South Bend man gets prison time for retail fraud

Published 5:22 pm Tuesday, February 13, 2024

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NILES — A South Bend man who stole thousands of dollars worth of items from two Niles Township stores received a prison sentence Monday in Berrien County Trial Court.

Antonio Alexander Macon, 32, of South Bend, pleaded guilty to first degree retail fraud and was sentenced to 14 months to five years in prison with credit for 94 days served. He must pay a total of $3,250.92 in fines, costs and restitution.

The incident occurred Oct. 21, 2022 in Niles Township at the Lowes and Rural King stores.

Defense attorney Daniel French said Macon was suffering from a powerful addiction to drugs and stole to support his habit. “He was in the full throws of addiction then and also had psychological concerns,” French said. “Getting sober and being on the appropriate meds has helped him a lot.”

Macon said he had done petty thefts when he was a juvenile and then began to steal larger items after starting to use drugs. “That life is not my life anymore,” he said.

“I hope you’re ready to make a change but until you decide what’s best for you it will be difficult,” Judge Smith said. “Making bad decisions when you’re using has to stop. You had this rash of crimes here and in other places. You’re creating quite a record for yourself. You have victimized a number of people and places since 2002.”