Chicago — Prosecutors have charged a man with burglarizing Binny’s Beverage Depot in Lincoln Park twice last month, crimes that Chicago police linked to dozens of similar break-ins at liquor stores and other businesses across the North Side.
George Stanton, 50, has been in custody since March 2, when prosecutors charged him with breaking into a liquor store in the 2500 block of West Lawrence on February 22.
On Thursday, prosecutors told Judge Maryam Ahmad that Stanton and two unidentified men burglarized the Binny’s at 1720 North Marcey during the early morning hours on February 3 and again on February 16.
The crew got away with $9,700 worth of merchandise the first time and $9,000 worth of goods the second time, prosecutor Sarah Dale-Schmidt said.
Surveillance video recorded both break-ins.
About an hour after the second burglary, the same crew allegedly broke into Enterprise Rental Car, 930 West Division. Video footage shows the offenders arriving in a Dodge Durango, breaking a chain to open the business’ gate, and punching out a door lock. But they weren’t able to steal any cars. Instead, Dale-Schmidt said, they took a portable car jumper and six basketballs.
A Chicago police officer identified Stanton from the Enterprise burglary, and that helped investigators link him to the Binny’s incidents, according to Dale-Schmidt.
Stanton, who is married with “several children,” holds a bachelor’s degree and has worked for ten years at childcare facilities, his defense attorney said.
Ahmad, the judge who heard his case Thursday, ordered him to pay a $10,000 bail deposit on the new burglary charges. He must also pay another $25,000 to get out of jail on the previously filed case.
Chicago police last month released a series of community alerts about liquor store burglaries stretching from Hyde Park to Rogers Park to Wicker Park. The crew of between three and five men traveled in a gray Dodge Durango equipped with stolen license plates as they traveled around town, according to Chicago police documents reviewed by CWB Chicago.