Snared by Facebook neighborhood watch group, Boystown package thief gets 2 years

Chicago — A Boystown resident has been sentenced to two years for stealing packages and other items from an apartment building mailroom in the North Side neighborhood. And he can thank a Facebook neighborhood watch group for his troubles.

Andrew Squires, 33, pleaded guilty to one count of felony theft, which was reduced from burglary, according to court records.

Around 5 a.m. on July 19, 2021, two men used a passcode to enter an apartment building on the 600 block of West Cornelia and then began stealing packages and other items from the building’s mailroom before leaving, officials said.

Andrew Squires (right) and a surveillance image that was shared on Facebook. | Chicago Police Department; Facebook

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

Before long, the victim received an “anonymous response” that identified one of the men as Squires, who happened to live one block away from the building that was burglarized, prosecutors said.

The victim shared the tip with Chicago police detectives, who identified Squires as the burglar by matching surveillance images with photos in a law enforcement database. Among the features that helped police identify Squires was his leg tattoo, according to officials.

When police arrested Squires, he was carrying three credit cards, all of which belonged to other people, prosecutors said during an initial bail hearing shortly after his arrest.

During the hearing, Squires told the judge that owns a clothing line and handcrafts the apparel.

Judge Ursula Walowski sentenced Squires after he entered his plea. His two-year sentence was reduced by 50% for good behavior, and the balance was satisfied by time spent in custody before pleading, according to court records.

No charges were ever filed against the second man seen in the surveillance footage with Squires.

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