A man has been arrested after multiple suspects forcibly broke into a home in Highland Park, awakening sleeping residents inside, and stealing over $100,000 worth of jewelry.
Joe Mitchell, 37, of Harwood Heights, was charged with one count of residential burglary and one count of theft over $100,000, both Class 1 felonies.
The burglary happened around 11:45 p.m. on April 30 in the 1700 block of Dale Avenue in Highland Park.
Lake County Assistant State’s Attorney Dino Katris said the Highland Park Police Department responded to a burglar alarm activation at a residence.
Officers found a glass window shattered near a door and evidence that items in the house were rummaged through.
The victims told officers that over $100,000 worth of jewelry, watches and other items were stolen, Katris said.
One of the stolen items included a high-end watch, worth approximately $10,000. A pry bar was left behind by the offenders.
Katris said video surveillance captured voices from inside the home while the residents were sleeping. Flashlights could be seen in the video.
The residents were awakened by the alarm going off and saw the suspects in their home, police officials said.
The suspects did not have any interaction with the residents and subsequently fled.
Mitchell and other subjects were arrested over a week later while police conducted another burglary investigation, Katris said.
Mitchell was wearing the same watch that was stolen, Katris said. It had the same case number as the stolen watch.
The car Mitchell was found in also had a pry bar and other jewelry.
Katris said Mitchell’s phone was tracked to the victims’ address at the exact time of the burglary.
Mitchell has two prior convictions for residential burglary in Cook County and he served prison time in both cases.
The man also has two other pending burglary cases in Cook County.
The Highland Park Police Department announced Mitchell’s arrest Monday and said they worked with the North Regional Major Crimes Burglary Task Force to investigate the case.
No other charges have been announced yet against the other suspects.
Lake County Judge Theodore Potkonjak granted a petition to hold Mitchell in the Lake County Jail pending trial following a detention hearing.
Mitchell is scheduled to appear in court again on November 9 for a preliminary hearing.