DuPage inmate demands extradition hearing
One of the DuPage jail's more colorful inmates is back in a county cell after serving six months in the Pontiac Correctional Center.
Ignatius Pollara, known in Florida and several other states as the "Lego Bandit" or the "Toys R Us Kid," was sentenced in April to five years in prison for multiple burglary and retail theft charges followed by an additional nine months in the DuPage jail for two criminal contempt of court convictions.
When he's completed his contempt stint next spring, Pollara still will be a wanted man in Broward County, Florida.
According to recently filed court documents, Pollara is listed as a fugitive from justice in Florida because he was on probation on a felony grand theft case when he was arrested in Lombard in July 2015.
But prosecutors say Pollara has refused to waive his extradition rights to return to Florida and is demanding a hearing.
Judge Liam Brennan said a hearing date will be set early in the spring but set an intermediate date for any motions or filings.
"Let's do it on Dec. 20, your honor, so I can show you my Christmas tree," Pollara said. "I made it out of paper. I'll bring it with me."
Prosecutors say extradition hearings are relatively rare in DuPage but can be as simple as proving to the judge that a warrant exists. In some cases, more extensive identification methods are required to prove the inmate is the person being sought by the other jurisdiction.
Pollara's reputation in other states led his Florida-based probation officer to alert police that Pollara was arriving in Chicago days before he flew into O'Hare International Airport on July 2, 2015.
Once Pollara arrived, authorities said he rented a car and went to 21 stores in the Schaumburg and Oak Brook areas in 24 hours.
At his trial, police officers who formed a task force specifically to track Pollara, testified how they tailed him in and out of many stores and placed a GPS device on his rented vehicle before he was arrested outside a Lombard Hobby Lobby with $80 worth of art pencils and paint brushes stuffed down the back of his pants.
In total, officials said Pollara stole about $450 worth of items during the 24-hour period; the rest of his haul was recovered from his vehicle.