‘Kleptomaniac’ charged in raucous Naperville store theft

Michael B. Walley reportedly told Naperville police he saw himself in the role of the king. The way he acted made him seem more like the court jester.

The self-described “kleptomaniac” found himself charged with drunken driving, battery, assault, retail theft and several other crimes, following an alleged attempt at shoplifting from a Naperville supermarket.

The curtain lifted on Walley’s reputed comedy of errors shortly after 3 a.m. Sunday, according to written Naperville police records. That was when the 26-year-old Minooka resident drove his green, 1997 Ford Escort to the Jewel-Osco store at 1227 S. Naper Blvd., in the Market Meadows shopping center on the city’s east side.

Police Sgt. Steve Schindlbeck said Walley had allegedly been drinking and smoking marijuana prior to his arrival at the store. He went inside and gathered up an assortment of steak, salmon and ribs with a total retail value of $186, which he then allegedly concealed inside his coat, Schindlbeck said via email.

Walley then allegedly tried to leave the store, only to be approached by two employees. Schindlbeck said the workers “only confronted (Walley) to tell him that the doors he was trying to exit through were locked.”

As Walley turned around, the employees “noticed the food sticking out of his coat, and some of the items even fell to the floor,” Schindlbeck said. Walley, at that point, allegedly began fighting with the workers and fled from the store, he said.

The employees followed Walley out into the parking lot, at which point Walley allegedly “drove his car at one of them when he was leaving,” Schindlbeck said. Neither worker was injured.

Schindlbeck said the Escort “was leaving the lot at a high rate of speed” as the first police officer arrived at the scene.

“By the time the officer got turned around and got caught up to the suspect vehicle,” it was already near the intersection of 75th Street and Olympus Drive, about a mile and a half due west of the store. Schindlbeck confirmed Walley was stopped and taken into custody near 75th Street and Modaff Road, a short distance further to the west.

Later, under police questioning, Walley allegedly “admitted going (to the store) to steal food, and stated he turns into a kleptomaniac when he gets drunk,” Schindlbeck said. “He stated he simply wanted to go home and eat like a king, without paying for any of it.”

Police charged Walley with two counts of driving under the influence, three counts of battery and one count each of assault, retail theft, possession of 2.5 grams or less of marijuana and improper lane use.

An examination of court documents indicated Walley has no criminal record in DuPage, Kane and Will counties. He is free on bond, and his preliminary appearance date in DuPage County Circuit Court is pending.