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Officers Pose As ‘Carpet Cleaners’ To Nab Florida Fugitive

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(Credit: CBS)

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OAK PARK, Ill. (STMW) - The leader of what authorities called a “complicated financial crimes” ring was caught less than 24 hours after his escape from Orange County, Fla., after he opened the door to what he thought were carpet cleaners Tuesday afternoon in west suburban Oak Park.

The “carpet cleaners” he personally let into a relative’s apartment were really members of the Cook County Sheriff’s Warrant Unit, who had been watching the building for hours before positively identifying the wanted man.

Omilquer Garcia Perez, 37, of Orlando, Fla. was wanted on multiple felony charges, including racketeering, possession of credit card making material, title fraud, grand theft auto and trafficking in stolen credit cards, according to the Orange County Sheriff’s office.

“We got the call from the Orange County Sheriff’s office alerting us that the ringleader of this criminal enterprise was the only one of 14 they targeted who they did not take into custody,” Cook County Sheriff’s office spokesman Patterson said.

Perez had several family members living in the Chicago area, he said.

Warrant unit officers conducted surveillance on an Oak Park building and realized a carpet cleaning company was cleaning other apartments in the building and the common area, Patterson said.

Officers came up to the apartment just after noon, identified themselves as carpet cleaners and Perez personally opened the door, Patterson said. Once in, officers made their arrest.

Up next for Perez is an extradition hearing Wednesday morning at the Cook County Criminal Courthouse.

“He figured out how to take people’s ATM card and pin numbers and vehicles and eluded police for so long, yet not even 24 hours of being on the run, he’s opening the door for ‘carpet cleaners’ and is taken into custody,” Patterson said. “For as smart as he was, he was pretty dumb.”

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