John Ray Lomack has lived in the Seattle area for decades. But over the last few weeks, he has been spending his time doing things on the wrong side of the law. Although 55-year-old Lomack has been having trouble with the law since the 1980s, he was caught on surveillance camera robbing a downtown Seattle Target location when he tried to flee the store with a stolen 70-inch television worth more than $600.
Target staff report that Lomack has been robbing their store multiple times since October. According to reports, he had shoplifted from the Target twenty-two times and was finally caught and arrested when he tried to leave the store with the stolen television. Footage caught Lomack loading the large TV box into a shopping cart and wheeling it out of the Seattle store without evening attempting to pay for it. Since he began his shoplifting spree in October, he has stolen more than $6,000 worth of goods from that Target location alone.
In the video, security guards challenge Lomack and try to block him from exiting the store via the rotating door. He, however, dodges their attempts to thwart his theft and leaves through another exit. He continues down the street, dragging the television behind him until Seattle police approach him and order Lomack to “unhand the property.”
“I didn’t steal nothin’, man!” Lomack responded. “No, man! I didn’t burglarize nothin’. I’m not coming back to the store no more.”
Lomack told police that he purchased the TV but was unable to provide a receipt. They attempted to arrest him, but he resisted, and so a “physical struggle” broke out, but eventually, Lomack was arrested by the cops and charged with burglary. The TV was on sale for $600 off a regular price of $750.
Lomack is believed to be homeless. This made a difference for him when he appeared before Judge Kuljinder Dhillon (below on left), who has a reputation for going easy on Seattle’s homeless suspects. Back in December, Judge Dhillon had released Lomack without bond for another burglary offense – and now he is back to doing it again. A King County prosecutor argued for a $5,000 bond because of Lomack’s “warrant activity” on his prior 32 other arrests and cases. Since 1985, Lomack has been convicted of 18 felony and misdemeanor charges.
This time Lomack stood before a different judge, Melinda Young (above on right). Despite his previous offenses, she released the homeless suspect without bail again. The suspect had become “medically unavailable” after a COVID-19 exposure and must “continue to quarantine until his quarantine period is done.” Like Dhillon, Young has a reputation for “going easy” on homeless offenders.
Now, conservatives are outraged that judges are not keeping suspected offenders behind bars.
“Homeless people have completely taken over downtown Seattle,” 770 KTTH Radio host Jason Rantz said.
Do you think Seattle’s judges need to change how they treat homeless suspects?