Chicago — A Chicago man is charged with burglarizing a Lakeview apartment building’s mail room 14 times last year, starting just five weeks after he was sentenced to probation for mail theft.
Patrick Slagel, 44, is charged with 14 counts of burglary and theft of mislaid property. You may remember Slagel. We told you about him in November 2020 after he was allegedly found passed out on an Old Town sidewalk with a bag of stolen mail.
During a bail hearing on Saturday, prosecutors said Slagel targeted the mailboxes at 3130 North Lake Shore Drive in a wave of burglaries between late August and early October. Each time, he allegedly used a device to open a bank of about 35 mailboxes to steal mail.
High-definition security cameras recorded him committing the crimes on August 29 and 31; September 2, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 14, 17, 23, 26, and 27; and October 6, prosecutors said.
The US Postal Inspection Service conducted the investigation, and they recognized Slagel from previous incidents.
Postal inspectors and Chicago police arrested him on Friday after he went to court for a routine hearing in another mail theft case, for which he is on probation.
He allegedly admitted to being a “jogger,” the slang term for people who collect bulk mail in theft scams, and to using postal service master keys that were either provided by relatives of USPS employees or were bought or stolen.
He allegedly told police that he had been directed to target the apartment building and to begin each raid with a specific mailbox. Prosecutors said he had two stolen credit cards in his possession when police arrested him, which is the basis for the theft charge.
Prosecutors said he was convicted of illegally possessing debit or credit cards in DuPage County in 2018 and Cook County in 2019. The Cook County case also involved mail theft.
His public defender, Emily Motin, said he received several medals and honors in combat while serving in the Army for seven years. He regularly volunteers for the Veteran’s Administration and supports his only child, Motin said.
Judge Ankur Srivastava ordered him to pay a $500 bail deposit to go home on electronic monitoring. But he won’t be eligible for release until the judge overseeing his probation reviews the new developments.
Last January, he was charged with mail theft in Lincolnwood.
And on November 6, 2020, Chicago police and paramedics found Slagel lying on a sidewalk in the 200 block of West Menomonee with a bag that contained a USPS master key, 72 pieces of mail from a nearby multi-unit residential building, and a 7-inch crowbar, according to CPD records. He was charged with burglary.