River North business burglar, suspected of ‘numerous’ break-ins, was on bail for burglary, prosecutors say

Chicago — Prosecutors say a Chicago man may have committed a series of business burglaries downtown while on bail for burglarizing a business on the West Side. So far, officials have only charged Felix Rivera, 39, with one new case.

Rivera was captured on video as he broke out a glass door panel and entered a business in the first block of West Grand around 8:10 a.m. on February 27, prosecutor Victor Aberdeen said during a bail hearing Monday. Chicago police officers were able to identify Rivera because his hoodie wasn’t completely on, exposing his face to the camera.

Felix Rivera | CCSO

Aberdeen said that the business’ employees found “several sentimental value items missing,” including antique model cars and Disney memorabilia.

He added that Rivera is a suspect in “numerous” burglaries in the area, including one at a nearby Starbucks over the weekend.

Last November, prosecutors charged Rivera with burglary after he allegedly bent the security gate and entered the House of Hunniez, 5840 West North Avenue. During a bail hearing on November 15, prosecutors said video showed Rivera walking around the store and knocking over displays. The store’s cash register was also damaged. Cops found Rivera sleeping on the floor.

He was released on a $300 bail deposit on November 27, then failed to show up in court the next month, Aberdeen said.

His public defender on Monday said he works full-time for a landscaping and snow removal company and goes to church on Sundays.

Judge Barbara Dawkins held him without bail for violating bond in the November case. She set bail on the new allegations at $5,000, meaning he must pay a $500 deposit to go home on electronic monitoring if he becomes eligible for release.

Chicago police detectives have issued at least two warnings about restaurant burglaries in River North since mid-February. According to CPD, the burglar forces his way into businesses by pushing through or breaking glass doors.

In the most recent alert, issued last Thursday evening, detectives linked one suspect to burglaries in the following locations:

  • 500 block of North Wells St on Saturday, February 18
  • 300 block of West Grand Ave on Tuesday, February 21
  • 200 block of West Institute Pl on Wednesday, February 22
  • 300 block of West Grand Ave on Sunday, February 26
  • 100 block of West Grand Ave on Sunday, February 26
  • 600 block of North State St on Sunday, February 26
  • 500 block of North State St on Sunday, February 26
  • 600 block of North State St on Sunday, February 26
  • 700 block of North Wells St on Sunday, February 26
  • 400 block of North Clark St on Sunday, February 26
  • first block of West Illinois St on Monday, February 27
  • first block of West Erie St on Monday, February 27
  • 700 block of North State St on Wednesday, March 16
  • first block of West Huron St on Wednesday, March 16
  • first block of West Erie St on Wednesday, March 16
  • 600 block of North Rush St on Sunday, March 19
  • first block of East Grand Ave on Sunday, March 19
  • first block of West Ontario St on Sunday, March 19

No charges have been announced in connection with those crimes.

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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 news@cwbchicago.com