Sterling Police Arrest Homeless Man for Retail Theft

STERLING (WIFR) -- A homeless man in Sterling is arrested for allegedly stealing stuff from Bergner's in the Northland Mall.

The Sterling Police Department says Justin A. Phillips, 32, was combative with Bergner's employees while attempting to flee the scene.

When police got to the mall store employees had the suspect restrained near the mall's rear entrance. Officers took Phillips into custody for retail theft and recovered a stolen firearm when they searched him.

The amount of the merchandise was stolen was less than $300. Phillips was taken to the Whiteside County Jail in lieu of bond.

Phillips has been charged with:
Burglary, Aggravated Battery - Public Place, Aggravated Assault - Public Place, Armed Violence, Possession of a Firearm without Requisite FOID Card, Possession of a Firearm Ammunition without Requisite FOID Card, Possession of A Stolen Firearm, Unlawful Use of Weapon, Unlawful Use of Weapon by Felon.

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