Mail thief used stolen credit cards to enjoy Mag Mile hotel rooms while on pretrial release for 12 mailroom burglaries: prosecutors

CHICAGO — An Uptown man is back in jail after he stopped showing up for court in 12 pending burglary cases involving stolen mail. Prosecutors yesterday said Jonathan Minter has been passing his time by stealing even more mail and using some of the victims’ credit cards and IDs to enjoy hotel accommodations along the Magnificent Mile.

You may remember the 35-year-old. We told you about him on October 5 and again on October 25, when he was charged with even more mail theft cases. Judges Barbara Dawkins and Maryam Ahmad released him from custody in those cases.

Court records show Minter failed to appear for a hearing on December 1. Judges William Gamboney and Ursula Walowski issued 12 arrest warrants for him days later.

Chicago police and the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force found him Tuesday morning at Homewood Suites, 40 East Grand. Prosecutors say he checked in the day before using another person’s Visa and Mastercard. 

A U.S. Postal Service “arrow key” and Jonathan Minter | mailmanscott; Chicago Police Department

Yesterday, Minter was in a familiar spot: standing before Judge Maryam Ahmad at the Leighton Criminal Courthouse. Prosecutors levied a fresh round of charges against him during the hearing.

First, they charged him with two counts of identity theft, claiming he used another person’s Visa and Mastercard to rent the room at Homewood Suites.

They filed two more ID theft charges on allegations that he used another person’s American Express card to make a purchase at Water Tower Place on November 24 and used yet another stolen Amex to rent a room at The Ritz-Carlton Chicago Hotel the same day.

And, prosecutors said, Minter has continued to burglarize residential mail rooms since being placed on pretrial release last autumn.

On November 12, he allegedly used a key or other device to circumvent the lock and remove mail and property from a building in the 4600 block of West Lawrence. We shared a video of that incident with you a few days later:

He struck again on December 16, stealing mail from the condos at 320 North Michigan, prosecutors alleged.

On December 27, he used a U.S. Postal Service master key to enter a residential package room at 1801 South Michigan and tried to steal packages, another complaint said. 

In total, prosecutors on Wednesday filed six new felonies against him: four counts of identity theft, two counts of burglary, and one count of attempted burglary.

Judge Ahamad allowed him to be released on electronic monitoring to await trial in the new cases. Ahmad specified that Minter is not permitted to enjoy the two days per week of unsupervised movement that state law affords defendants on electronic monitoring.

He’ll have to see Judges Gamboney and Walowski about those 12 arrest warrants before he can go home, though. Those hearings are scheduled for today and tomorrow.

Minter and another man, 31-year-old Andrew Kirkpatrick of Champaign, were charged in October with using postal service master keys to steal mail from a condo building in the 800 block of South Wells four times between July and September.

The pair used a so-called “arrow key,” a master key postal workers use to access mailboxes, to steal mail from the building’s residents on July 26, August 14, August 21, and September 8, the complaints said. Minter was also accused of stealing mail from the building on August 6.

In a statement released after their arrests, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service said both men were suspected of “identity theft and account takeovers” in Chicago during 2022 and 2023. The agency announced additional charges against Kirkpatrick last week.

Later in October, prosecutors filed seven additional counts of burglary against Minter. They said he used an arrow key to steal mail in:

  • the 5900 block of North Lincoln on April 3
  • the 5800 block of North Clark on April 9
  • the 1100 block of West Ardmore on April 15 and 16
  • the 5600 block of North Broadway on April 16
  • the 5700 block of North Winthrop on April 17
  • the 3800 block of North Fremont on September 7
  • the 1800 block of South Michigan on September 28

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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