EVANSTON, Ill. (CBS) — Lighting up a cigarette in the nonsmoker’s home proved to be the downfall of an Uptown man who was burglarizing the Evanston home at the time.

John Bernard Lathon, 61, of the 900 block of West Wilson Avenue, was charged with one count of residential burglary in the incident, which happened back on Sept. 11.

Sometime between 5:30 and 6:30 p.m. that day, the burglar broke into an apartment in the 2100 block of Sherman Avenue – just a couple of blocks west of the Northwestern University quads.

He took a Dell laptop computer, two backpacks, a blue pillowcase and about $8 in cash.

The burglar also took a cigarette break during the burglary, and this proved to be as obvious as the missing items.

The victim told police that no one in her apartment smoked, but the apartment stunk of cigarette smoke. Upon examining the scene, police found one cigarette butt, and sent it to the Illinois State Police Lab for a DNA comparison.

Detectives learned that the DNA on the cigarette butt matched Lathon’s. He was on parole at the time of the burglary.

Lathon was contacted through his parole agent and arrested, police said. He is scheduled for a preliminary hearing at the Skokie courthouse on Dec. 1.

The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.

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