Man who broke into Walgreens stores during 2020 looting gets 6 months community confinement

William Lorenz asked U.S. District Judge Gary Feinerman for a break so he could deal with his drug addiction and care for his teenage son and elderly mother. Prosecutors also said Lorenz cooperated in their investigation, helping them find his partner in the looting spree.

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Authorities say these images depict William Lorenz, who admitted breaking into a series of Walgreens stores with Ivan Bermudez in May 2020.

Authorities say these images depict William Lorenz, who admitted breaking into a series of Walgreens stores with Ivan Bermudez in May 2020.

U.S. District Court

A man who admitted he used a sledgehammer while breaking into a series of Walgreens pharmacies during the May 2020 rioting and looting in Chicago was sentenced Monday to six months of community confinement.

William Lorenz, 42, asked U.S. District Judge Gary Feinerman for a break so he could deal with his drug addiction and care for his teenage son and elderly mother. He called his crime the “worst decision I’ve ever made in my life.” Prosecutors also said Lorenz cooperated in their investigation, helping them find his partner in the looting spree.

Feinerman said the looting of the drugstores “was inexcusable and added to the mayhem of an already destructive day.” He said he “struggled” with Lorenz’s sentence. Had it not been for Lorenz’s mother and Lorenz’s stable employment at Panera Bread, he said he would have sentenced Lorenz to nine months behind bars.

The judge said the six months in a community confinement facility like the Salvation Army might help Lorenz keep his job.

Feinerman handed a 15-month prison sentence last fall to Ivan Bermudez, who admitted he joined Lorenz in breaking into the pharmacies. Lorenz’s attorney argued it was Bermudez’s idea to join the looting. Bermudez’s plea agreement said Lorenz told him he wanted to go “score.”

Bermudez called Lorenz on May 31, 2020, told him he was looting, was near Lorenz’s house and was gathering tools, according to Lorenz’s plea agreement. It said Lorenz decided to join Bermudez, and they decided to break into pharmacies to steal codeine syrup and OxyContin.

They made their way around 6 p.m. to a Walgreens near 1600 North Pulaski Road, according to the document. When they got there, they realized it had already been broken into, but they went inside to see what was left, it said. Lorenz did not take anything, according to the document.

Bermudez took one bottle of promethazine, according to his plea agreement.

They then drove to a Walgreens near 3100 West Armitage Avenue, Lorenz’s plea agreement said. That’s where Lorenz admitted he used a sledgehammer to break the window on the pharmacy door. His plea agreement said he then stuck his hand through the broken window and unlocked the door. Inside, they again looked for codeine syrup and OxyContin, the document said. But they failed to find any, and they went back to the car.

Eventually, they decided to go to a Walgreens near 4000 West Irving Park Road, according to Lorenz’s plea agreement. They parked in the back and saw that other people were already trying to get in through the Walgreens’ back door. Someone then managed to break through the front door, and Lorenz went inside and went toward the locked pharmacy, the document said.

The plea agreement said “they eventually broke into the pharmacy by using a sledgehammer to break the window to the pharmacy door,” and it said Lorenz slid his hand inside to unlock the door. Inside, it said Lorenz saw all of the Adderall and OxyContin was stored in a locked cabinet that did not open when another person hit it with a sledgehammer.

Bermudez and Lorenz also left that pharmacy without taking anything, according to the plea agreement.

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