Convicted car thief to serve 18 years

The man arrested for stealing a $250,000 Ferrari in May 2021 from Continental Motor Sports of Hinsdale has been sentenced to 18 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections.

RaJohn Stewart, 26, formerly of Country Club Hills, plead guilty to one count of aggravated unlawful possession of a stolen motor vehicle, a Class 1 felony, according to a press release from DuPage County State's Attorney Bob Berlin's office. He was sentenced by Judge Ann O'Hallaren Walsh.

"An armed burglary crew is inherently dangerous to the public and law enforcement officers," Hinsdale Police Chief Brian King told The Hinsdalean. "A gun with a 30-round extended magazine was held by one of the juvenile offenders during the commission of this offense. The stiff sentence handed down in this case reflects the recklessness of the burglary crew's actions.

"Had it not been for the restraint shown by the responding officers, we could have experienced a tragic outcome."

Hinsdale police responded to an activated alarm at the Land Rover/Jaguar dealership at 336 E. Ogden Ave. at about 2:21 a.m. May 17, 2021. While investigating that site, officers were dispatched to another alarm at Continental Motor sports, according to the release.

There they found a broken window and a running 2018 red Ferrari convertible driven outside of the service bay into the rear lot. When officers encountered an individual with a crowbar next to the padlock on the rear gate, the individual ran to a nearby car, got in and fled the scene. A Hinsdale squad car located the vehicle and disabled it, and four individuals - Stewart and three juveniles - fled on foot. Police took Stewart into custody after a brief pursuit.

"The quick apprehension, prosecution and significant sentence sends the message that in DuPage County, my office and law enforcement are 100 percent committed to protecting our businesses from violent criminal activity such as that committed by Mr. Stewart and his co-defendants," Berlin stated.

The juvenile co-defendants received sentences to the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice.

- by Pamela Lannom

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Pamela Lannom is editor of The Hinsdalean