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updated: 2/24/2011 7:50 PM

Antioch teen charged in two Lake Co. home invasions

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A 19-year-old Antioch man with "a thug mentality" is held on a $2.5 million bond for a pair of break-ins in northern Lake County in which police say he tied up the victims and ransacked their homes.

Miguel Rico, of the 1100 block of McKenzie Road, is charged with two counts each of home invasion, armed robbery and residential burglary for breaking into homes in Lake Villa on Sept. 1 and Antioch Township on Sept. 8, Lake County Sheriff Mark Curran announced during a news conference Friday.

In addition, Lake County State's Attorney Marc Bangser told Lake County Associate Judge Raymond Collins during a bond hearing Friday that Rico sexually assaulted a teen victim in the Antioch Township invasion, which resulted in an aggravated sexual assault charge.

"He didn't appear to have an apparent motive," Curran told reporters. "It wasn't drug addiction or that he needed money to pay bills or anything. It seems he just had a thug mentality and saw this as easy money."

Rico was captured by sheriff's deputies Wednesday night at an abandoned home in Round Lake Beach that he was using to store the items he stole, Curran said.

Using open garage doors to enter the homes, Rico struck first about 12:30 p.m. Sept. 1 on the 800 block of Longwood Drive, Curran said.

Rico was rifling through the house when the 20-year-old resident arrived. He confronted the victim with a knife and bound him with duct tape and zip ties in the basement. Rico loaded the stolen items into the victim's Mitsubishi Eclipse and took off, Curran said.

Police found the car torched a couple miles away, Curran said.

One week later, Rico watched a 63-year-old man walk around his property near Antioch about 5:30 a.m., "like he did very morning," Curran said.

Rico entered the home through the open garage door, grabbed an 8-inch serrated knife and confronted the victim when he returned, Curran said. The man was tied up with duct tape in the garage.

Next, Rico woke up a 49-year-old woman and duct-taped her in the master bathroom, Curran said. During the commotion, the teen woke up and was abducted by Rico. The teen was sexually assaulted before being tied and locked in the basement, Bangser told the judge during bond court.

Curran said Rico went back to the man and tried to put him in the trunk of the Nissan Altima but later moved him to a different bathroom. Rico left after loading the stolen items into the Altima, Curran said.

The teen broke free moments later and phoned police.

After media reports of the home invasion were released Wednesday evening, police were tipped off that the Altima was parked in front of an abandoned house on the 1300 block of Park Drive in Round Lake Beach.

Curran said officers staked out the location and arrested Rico as he tried to enter the building at 11:05 p.m.

Cell phones and duct tape were found destroyed outside of the abandoned home, Curran said, while items stolen from the Antioch Township and Lake Villa homes were discovered inside.

"The investigation remains open because other items were discovered in the abandoned home," he said. "We are trying to determine the owners of those items."

Lake Villa Police Chief Ron Roth said some items taken in the Lake Villa robbery had been sold, and police are trying to track them down.

If found guilty of the residential burglary charges, Rico faces a mandatory prison sentence of 4 to 15 years, Bangser said. The other charges carry mandatory sentences of six to 30 years.

Rico, who will be represented by a public defender, is due in court Oct. 7. He was taken to Lake County jail after the bond hearing.