People v. Reynolds

Decision Date04 February 1983
Docket NumberNo. 56024,56024
Citation68 Ill.Dec. 122,94 Ill.2d 160,445 N.E.2d 766
Parties, 68 Ill.Dec. 122 The PEOPLE of the State of Illinois, Appellant, v. Terry A. REYNOLDS et al., Appellees.
CourtIllinois Supreme Court

Tyrone C. Fahner, Atty. Gen., Michael B. Weinstein, Michael V. Accettura, Asst. Attys. Gen., Springfield, for appellant; J. Michael Fitzsimmons, State's Atty., Wheaton, of counsel.


Defendants, Terry A. Reynolds and Kevin Wright, were arrested and charged with theft (Ill.Rev.Stat.1977, ch. 38, par. 16-1(a)(1)), burglary (Ill.Rev.Stat.1977, ch. 38, par. 19-1(a)), and possession of burglary tools (Ill.Rev.Stat.1977, ch. 38, par. 19-2(a)). The circuit court of Du Page County allowed defendants' motion to quash the arrest and suppress the evidence seized at the time of the arrest. The appellate court affirmed (101 Ill.App.3d 576, 57 Ill.Dec. 144, 428 N.E.2d 694), and we allowed the People's petition for leave to appeal (73 Ill.2d R. 315).

The facts are adequately stated in the appellate court opinion and will be reviewed here only to the extent necessary to discuss the issues presented. At the hearing on the motion to suppress, defendants called Michael W. Glugla, formerly a police officer for the Hanover Park police department. Glugla testified that on November 25, 1979, while employed and on duty as a police officer for the Hanover Park police department, he observed a station wagon pulling a trailer with inoperative taillights. Glugla activated the red lights on top of his marked police cruiser and stopped the vehicle. As Glugla approached the station wagon from the rear he observed several cartons in the trailer with the word "Magnavox" printed on them. The open trailer was covered with a tarpaulin, but the tarpaulin was not tied down at the back of the trailer. The wind was blowing the tarpaulin in such a manner that Glugla was able to see the boxes as he walked past the trailer. Glugla stated that in the light cast by the spotlight on his squad car and his flashlight he was able to see what was written on the boxes. Glugla approached the driver, defendant Reynolds, and advised him that there was something wrong with the taillights on the trailer. Glugla asked the occupants of the car, defendants Wright and Reynolds, and a third person, Mr. Norman, where they had acquired the equipment in the trailer and their responses differed. No one could produce a bill of lading for the merchandise. The occupants were unable to identify their destination. After Glugla obtained identification from the three occupants of the vehicle, he stepped to the rear of the trailer, out of hearing range of the parties, and through his shoulder-mounted radio ran a check on the occupants, the station wagon, and the trailer. At this time Glugla was again able to view the contents of the trailer. Glugla was advised that there were no warrants on the occupants, that the station wagon was registered to Mr. Norman, and that the trailer was registered to Peckins T.V. store, located in Roselle. Glugla asked his dispatcher to call the Roselle police department to check on the security of the Peckins T.V. store. Glugla was advised that the Roselle police "had gone by the building and felt it was secure." Glugla then asked defendants to follow him to the police station. He did not tell defendants they were under arrest. Glugla stated that had defendants refused his request to accompany him to the police station, he would not have permitted them to leave because of their inoperative taillights. Defendants followed Glugla to the police station while another police vehicle followed directly behind them. Fifteen to twenty minutes after their arrival at the police station Mr. Peckins arrived and stated that the trailer and its contents belonged to his store and that defendants did not have permission to possess them. Peckins consented to a search of the trailer, which produced several television sets and burglary tools. Glugla testified that although no citation was issued at the scene of the stop a traffic citation did eventually issue on the taillight violation. Glugla admitted that at the preliminary hearing he had made no mention of the inoperative taillights and stated that he did not use a flashlight to view the contents of the trailer. Glugla also admitted that when asked at the preliminary hearing whether he had related all of the conversation that occurred between himself and the defendants he had responded in the affirmative.

After hearing and arguments on the motion to suppress, the circuit court found that the arrest and detention of defendants occurred when Glugla directed defendants to accompany him to the police station and that the arrest was performed without reasonable grounds to believe defendants were committing or had committed an offense. The court ordered that all evidence obtained as a result of the arrest be suppressed. The appellate court affirmed.

The People contend that defendant's compliance with Glugla's request that they follow him to the police station was voluntary...

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