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Blood Found In Safe After 14-Car Heist Led To Chicago Man: Prosecutor

EVANSTON, IL — DNA evidence has led to the first arrest in connection with a brazen heist of an Evanston car dealership earlier this year, authorities said. More than a half-dozen people stole more than a dozen cars worth nearly a million dollars in the incident.

Dominique Jones, 31, of Chicago, was arrested this week and charged with burglary after Evanston police showed up to meet him at his scheduled court appearance in Bridgeview, where he is awaiting trial on a separate burglary charge relating to a more recent arrest.

Back in March, police were called to the Autobarn Collection, 1910 Greenwood Ave., after employees showed up to work to find a broken window and more than a dozen missing cars. A total of 14 cars worth more than $900,000 were stolen from the dealership that night, authorities said.

At the start of the long hours heist, an SUV backed up to a door to the dealership and masked figures emerged, breaking a window pane and disabling the dealership’s alarm system, Assistant State’s Attorney Jenna Reinhardt said Friday at Jones’ initial court appearance on the car dealership burglary charge.

The intruders managed to get the keys to the cars after forcing their way into a safe in its office, according to the prosecutor, who said the masked burglary crew was captured on video “pulling the alarm box off the wall to prevent the burglary alarm from sounding.”

Investigators sent samples from blood found inside the car dealership’s safe to a regional crime lab, and the results matched Jones’ DNA profile, according to prosecutors.

Dominique Jones, 31, of Chicago, is charged with the March 8 burglary of an Evanston car dealership and the July 6 burglary of an Alsip liquor store. (Alsip Police Department)

Jones’ defense attorney, Alex Ktering, said that Jones was a father of two who worked as a mechanic who surrendered to Evanston police voluntarily and has never been accused of a violent crime.

In his other pending burglary charge, Jones was arrested along with a 19-year-old Riverdale man and a 17-year-old boy following a police chase in Alsip, according to Alsip-Crestwood Patch reported last month. Police said the trio was linked to a “wave of burglaries” across Cook and DuPage counties following the incident.

Police investigating a break-in at Pro Cars, 5630 W 120th St., Alsip, shortly after 3:15 am on July 6 were alerted to another burglary in progress at the White Bear liquor store, 12300 S. Cicero Ave., Alsip. This led to a chase that ended after south suburban police disabled their stolen Audi with spike stripes and its occupants fled on foot.

Although officers found two pistols equipped with extended magazines and illegal “switches” that allow semiautomatic weapons to fire more rapidly, the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office did not approve any gun-related charged in connection with the arrests, according to the police statement following the arrest.

Images released by Alsip police show guns that officers reported recovering from a stolen car following a July 6 chase that resulted in the arrest of 31-year-old Dominque Jones and two teenagers.(Alsip Police Department)

Cook County Associate Judge Anthony Calabrese said he could only describe the nature of the burglary as “audacious,” noting that Jones had a half-dozen alleged accomplices during the dealership heist.

“The blood puts him on the scene, the blood puts him in the safe, the blood makes him part and parcel of this, regardless of whether of there or not there’s any eyewitnesses or confessions, or anything else,” Calabrese said, describing the DNA evidence as “very, very, very strong” before setting the cash portion of Jones’ bond at $30,000.

Jones is due back in court Wednesday in Skokie for a bond review hearing.

Earlier: 14 Cars Worth Almost $1 Million Stolen From Evanston Dealership

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