Man who stole champagne, punched Naperville store employee sentenced

Rodney V. Dunmars
Rodney V. Dunmars

A man who stole $800 worth of champagne last winter from a store in Naperville and punched two security workers in the face while trying to escape from police has been sentenced to jail in that crime.

Rodney V. Dunmars, 48, of Chicago, pleaded guilty to a felony charge of retail theft in connection with the Feb. 22 incident at the Costco Wholesale warehouse at 1320 S. Route 59, in the far west-central part of Naperville.

DuPage County Circuit Court Judge George J. Bakalis accepted Dunmars’ plea and sentenced him Tuesday to 59 days in jail, according to court records. Companion charges of retail theft and aggravated battery were dismissed in exchange for that plea, records indicated.

Dunmars has been in jail since being arrested, and with day-for-day credit for good behavior, has already finished his sentence.

But he remained in jail Thursday pending his transfer into the custody of the Cook County Sheriff’s Office. Jail records showed a $575 warrant for his arrest has been issued by police in southwest suburban Chicago Ridge.

Naperville police Sgt. Bill Davis said officers were sent that afternoon to investigate a report of a theft from the Costco store and an ensuing scuffle involving at least three people.

Store security workers had seen Dunmars and an accomplice “trying to steal four bottles of Cristal Champagne valued at $799,” Davis wrote in a February email. His accomplice, who was not identified by gender or age, dropped the champagne he or she was carrying after being confronted and fled the store, followed by Dunmars.

Davis said police, upon their arrival, saw Dunmars “struggling with store security in the parking lot in front of the business. Dunmars “punched two store security officers in the face and then tried to flee from the scene before being apprehended.”

The security workers “suffered only minor injuries, and did not need medical attention,” Davis said. Dunmars’ accomplice, in the meantime, escaped in a vehicle witnesses were unable to describe for police, he said.

Court records indicated Dunmars in October 2007 served a 100-day sentence in DuPage County Jail, after being convicted of a charge of obstruction of justice from earlier that year in Lombard.