Guilty plea in OP home invasion

? Robert Jackson accepts 20-year sentence for August home invasion, residential burglary.

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By Bill Dwyer

A paroled convict arrested last July following a home invasion in the 800 block of South Ridgeland Avenue pled guilty to home invasion and residential burglary Monday morning at the Maybrook Courthouse. Robert Jackson, 34, was then sentenced to 20 years in prison by Cook County Circuit Court Judge Lawrence Terrel.

"He's a very dangerous criminal," said Cook County Assistant State's Attorney Maureen O'Brien of Jackson Monday afternoon. Jackson, she said, has numerous prior felony convictions, including one for a 1993 armed robbery, as well as three each for possession of and delivery of controlled substances.

"It's the nicest Valentine I've gotten today," said Oak Park Deputy Chief Robert Scianna. "In my mind, (Jackson) had no other options." Scianna, who had physically participated in Jackson's arrest last July 14, called the case against Jackson "solid," including physical evidence and a strong victim identification.

"He was basically caught in the act," he said. "All he could do was try and work out an acceptable (plea agreement)."

Jackson was arrested literally within minutes after the crime, following a phone call from the victim. When Jackson saw police watching him as he walked down Harrison with a white bag, he bolted. He was quickly chased down and arrested, and a subsequent search of the white bag produced items taken from the home invasion.

The homeowner's 18-year-old son had surprised Jackson while he was moving through the house looking for valuables. The young man struggled briefly with the suspect before being overpowered and tied up with electrical wire. After freeing himself, the man again struggled with the suspect, who had returned to rummaging through the home. This time the intruder apparently decided it was time to end his exploration of the home and leave with what he had in hand. He tore out a phone line as he exited the house, and ran down the alley, headed east. The home, however, had more than one phone, and the victim immediately called 911.

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