Fittest loser
Article updated: 10/30/2012 6:21 PM

Beer thief nets 1,800 cases, DuPage prosecutors say

Thomas M. Gibbons

Thomas M. Gibbons

 
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Talk about a major beer run.

DuPage County authorities on Tuesday charged an ex-con from Melrose Park with stealing more than 1,800 cases.

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Thomas Gibbons, 45, is accused in the heist at a McHenry-based Miller distributor. Prosecutors said 22 pallets of brew -- and a trailer they were riding in -- went missing along with a tractor Sunday or Monday.

Using GPS, the Greater Metropolitan Auto Theft Task Force tracked the equipment to a commercial property connected to Gibbons on the 400 block of Industrial Drive in Bensenville, where they also found most of the beer, Vega said in bond court.

"McHenry also has a warrant that has been issued" for Gibbons' arrest, he said.

Gibbons, who identified himself as an out-of-work excavator, denied the charges, telling Judge Paul Marchese, "I don't know what they're talking about."

Vega said Gibbons has served time in prison for assault, stolen vehicles and burglary, and has a history of violating orders of protection and crimes against police.

If convicted of felony theft over $10,000, Gibbons would face a minimum three years in prison. Prosecutors were looking into whether he is eligible for an extended term because of his criminal record.

Marchese set bail at $250,000, meaning Gibbons would have to post $25,000 to be released. His next court date is Nov. 13 in front of Judge John Kinsella.

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