Serial burglar targeted UIC offices while on bail for burglarizing UIC offices, prosecutors say

CHICAGO — Prosecutors say they’ve figured out what Brian Stewart has been up to since he skipped bail on four burglary cases in which he allegedly burglarized offices at the University of Illinois-Chicago for several months: He’s been burglarizing offices at the University of Illinois-Chicago.

Stewart, who starred in a 2016 Patch news article headlined “Friendly Guy on Party Bus Swipes Wallet to Buy Xbox, Toiletries,” was charged in March 2022 with four counts of burglary at the college campus.

UIC police and prosecutors said he walked into school buildings and stole credit cards from female employees, students, and personnel. Officials said he was caught on video four times between November 2021 and March 2022, entering offices and using stolen cards at Nordstrom in River North, Saks Fifth Avenue, and other retail stores.

He even “made full admissions” to the crimes, a UIC officer wrote in a report after cops caught up with Stewart at his restaurant gig in the Loop on March 28, 2022.

Brian Stewart (Cook County sheriff’s office, UIC)

Court records show he went home the next day by posting a $1,000 bail deposit bond. Records show he stopped attending court last September, and Judge Nicholas Kantas signed an arrest warrant.

By that time, officials now say, Stewart, 27, was already two months into another round of burglaries at the school.

During a detention hearing this week, prosecutors charged him with five counts of burglary to a school and one count of burglary, saying he stole credit cards from the offices of a UIC lab associate, student, grad student, nurse, academic advisor, and staff member.

As alleged during the previous round of burglaries, UICPD said he used the victims’ cards at Nordstrom in River North and other stores. Officials cited school and store surveillance video as evidence against Stewart.

When UIC officers arrested him on campus on January 22, he had just completed another burglary at one of the school’s buildings in the 800 block of South Wood, according to the UICPD case report. The cops said he had an Illinois driver’s license and a Ventra card belonging to a grad student and lab associate who left her belongings in an office.

The UICPD arrest report said Stewart “gave admissions” and identified himself in “multiple” images taken from surveillance videos.

He is now detained at the Cook County jail for allegedly committing a new crime while on pretrial release. A judge will review his detention status this week.

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