Boystown package thief busted after victim posts surveillance pix on Facebook, prosecutors say

A Boystown resident is facing burglary charges after someone recognized him in surveillance images of a package thief that the victim posted to a neighborhood Facebook group, according to prosecutors.

In an unrelated case, a man who’s on parole for his eighth burglary conviction is now facing new charges after police allegedly recognized him in surveillance images of a package thief who struck four times in West Rogers Park.

Busted in Boystown

Around 5 a.m. on July 19, two men used a passcode to enter an apartment building on the 600 block of West Cornelia. According to prosecutors, the men then began stealing packages and other items from the building’s mailroom before leaving.

One of the victims of the thefts, who lost two packages to the thieves, posted a surveillance image of the men to a Lakeview neighborhood watch page on Facebook.

Andrew Squires (right) and a surveillance image of the burglars that was shared on Facebook. | CPD; Lakeview Neighborhood Watch

Before long, the victim received an “anonymous response” that identified one of the men as 32-year-old Andrew Squires, who happens to live one block away from the building that was burglarized, prosecutors said Friday.

The victim shared the tip with CPD detectives who identified Squires as the burglar by matching surveillance images with photos in a law enforcement database, Assistant State’s Attorney John Gnilka said. Among the features that helped police identify Squires was his leg tattoo, according to Gnilka.

When police arrested Squires on Thursday, he was carrying three credit cards — all of which belonged to other people, Gnilka said.

Assistant Public Defender Suzin Farber said Squires is an Army veteran who is a self-employed clothing maker.

“I have my own clothing line,” Gnilka told Judge David Navarro. “I hand-make it and I sell it.”

Prosecutors charged Squires with felony burglary. They said he has previous convictions for identity theft in Lake County and two felony retail theft convictions.

Navarro said Squires could go home on a recognizance bond in the burglary case, but the judge ordered Squires held in lieu of $75,000 for another identity theft warrant from Lake County. Squires will need to post $7,500 to get out of jail on that case.

The second man who’s seen in the surveillance image has not been arrested, Gnilka said.

Hello again, John Cline

John Cline, a veteran of CWBChicago’s reporting, is back for an encore. Cline, a 48-year-old who’s been sentenced to more than 44 years in prison for burglaries since 1991, may be adding even more years to his record.

He’s currently on parole after serving half of an eight-year sentence that he received for burglarizing a home on the 3600 block of North Western in 2016.

John Cline and Jamie Christman | CPD

Now, prosecutors say he’s responsible for burglarizing a condo building in the 7500 block of North Ridge on June 12.

According to Assistant State’s Attorney Jocelyn Schieve, surveillance video shows Cline climbing through the building’s window and making his way to the mailroom, followed by 45-year-old Jamie Christman.

Cline and Christman are both seen on video going through packages. Cline took so many boxes, he had to make two trips to get them all out, Schieve said.

Officers recognized Cline and Christman from the video images, according to Schieve. Cline was allegedly carrying a screwdriver when cops arrested him and Christman during a traffic stop on the 4200 block of West Carmen.

Cline is charged with four counts of burglary and possession of burglary tools. Christman is charged with one count of burglary.

A public defender said Cline has five kids and is engaged to be married. Judge John Lyke ordered him held on $50,000 bail in the new cases with an additional $30,000 bail for a Lake County warrant for driving on a suspended license. But Cline won’t be able to post bond on those until the Illinois Department of Corrections decides if it will be revoking his parole, Lyke said.

Christman lives in Wisconsin and has three children, the public defender said. Lyke released her on a recognizance bond and gave her permission to return to Wisconsin while the case is pending. Prosecutors said she has a 2016 burglary conviction and is on probation for a misdemeanor retail theft in McHenry County.