A Rogers Park man is charged with committing a series of burglaries and thefts over the past two years on the Far North Side and in Skokie, including two in the apartment building where he lives, prosecutors said.
Police began to investigate Cordell Sims after one of his neighbors recognized him as he stole a package in their building’s vestibule on March 30, prosecutors said. Starting with information provided by that victim, police used surveillance videos, pawnshop records, and credit card transaction details to bring a host of felony charges against Sims on Thursday, according to detail provided during his bond court hearing.
“This was an ongoing crime spree for lack of a better term,” Judge Charles Beach said after hearing the state’s allegations. Beach set bail at $45,000 and said Sims would have to go on electronic monitoring if he can post the 10% deposit bond to get out of jail.
The earliest allegation against Sims stems from a July 15, 2019, burglary on the 1700 block of West Morse. There, a 78-year-old man saw someone inside his home via a remote security app and later discovered a bike and $750 missing. Prosecutors said Sims is the burglar who’s seen on the victim’s surveillance video.
A couple of weeks later, Sims allegedly broke into a garage and stole two bikes and two PlayStations on the 1800 block of West Pratt. The burglar’s getaway car bore license plates registered to Sims’ wife, and a pawnshop had transaction records showing Sims as the person who sold one of the gaming consoles after the break-in, prosecutors said.
In September 2019, a Skokie woman who went to sleep with her windows open woke up and realized that her purse was not where she left it. When she found it on a nearby ottoman, three credit cards were missing. Prosecutors said surveillance videos show Sims using the woman’s stolen cards at a gas station and Walmart.
Last June, Sims allegedly broke into Devon Market, 1440 West Devon, around 4:45 a.m. and stole a juicer that he later pawned. He presented his own state ID to conduct the transaction, and the shop’s surveillance video shows distinctive tattoos on his neck, prosecutors said.
The two most recent thefts took place in the apartment building where Sims lives on the 7300 block of North Ridge. Prosecutors said building surveillance video shows him stealing two packages from the lobby on December 18, which contained $4,270 worth of jewelry.
Then, on March 30, a woman allegedly saw him steal a package that contained her new $2,000 phone from the building. Prosecutors said the woman saw him take the package, open it, then try to escape in a black car while she ran behind him taking pictures.
Sims, 40, was convicted of two residential burglaries in Will County in 2012 and received a nine-year sentence. His parole in those cases ended in August 2019 — about a month after the newly-alleged crimes began.
He is charged with three counts of burglary, two counts of felony theft, and one count of unlawful use of a debit or credit card.