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A 28-year-old Racine man is facing decades in prison after allegedly stealing money from IHOP and attempting to steal alcohol from Piggly Wiggly.

Steven Gramza was charged Tuesday in Racine County Circuit Court with one misdemeanor count each of retail theft, theft in a business setting, and disorderly conduct as well as six counts each of misdemeanor bail jumping and felony bail jumping. The bail jumping cases stem from two open felony cases filed in 2021; one for theft and forgery and the other for cocaine possession.

If convicted of the current charges, he faces up to 42 years in prison or up to $141,000 in fines in addition to any sentence or fines he might receive for the 2021 cases.

Stealing from IHOP

According to a pair of criminal complaints, Gramza worked a double shift on May 28 as a server at IHOP, 5800 Durand Ave., and inputted over $500 in customer orders. Of that amount, he was due back about $88 in tips. IHOP’s procedure is that servers record their sales plus the total amount of each ticket, keeping only their tip amounts and returning the balance to the restaurant. Gramza clocked out and went home with the entire amount. When managers contacted him a few days later, he admitted to stealing the money but said he couldn’t pay it back.

Stealing from Piggly Wiggly

On Monday, Gramza was observed at Piggly Wiggly, 5600 Spring St., putting bottles of alcohol in his cart and then putting a package of hand wipes on top of them before exiting the store without paying, the complaint continues. When store personnel confronted Gramza, he was combative but eventually gave up and went into the store office. During questioning by police, Gramza claimed he forgot his wallet and was going to the parking lot to retrieve it. The total amount of the liquor Gramza attempted stealing was $219.

Gramza was assigned a $500 cash bond each for the IHOP and Piggly Wiggly cases and his signature bonds for the 2021 cases were revoked. He will next be in court on July 27 for status conferences for the 2022 cases and on July 22 for return-on-warrant hearings for the 2021 cases.


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