Police officers acting without a warrant or probable cause seized $20,000 in cash and handcuffed employees at a Dolton electronics store two years ago, according to a federal lawsuit filed Tuesday.
Gem Pratts, owner of We Buy Electronics in Dolton, claims that seven Markham police officers entered his store on Dec. 23, 2010, with their guns pulled, according to the suit filed in U.S. District Court in Chicago.
Officers placed Pratts and other employees in handcuffs without cause for more than an hour in the store at 14731 S. Drexel, the suit said. They then searched Pratts’ office, broke into a cash box and seized more than $20,000.
The officers formulated a plan before entering the store to illegally search and seize property, the suit alleges, though they did not have a warrant or probable cause, and were outside their Markham jurisdiction.
The four-count suit claims false arrest, unlawful search and seizure, and conspiracy. It seeks unspecified damages, attorney fees and court costs.
A spokesperson for Markham police could not be reached for comment.