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Melrose Park man gets three years for stealing 1,800 cases of beer

A west suburban man was sentenced to three years in prison Wednesday for stealing more than 1,800 cases of beer from a suburban distributor.

Thomas Gibbons, 48, of Melrose Park pleaded guilty to one count of theft/possession of stolen merchandise between $10,000 and $100,000, according to the DuPage County state’s attorney’s office. Judge John Kinsella sentenced him to three years.

Twenty-two pallets of Miller beer were stolen from the Chas. Herdrich and Son distributors in McHenry on Oct. 29, 2012, according to prosecutors.

The investigation led authorities to a warehouse on Industrial Drive in Bensenville, where Gibbons was found in the cargo area of a rented truck with a pallet of beer and a hand-operated pallet mover, prosecutors said. The rest of the beer was already in the warehouse.

“This was not a crime of opportunity,” state’s attorney Robert Berlin said in the statement. “Mr. Gibbons had a plan. His plan however, did not include getting caught thanks to the outstanding work of the DuPage County Sheriff’s Office.”

Gibbons will begin serving his sentence Feb. 2 and will be required to serve 50 percent being eligible for parole.