CHICAGO — Deiel Reese was a 26-time convicted felon when he decided to burglarize a family-run auto shop and two other businesses on the North Side one year ago. This month, after pleading guilty to the crimes, he became a 29-time convicted felon. He’ll be back on the streets in time to enjoy the summer of 2025.
Runge’s Automotive, a long-running, family-owned auto shop in Rogers Park, is popular with local car owners. There used to be a hand-painted salute to the store’s founder on the front door’s glass: “Love forever, DAD. AKA Ralph.”
The story was that Ralph’s sons, Tim and Chuck, planned to have the glass removed and framed when they retired. That won’t happen because Reese shattered it during a late-night burglary last February.
Reese, who first went to prison for burglary when George Bush — No. The other George Bush. — was president, burglarized two other businesses that night. He was on parole for two robberies and seven burglaries at the time.
Surveillance video showed him punching the shop’s glass door just before midnight, then kicking out the rest of the glass, which bore the family’s modest salute to their father.
Prosecutors said he walked around the store at 7478 North Rogers for about five minutes and then crawled back out. CTA surveillance footage showed him boarding a train at the Jarvis stop five minutes later.
He took the Red Line to Loyola and threw a rock through the glass at Blaze Pizza, 6550 North Sheridan. After clearing shards of glass from the window frame with his boot, Reese climbed in, broke both registers and left empty-handed, officials said.
Security cameras at Nori Sushi, 1235 West Devon, captured Reese smashing the front window and stealing cash from the register area about an hour later.
Chicago police detectives used CTA surveillance footage to identify Reese in a database. A Skokie cop who previously arrested Reese identified him, too.
Reese pleaded guilty to three counts of burglary this month. Judge Timothy Joyce handed him three concurrent six-year prison sentences, according to court records.
Those six years will be reduced to three for good behavior by law. They will be reduced further by the 324 days Reese spent in jail after getting arrested. Reese earned another 254 days of credit by participating in jail programming, court records show.
After doing all the math, Reese is scheduled to be released from prison on June 4, 2025, two years and four months after the burglaries.
According to Illinois Department of Corrections records, Reese was previously been sent to prison for:
- 9 years for burglary in 2018
- another 9 years for burglary in 2018
- five more 9-year terms for burglary in 2018
- 9 years for robbery in 2018
- another 9 years for robbery in 2018
- 18 months for theft in 2004
- 28 years for residential burglary in 2004
- 8 years for residential burglary in 2000
- 8 years for possessing a stolen motor vehicle in 2000
- 6 years for residential burglary in 1997
- 1 year for theft from a person in 1997
- another year for theft from a person in 1997
- 4 years for residential burglary in 1993
- another 4 years for residential burglary in 1993
- two more 4-year terms for residential burglary in 1993
- 5 years for residential burglary in 1991
- 5 years for possessing a stolen motor vehicle in 1991
- 5 years for burglary in 1991
- three more 5-year terms for residential burglary in 1991