Prosecutors: Man burglarized South Loop cellular store while wearing t-shirt encouraging people to “Be Kind”

Andrew Panico | CPD

There are many things a burglar can do to minimize their chances of being caught. Commit the crime at night. Make sure there are no witnesses. Wear dark clothing. Don’t leave evidence behind. But Andrew Panico apparently rejected all of those ideas when he allegedly burglarized a T-Mobile store in a bustling South Loop strip mall Monday afternoon.

Panico, sporting a Mohawk, a bright rainbow-colored blazer, and a t-shirt that said “BE KIND,” smashed the store’s front door around 4:36 p.m., according to a CPD report. Then, he allegedly reached in, unlocked the door, and went into the shop, which was closed for the day.

One of the many passersby who saw it unfolding on the 1200 block of South Canal whipped out her cellphone and started recording, prosecutors said. Then, she called 911. Police, armed with witnesses’ descriptions of the burglar, had no trouble finding Panico behind the shopping mall. Cops found his backpack inside the store, according to prosecutors.

Panico, 34, is charged with felony burglary. Prosecutors said he has a pending aggravated assault and trespassing case, too. Judge Susana Ortiz said Panico could get out of jail on his own recognizance in the burglary case, but he’ll need to post $100 to go home for violating the terms of bond in the earlier matters. He’ll also need to stay in the house between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m., the judge said.

A public defender who represented Panico during the bond court hearing said he has a bachelor’s degree in business from the University of Missouri.

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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