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updated: 12/4/2013 6:59 PM

Palatine teens plead guilty to robbing ex-friend

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  • Vanessa Mejia

      Vanessa Mejia

  • Sendi Ocampo

      Sendi Ocampo


Two Palatine teenagers pleaded guilty Wednesday to stealing items from the home of a former friend in what police described as a home invasion.

Vanessa Mejia, 17, and Sendi Ocampo, 18, were sentenced by Cook County Judge Kay Hanlon to four years in prison in exchange for pleading guilty to robbery. The sentences came with a recommendation that both defendants be placed in the Illinois Department of Corrections Impact Incarceration Program, commonly known as boot camp, prosecutors said.

Offenders sentenced to boot camp participate in educational, vocational, substance abuse and community service programs lasting from 120 to 180 days. Upon successful completion of the program, their sentences are reduced to time served, according to the Illinois Department of Corrections.

Authorities say Mejia and Ocampo were among four girls who went to the home of a former female friend on April 24, 2013. The former friend's younger brother let the girls into the apartment after one of them asked to use the bathroom. A 16-year-old girl hit the 12-year-old Palatine boy in the back with an empty ketchup bottle she brought to the scene, said police, while Mejia and Ocampo took cash, jewelry and cellphones from the bedrooms.

The 16-year-old girl has been charged as a juvenile. The case against her is pending in juvenile court. A fourth suspect was located and charged with a misdemeanor which police say was dismissed.

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