A 41-year-old Palatine Township man has been charged with three counts of residential burglary and police say he may be responsible for a number of other break-ins in the area over the past two months.
Jerry Dickens, of the 2200 block of Nichols Lane, is being held in the Cook County jail in lieu of $100,000 bond, according to the Cook County sheriff's office.
Dickens was arrested Thursday by Arlington Heights police, who had stepped up patrols in the Terramere subdivision area following a series of break-ins that began about the beginning of October.
Cook County sheriff's office investigators had seen a similar pattern of break-ins in Palatine Township beginning in mid-September and had been sharing information with Arlington Heights police. They responded to a break-in Thursday on the 1900 block of Trail Ridge Road in unincorporated Palatine Township. Jewelry, small electronics and laptops were among items removed from the house.
Arlington Heights police, meanwhile, noticed Dickens discarding an item while walking near the area. They examined the item, which turned out to be jewelry from the Trail Ridge home. They detained Dickens, who admitted to being involved in multiple burglaries in the area, police said.
A search of his home yielded items from the burglaries, some of which have been identified by victims, police said. Dickens was charged in two Arlington Heights burglaries and one in Palatine Township.
Dickens has two prior convictions on his record: in 2008 for burglary, for which he was sentenced to 30 months, and for an unknown charge in 2009 for which he was sentenced to 36 months. He was out on parole before his latest arrest, officials said. His next court date is slated for Dec. 15 in Rolling Meadows.
Cmdr. Mike Hernandez, who is in charge of investigations for Arlington Heights police, said there have been five burglaries since Oct. 1 in the Terramere area generally north of Nichols, south of Lake Cook, west of Arlington Heights Road and east of the border with Cook County. Dickens could be charged in three more Arlington Heights cases if items recovered match with those stolen from the homes, he said.
However, police don't believe Nichols was involved in six burglaries elsewhere in Arlington Heights the weekend of Oct. 14, as he doesn't have a car and has difficulty walking, police said.
• Daily Herald staff writers Barbara Vitello, Deborah Donovan and Madhu Krishnamurthy contributed.