrested.

Another man allegedly told investigators he broke the window of a Gold Coast Hermes of Paris on Aug. 10 and stole a purse “because of peer pressure,” prosecutors said.

Donell Brandon, a 30-year-old laborer at a Far South Side metal company, said “his buddy called him and said that everyone was meeting downtown,” Murphy said in court Tuesday. “He said they decided to meet at Hermes. He said that once they went there, he decided to do what everybody else was doing.”

Brandon tried selling the bag on the online marketplace OfferUp, but instead arranged to sell the undercover law enforcement who arranged to meet him on the West Side, where he was arrested Monday with the stolen bag, Murphy said.

Judge John F. Lyke Jr. ordered Brandon held on $3,000 bail for retail theft, looting and burglary. Lyke said the man “appears to be doing well in life” and warned him to “get back on the straight and narrow.”

On Monday, seven people were charged with felony counts in connection to recent looting.