Prosecutor stunned when Seattle judge releases accused shoplifter without bail despite long rap sheet

Judge Melinda Young made the decision to release John Ray Lomack, a homeless man and accused shoplifter, with no bail on Wednesday despite having a colorful criminal history.

Lomack is accused of trying to steal a 70-inch television from a downtown Seattle Target store, but was arrested after an employee recognized him and called the police. Lomack allegedly used a tool to cut some plastic straps that held the televisions together, placed the TV in a shopping cart, and took it down an elevator where he was confronted by security officers. He tried to walk past them, at one point allegedly shoving one of the officers, as caught on surveillance tape, according to reporting by Jason Rantz, conservative Seattle radio host.

Outside the store, Lomack struggled with the police until he was eventually arrested.


Weeks before this arrest, Judge Kuljinder Dhillon also released the man without bail, and has a history of letting homeless criminals off easy when they get the chance, including lowering the bail from $25,000 to a mere $1,000 for a suspect accused of assaulting a police officer.

Lomack has an extensive criminal history dating back to 1985, which includes at least 18 felonies and misdemeanors.

He had also been previously banned from the Target store after reportedly trying to steal items at least 24 times, and had successfully procured nearly $6,000 from his five-fingered shopping habits.

The King County Prosecutor’s Office recommended $5,000 bail, and was dismayed to hear that he was back on the streets, saying they are “concerned with the defendant’s pattern of repeat behavior and are concerned it’s going to continue.”

“We’re also concerned he’s unlikely to return to court with his extensive criminal history that includes warrant activity on 32 cases. Only a fraction of those cases [go] to the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office,” said spokesperson Casey McNerthney.

Sierra Marlee


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