Will County judge keeps teens charged in vehicle hijacking in jail

Louis Jones (left) and Dakoda Ulmer

A Will County judge has denied the pretrial release of two teens charged with aggravated hijacking of a pregnant woman’s vehicle in Joliet.

On Saturday, Judge Zachary Pollack denied the pretrial release of Louis Jones, 18, and Dakoda Ulmer, 18, both of Joliet, who have been charged with the Feb. 8 aggravated hijacking of a 32-year-old pregnant woman’s vehicle.

Ulmer has been charged with aggravated battery of the woman – who was nine months’ pregnant – by pressing a gun against her stomach while she was with her 13-year-old daughter during the incident.

Pollack signed a court order that said the pretrial release of Jones and Ulmer would pose a danger to others.

The two teens had been arrested by Joliet police officers.

In a court filing, Will County Assistant State’s Attorney Katie Rabenda alleged Jones and Ulmer were seen on video going into another woman’s vehicle on Jan. 5 at Sarah’s Dog and Cat Grooming, 1106 W. Jefferson St., Joliet.

The woman reported to police that multiple gift cards, prescription medication and other items were stolen from her unlocked vehicle, Rabenda said.

Both teens were also seen on video on Feb. 6 at Manor Court in Joliet going into a truck, Rabenda said. They were also seen attempting to kick in a basement window, she said.

Another video from Feb. 8 showed Jones and Ulmer checking door handles in the first block of South Raynor Avenue in Joliet, Rabenda said.

At the time of the Feb. 8 vehicle hijacking, Jones had been on pretrial release in a 2023 case where he was charged with possession of a stolen Chrysler 300. Rabenda said Jones was also on probation in a 2020 robbery case.

Jones was indicted in the stolen vehicle possession case on Oct. 19. A warrant was issued for his arrest when he failed to appear in court. The warrant was quashed on Dec. 7 when Jones made his court appearance.

Prosecutors did not file a petition to keep Jones detained in jail. Jones was not charged with an offense in the case that would make him eligible for jail, according to a court order signed by Judge Dave Carlson.

Pollack, along with Shenonda Tisdale, are two new judges who have joined the judiciary in Will County. They are former attorneys with the Will County Public Defender’s Office, according to a Nov. 28 announcement from the Illinois Supreme Court.