A Chicago resident has been charged with two counts of burglary in connection with a string of break-ins at apartment building laundry rooms in southeast Evanston.

Jose Clark (EPD photo)

Evanston police say officers who conducted a traffic stop early Saturday morning near Howard Street and Asbury Avenue recognized a passenger in the car as fitting the description of a suspect seen on a laundry room surveillance tape at the scene of one of the crimes.

Police say the suspect, identified as 26-year-old Jose Clark of 2045 W. Howard St. in Chicago, was initially arrested at the site of the traffic stop for possession of alleged drug paraphernalia.

After questionning by detectives, they concluded he was responsible for burglaries in the 200 block of Elmwood Avenue on Dec. 4 and the 200 block of Custer Avenue on Dec. 12, and the state’s attorney’s office approved charges on those incidents.

Both involved unauthorized entry into a laundry room and the theft or attempted theft of coins from laundry machines.

Commander James Elliot says detectives believe Clark is responsible for six other similar burglaries in southeast Evanston.

He said the arrest highlights the combined efforts of residents, including the burglary victim who provided the surveillance video, and officers who, thanks to a special bulletin that contained still images from the video, were able to identify the suspect.

Video images

Still frame images from video included in special bulletin on the laundry-room burglaries.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. It’s not over yet!
    Readers please note: even with all the recent arrests — and kudos to the EPD for their efforts and vigilance — South Evanston still appears to be a current destination of choice for burglars. Even on New Year’s Day in broad daylight, burglars opened a closed apartment near Howard with a crowbar, fortunately stealing little but still illustrating how important it is for residents to be vigilant, too! The simplest step is keeping outside gates shut and locked, not assuming that gates close on their own. Locks should be working; if they are not, they should be repaired. Deadbolts have proven to be of little to no worth against these criminals, but in many cases, back gates to the building vestibules were not secured.

    An ounce of prevention is really worth a pound of cure, so be good neighbors! Be aware! Be safe!

  2. Great, but…
    While I love the idea of catching a criminal, I don’t see the resemblance between the photo in this story and the video stills. I would be interested to see how they are connecting him to 6 other burglaries in South Evanston. Did they all happen the same way? And is this guy really dumb enough to commit the same crimes in that proximity, even after seeming like he saw the cameras watching him as in the second video still?

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