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Three Charged With Burglarizing More Than 100 Cars

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(Left to right) Stevan Bulatovic, Nikolas Pena, and Michael Staples are accused of stealing cash and valuables from at least 100 cars, most of them unlocked. (Credit: Cook County Sheriff)

(Left to right) Stevan Bulatovic, Nikolas Pena, and Michael Staples are accused of stealing cash and valuables from at least 100 cars, most of them unlocked. (Credit: Cook County Sheriff)

John Cody. John Cody
John Cody is a veteran reporter for Newsradio 780.
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PARK RIDGE, Ill. (CBS) – An industrious trio has been arrested on felony auto burglary charges, accused of breaking into at least 100 vehicles in just one month.

WBBM Newsradio’s John Cody reports Park Ridge police credited a call from a local resident who provided a description of the thieves led officers to one of the suspects, and arrests of the other two soon followed.

“Because that one person took the time to call, there are definitely dozens of other people whose things aren’t going to go missing at this point,” Park Ridge Deputy Police Chief Lou Jogmen said.

Stefan Bulatovic, 18; Nikolas Pena, 18; and Michael T. Staples, 17, all of Harwood Heights, each face one misdemeanor count of criminal trespass to a motor vehicle, and two counts of burglary to a motor vehicle.

However, police said the three are responsible for more than 100 car burglaries in Park Ridge, Northbrook, Glenview, Niles, and Chicago.

Jogmen said the three young men typically targeted unlocked cars late at night, and moved quick to take what they could get their hands on, then moved on to their next car. They often hit a dozen or more cars in a single night.

“It was in and out. They were literally in the car for a minute or less, and then they moved on to the next one; just went up the block, and continued to pull on doors, and when they found an open one, they went inside, saw what they could take, and took it,” he said. “I’m sure they took a couple days off here and there.”

The three stole cash, laptop computers, cell phones, cameras, GPS systems, purses, wallets, and other valuables they found inside the cars.

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