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Article posted: 4/18/2013 7:30 PM

More 'smash and grab' burglary charges against man

By Harry Hitzeman

A 49-year-old Aurora man, already being held for "smash and grab" burglaries in St. Charles and Wayne, was charged this week with seven more burglaries in Aurora that police say occurred in March.

Mark E. Swienton, of the 1200 block of Victory Court, was being held on $160,000 bail and is next due in court April 26, according to police and court records.

Swienton was arrested March 22 after Aurora police received court authorization to put a GPS tracking device on his vehicle. Police identified the vehicle through gas station surveillance videos.

Charges were filed this week for seven burglaries that occurred in Aurora in March.

"The M.O. is all the same. He smashes the glass (with a brick or rock) and he tries to take the cash register," Aurora Police Lt. Bill Hull said. "These all happened within the course of a week."

According to police, the charges stem from burglaries March 8 at Air Gas, 1100 Jericho Road and Rick's Auto Repair, 1002 W. Galena Blvd.; March 9 at the BP gas station, 1050 E. New York St.; March 12 at Jiffy Lube, 2428 W. Sullivan Road; March 16 at Citgo Gas, 444 E. New York St. and Marathon Gas, 1116 E. New York St,; and March 17 at Mobil Gas, 1030 N. Lake St.

Hull said authorities were still investigating one more burglary from March 9 in the 500 block of West Illinois Avenue.

"We're awaiting for our fingerprint analysis," Hull said.

Each burglary charge carries a penalty of three to seven years in prison if convicted.

Swienton was out on parole after spending time in prison for a long list of offenses -- including convictions for burglary, a drug conviction and escaping from law enforcement officers. Swienton's burglary convictions date back to 1989, authorities said.

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