An Oak Park traffic accident led to the arrest of the ringleader of the group of burglars that hit several liquor stores, retailers and the flagship Burberry store in Chicago’s Magnificent Mile. The burglars stole hundreds of thousands of dollars in merchandise and cash during the months-long string of break-ins. The group also reportedly dumped a stolen cash register outside Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s Gold Coast mansion, according to prosecutors.
Tacarre Harper, 27, is charged with nine counts of felony burglary and was already on bond for three other felony cases in Cook County – one for robbery, one for burglary and one for illegal firearm possession, CWBChicago reported.
The lucky break for law enforcement came Jan. 17, when 27-year-old Emma Murphy was involved in a car accident in Oak Park, according to CWBChicago. A search by Oak Park police turned up stolen merchandise taken by a burglary team that broke into a FootLocker in the 2700 block of North Narragansett around 1 a.m. that day. Price tags were reportedly still attached to the goods.
Murphy was taken into custody by Chicago police, where she was linked to a Dec. 8 liquor store burglary for which Harper was already charged. During Harper’s bail hearing, Assistant State’s Attorney Loukas Kalliantasis said Harper showed detectives pictures on his phone of the Burberry bags he had stolen from the luxury store. Harper reportedly also posted videos and photos of stolen Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana and Nike merchandise onto his Facebook account.