Lockport man charged with Will County thefts remains locked up in Pennsylvania

Man won’t answer charges in Will County until he’s done with Pennsylvania cases, sheriff official said

A Lockport man facing several criminal charges for allegedly defrauding people in New Lenox, Bolingbrook and Braidwood will not appear in Will County court yet as he’s incarcerated at a Pennsylvania prison.

Last year, warrants were issued for the arrest of Joseph M. Hisel, 52, on theft charges after he was investigated by police departments in New Lenox, Bolingbrook and Braidwood.

Hisel has not been taken to the Will County jail yet because he’s been incarcerated at a prison in Lawrence County, Pennsylvania since October, according to sheriff spokeswoman Kathy Hoffmeyer.

When Hisel is finished with his criminal cases in Lawrence County, he will be sent to Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, for another case, Hoffmeyer said.

Afterward, Hisel will either come back to Will County for his pending theft cases or go to the Illinois Department of Corrections first to resolve his parole violation warrant, she said.

Hisel is listed as an absconder, or fugitive, on the IDOC’s website. He was paroled from Pontiac Correctional Center on Feb. 15, 2019. Hisel was convicted of theft in Will, DuPage and Grundy counties and aggravated home repair fraud in Cook County, according to the IDOC.

New Lenox Deputy Police Chief Micah Nuesse said officers investigated a theft complaint last July and learned Hisel accepted a $7,000 down payment for construction work. Hisel did very little work and would not give a full refund of the deposit when the alleged victim requested termination of the job, Nuesse said.

Bolingbrook police Lt. Anthony Columbus said Hisel was contracted by a man in Bolingbrook to build a deck in his backyard after viewing an ad for Honey Dew Improvements on the Bolingbrook Friends and Neighbors Facebook page.

The man provided $6,700, half of the down payment, and agreed to a completion date of May 2020, Columbus said.

“Hisel poured footings for the deck but failed to perform any additional work. Attempts by the victim to have the work completed or receive a refund were met with negative results,” Columbus said.

Hisel submitted handwritten letters in his Will County theft cases where he contested the charges against him.

“I am now in a battle for my life with COVID-19 due to in part Will County has holds on me for thefts I’ve explained I had no part in,” Hisel wrote in a letter dated Dec. 14.

Hisel has two active criminal cases in Pennsylvania, according to the Unified Judicial System of Pennsylvania’s website. In both cases, he’s charged with theft by deception, criminal conspiracy and deception business practices.

Felix Sarver

Felix Sarver covers crime and courts for The Herald-News