Prosecutors: Man used North Side locker room burglaries to fuel “financial crime enterprise”

Hector Roman | Chicago Police Dept; Pexels

A grand jury has returned 32 felony counts against a Chicago man who prosecutors say broke into gym lockers across the North Side and used to proceeds to build a financial crime enterprise.

CWBChicago first told you about 19-year-old Hector Roman in September when police connected him to a handful of locker break-ins after cops caught him driving an allegedly stolen car in Lakeview.

Four days after that Sept. 7 arrest, Roman pleaded guilty to theft from a locker at LA Fitness, 1804 West Lawrence, and to battering a police officer who arrested him in connection with a related debit card forgery investigation. A judge sentenced Roman to 12 months of court supervision for the theft and 38 days time served for battering the officer.

Since then, police in Chicago and the north suburbs continued to investigate a series of locker room burglaries and financial crimes against the victims of those break-ins.

Roman wound up in a heap of trouble when it was all said and done.

A Cook County grand jury has now charged him with seventeen counts of identity theft, eight counts of burglary, two counts of wire fraud, two counts of using a forged debit or credit card, two counts of unlawful possession of a debit or credit card, and two counts of operating a continuing financial crime enterprise.

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According to court records, the pending charges have their roots in a series of fitness center locker room break-ins that took place between May 12 and Oct. 12 last year.

Prosecutors say Roman took wallets and car keys when he broke into lockers at an XSport location in Skokie last summer. He then used stolen credit cards to make purchases worth hundreds of dollars at stores, police say. He also stole property from vehicles on the gym’s parking lot after he used stolen keys to open the cars, according to allegations in court records.

Roman is also accused of carrying out similar crimes after he broke into lockers at Planet Fitness, 3636 North Broadway, in Lakeview, and LA Fitness, 6107 North Broadway, in Edgewater.

Roman, who’s being held without bail, is due back in court on Jan. 23.

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CWBChicago was created in 2013 by five residents of Wrigleyville and Boystown who had grown disheartened with inaccurate information that was being provided at local Community Policing (CAPS) meetings. Our coverage area has expanded since then to cover Lincoln Park, River North, The Loop, Uptown, and other North Side Areas. But our mission remains unchanged: To provide original public safety reporting with better context and greater detail than mainstream media outlets. Our editorial email address is news@cwbchicago.com