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Wheaton man charged with shoplifting in St. Charles

ST. CHARLES – A man accused of shoplifting from a St. Charles retailer had a less-than-smooth exit from the store after realizing he left his dog in a cart he abandoned at the entrance, according to a St. Charles Police Department report.

John Philip Maddaleni, 45, of the 0N600 block of Pleasant Hill Road, Wheaton, reportedly was seen on Sunday concealing merchandise under clothing that was folded over his arm while in the electronics department at Wal-Mart, 150 Smith Road.

Witnesses told police he also opened a locked plexiglass jewelry display, which later was found to be damaged to the point that it couldn't be secured. Maddaleni placed numerous pieces of jewelry in a store bag he had on the shopping cart's child seat and covered it with a pet carrier containing a "tiny" dog, police reported.

An employee reportedly tried to stop Maddaleni as he pushed his cart out the first set of doors, past all points of sale.

"He left the cart and started to run out the doors but apparently realized he'd left his dog behind," police reported. "He came back, grabbed the carrier and shoved the cart at [the employee]."

An employee reportedly recovered the bag of jewelry Maddaleni abandoned.

Meanwhile, Maddaleni ran north alongside the store, "pulling merchandise from his pants and throwing it as he ran," police reported.

After a few hundred feet, police reported, Maddaleni stopped suddenly and turned around, "skipping" back to the employee.

The items he had discarded were retrieved, and police also recovered a pry tool similar to a paint can opener he had thrown, police said. Maddaleni reportedly had $2.83 in loose change on his person.

The value of the stolen merchandise totaled $1,031.68, police said, and the damage to the jewelry case was estimated at more than $300.

Maddaleni was charged with criminal damage to property and felony retail theft. Police noted Maddaleni was wanted on a DuPage County warrant carrying a charge of retail theft.

Maddaleni was taken to the DuPage County Jail. His dog was turned over to his significant other, who was not involved in the incident, police said.

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