Career burglar who left DNA-soaked COVID mask at victim’s home gets 5-year sentence

Patrick Markle (Chicago Police Department)

CHICAGO — A career burglar who got busted after Chicago cops tested a DNA-soaked COVID mask he left in the victim’s Andersonville home has been sentenced to five years in prison.

The pandemic was still going strong when Patrick Markle, 46, broke into the victim’s home in the 5300 block of North Wayne on February 12, 2021. Prosecutors said the victim discovered the burglary upon returning from a week-long vacation. Every room of her home had been ransacked, and several pieces of jewelry were missing.

Detectives didn’t have any valuable leads until about three weeks later. That’s when the victim’s babysitter found a discarded COVID mask that didn’t belong to anyone inside the home.

CPD sent the mask out to the Illinois State Police crime lab. The results matched Markle, who was on parole for another burglary at the time.

Markle decided to plead guilty to the case shortly before it was scheduled to go to a jury trial, according to court records. Judge Ursula Walowski handed him the five-year sentence with 666 days of credit.

After factoring in the state’s 50% sentence reduction for good behavior, Markle is scheduled to be paroled on August 30. That may or may not happen, though. Court records show he has another active felony case pending in which he faces three counts of felony theft out of Northbrook. He’s due back in court on that matter on February 27.

Illinois Department of Corrections records show he has been sent to state prison several times: 5½ years for burglary in 2017; 15 months for criminal trespass to a residence with a person present in 2016; and three 6-year sentences in 2011 for residential burglary, attempted residential burglary, and theft.

About Tim Hecke 252 Articles
Tim Hecke is CWBChicago's managing partner. He started his career at KMOX, the legendary news radio station in St. Louis. From there, he moved on to work at stations in Minneapolis, Chicago, and New York City. Tim went on to build syndicated radio news and content services that served every one of America's 100 largest radio markets. He became CWBChicago's managing partner in 2019. His email address is