A 49-year-old Aurora man pleaded guilty this week to two smash-and-grab burglaries in St. Charles and Aurora last year and faces up to seven years in prison, according to Kane County court records.
Authorities arrested Mark E. Swienton, who has burglary convictions dating back to 1989, in March 2013 after getting a judge's permission to place a tracking device on his vehicle.
Swienton, of the 1300 block of Monomoy Street, was being held on $250,000 bail at the Kane County jail.
Judge Susan Clancy Boles Wednesday accepted the guilty pleas for burglarizing a Napa Auto Parts store, 201 Third St., St. Charles, and a Clark Gas Station, 1362 W. Galena Blvd., Aurora. Swienton will be sentenced March 26.
In exchange for admitting guilt, prosecutors dismissed six other burglary charges against Swienton stemming from incidents at four gas stations and two auto shops in Aurora in early 2013, according to court records.
Swienton was basically caught red-handed last March trying to burglarize the St. Charles store.
Using video surveillance from recent gas stations burglaries, Aurora police were able to get a judge's permission to place a tracking device on an older model Chevrolet Prizm with distinct body damage and a missing right hubcap.
Aurora police were following that vehicle when officers saw Swienton get out and throw a rock through the Napa Auto Parts window in St. Charles, authorities said.
A message left with his defense attorney, Assistant Public Defender Julia Yetter, was not returned.