A man who broke into a sports apparel store across from Wrigley Field was identified as the perpetrator after cops arrested him in another case and found him wearing several layers of baseball jerseys, prosecutors said Friday.
Shortly after 5 a.m. on New Year’s Day, patrol officers found the front door smashed and a large rock lying on the floor at Sports World, 3555 North Clark. The store had been ransacked, and about $3,000 worth of sports jerseys were missing, according to the owner’s estimate.
Detectives who reviewed surveillance footage from the store and CPD cameras noticed a scar on the burglar’s forehead, Assistant State’s Attorney Lorraine Scaduto said Friday.
The case went cold until March 15 when a man punched a Chinatown restaurant worker in her face and stole her tip jar. Police searched the area and detained William Pranaitis, 46, because he matched the suspect’s description. He was identified, arrested, and charged with robbery.
Cops who arrested Pranaitis in Chinatown noticed he was wearing “multiple” sports jerseys and had the same scar on his forehead as the Wrigleyville burglar, Scaduto said. Tabs on the jerseys bore information that is unique to Sports World, according to Scaduto.
Prosecutors on Friday charged him with burglary and said he has 11 felony convictions, including five burglaries, a residential burglary, and an attempted burglary. Last September, Pranaitis was charged with burglary for allegedly breaking into a Chinatown community group’s offices to steal electronics. He pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of theft in exchange for a probation sentence.
“He was on probation barely two weeks” when he broke into the sports store, Scaduto said Friday.
Pranaitis’ defense attorney said he does not have stable housing.
Judge John Lyke ordered him held in lieu of $15,000 bail for the Wrigleyville case and also ordered him held without bail for violating the terms of his probation.