Serial burglar stole doorbell camera, threatened victim, and even took gifts from under a Christmas tree, prosecutors say

Chicago — A Chicago woman with a colorful criminal history is accused of committing a string of burglaries from Bucktown to Lakeview, threatening a victim who posted surveillance images of her on social media, and even stealing gifts from under the Christmas tree in an occupied home.

During a bail hearing on Thursday afternoon, Cook County Judge David Kelly noted the “audacity” of the alleged crimes as he ordered Adelaide Tamayo, 43, to pay $10,000 toward bail to go home on electronic monitoring.

Adelaide Tamayo and the locations of some of the burglaries she is accused of committing. | Chicago Police Department; Multiplottr

The alleged crimes began on December 4, when a woman entered the vestibule of a condo building in the 800 block of West Armitage and “forcibly removed” a Ring doorbell camera, which, as you might expect, captured footage of itself being stolen.

A resident posted surveillance images of the thief to a community bulletin board with a warning to be on the lookout for the woman. Before long, the victim began receiving text messages on a phone number she included in the social media post.

“I’m going to get you, so you should watch your back,” one text read.

“I’m gonna get you, b*tch,” another said. “The police ain’t going to do sh*t. Straight.”

Tamayo recently admitted to police that she stole the doorbell camera and sent the texts, according to Dale-Schmidt.

On December 11, Tamayo and an accomplice allegedly broke into a residential building in the 1900 block of North Milwaukee. They stole packages from a hallway and forced their way into storage units to take more property as video cameras rolled, Dale-Schmidt alleged.

Later that day, surveillance video captured the pair stealing packages from a building vestibule and a storage area in the 3200 block of North Sheffield. According to Dale-Schmidt, one camera captured an image of the thieves’ getaway car, which bore a license plate registered to Tamayo.

Tamayo and an accomplice allegedly pried their way into an apartment building in the 2700 block of North Pine Grove on December 17 to steal more packages.

But Tamayo took a bolder approach on December 23. That’s when a Lakeview man opened his bedroom door in the 2900 block of North Mildred and discovered Tamayo and an accomplice holding Christmas presents that had been under his tree, Dale-Schmidt alleged.

He confronted the pair as they tried to leave and successfully knocked the packages from their hands before they fled.

Then, on New Year’s Day, Tamayo and an accomplice knocked on an apartment door in the 3300 block and asked to speak with “Jason,” Dale-Schmidt said. When the resident said they didn’t know anyone named Jason, Tamayo and her companion allegedly went to the residence’s garage, broke into a car, and took a bag. Once again, a camera recorded the break-in.

Prosecutors charged Tamayo with six counts of burglary, criminal trespass to a residence, and harassment. Her criminal background includes a federal conviction for producing and trafficking counterfeit devices and state felony convictions for aggravated battery of a police officer in 2003. In 2002, she was charged with attempted murder but later pleaded guilty to attempted aggravated arson and aggravated battery causing great bodily harm, Dale-Schmidt said.

Tamayo’s public defender, Hannah Gray, said Tamayo is a regular churchgoer who works full-time as a laborer. She’s married, lives with her three children, and has “mental health struggles,” the attorney said.

Gray characterized Tamayo’s alleged actions as “clearly a cry for help, and she can’t get that help in jail.”

No charges have been announced against any of Tamayo’s alleged accomplices.

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