A prolific shoplifter was caught tussling with security to push a 70-inch TV out of a Seattle store that he was banned from — but he was still freed without bail by a notoriously lenient judge, according to a report.
John Ray Lomack was seen on surveillance footage staking out a Target where he was banned from going after stealing from it at least 22nd times in the past 3 months, radio station KTTH reported.
The wild footage from late December shows him repeatedly checking that the coast is clear before he pulls something from his pocket to snip the plastic straps holding three LG TVs together.
While taking the TV to an elevator, his black pants fall down around his ankles — showing another pair below them — catching the attention of a nearby security guard, the footage shows.
By the time he gets out of the elevator, his pants are back up — and more security is there to greet him.
But Lomack, who is reportedly homeless, ignores them even after dropping the $750 UHD TV, which had been on sale for $599.99.
He continues to march out of the store pushing the box despite several security guards surrounding him — at times barging into them as they repeatedly try to hold onto the box and bring it back into the store.
Once outside, he appears to pause to catch his breath from the struggle, before finally being busted by cops called to the scene, the station said.
After a “physical struggle,” officers put him in handcuffs, and one of the responding officers “immediately recognized Lomack as a person trespassed from the Target for multiple thefts,” the report said.
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 radio station said. 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, the station noted.
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, the station noted.
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.