Career burglar busted after he leaves DNA-covered COVID mask at the scene, prosecutors say

Patrick Markle | CPD

A paroled burglar may be heading back to prison after investigators linked him to a North Side home break-in via DNA testing of a discarded COVID mask.

An Uptown resident who returned from a week-long vacation in February found every room home of her house had been ransacked, and several pieces of jewelry were missing, prosecutors said.

Detectives didn’t have many clues to go on until about three weeks later, when the victim’s babysitter found a discarded COVID mask that didn’t belong to anyone at the home.

The Illinois State Police crime lab found DNA on the mask that matched 43-year-old Patrick Markle, a career burglar who was on parole, prosecutors said Friday.

Cops caught up with Markle this week and took him into custody. He is charged with residential burglary.

He is a six-time convicted felon, with four of those convictions being for burglary, prosecutors said.

Judge Maryam Ahmad said Markle would be released on his own recognizance in the new case. But she ordered him held without bail temporarily until state officials review his parole status.

Overstayed his welcome

Prosecutors say a man who attended a church function inside a North Side charter school stayed in the building for several hours after the event to steal from classrooms and unsecured lockers.

Marcus Jenkins, 29, is charged with burglary in connection with the October 13 thefts from Chicago Math & Science Academy, 7212 North Clark.

Jenkins hid in a janitor’s closet after the church function until everyone else was gone, Assistant State’s Attorney John Gnilka said. He then spent “several hours” exploring lockers and classrooms before walking out with two computers and other property, according to Gnilka.

The school’s surveillance cameras allegedly recorded Jenkins walking around the building and taking things. Someone familiar with the video called police when they saw Jenkins walking near the school on Tuesday, according to Gnilka. Cops arrested him a short time later.

Jenkins is a three-time convicted felon, with two of those being for burglary.

Judge Ahmad released him on his own recognizance.

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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