Burglary crew stole $18,700 worth of booze from Binny’s in Lincoln Park, part of a citywide crime wave, officials say

Chicago — Prosecutors have charged a man with burglarizing Binny’s Beverage Depot in Lincoln Park twice last month, crimes that Chicago police linked to dozens of similar break-ins at liquor stores and other businesses across the North Side.

George Stanton, 50, has been in custody since March 2, when prosecutors charged him with breaking into a liquor store in the 2500 block of West Lawrence on February 22.

George Stanton | Chicago Police Department; Yelp!

On Thursday, prosecutors told Judge Maryam Ahmad that Stanton and two unidentified men burglarized the Binny’s at 1720 North Marcey during the early morning hours on February 3 and again on February 16.

The crew got away with $9,700 worth of merchandise the first time and $9,000 worth of goods the second time, prosecutor Sarah Dale-Schmidt said.

Surveillance video recorded both break-ins.

About an hour after the second burglary, the same crew allegedly broke into Enterprise Rental Car, 930 West Division. Video footage shows the offenders arriving in a Dodge Durango, breaking a chain to open the business’ gate, and punching out a door lock. But they weren’t able to steal any cars. Instead, Dale-Schmidt said, they took a portable car jumper and six basketballs.

A Chicago police officer identified Stanton from the Enterprise burglary, and that helped investigators link him to the Binny’s incidents, according to Dale-Schmidt.

Stanton, who is married with “several children,” holds a bachelor’s degree and has worked for ten years at childcare facilities, his defense attorney said.

Ahmad, the judge who heard his case Thursday, ordered him to pay a $10,000 bail deposit on the new burglary charges. He must also pay another $25,000 to get out of jail on the previously filed case.

Chicago police last month released a series of community alerts about liquor store burglaries stretching from Hyde Park to Rogers Park to Wicker Park. The crew of between three and five men traveled in a gray Dodge Durango equipped with stolen license plates as they traveled around town, according to Chicago police documents reviewed by CWB Chicago.