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updated: 4/3/2014 6:50 PM

16 years in prison for Aurora serial burglar

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  • Mark E. Swienton

      Mark E. Swienton

 
 

A 50-year-old Aurora man was sentenced to 16 years in prison Thursday after admitting to burglaries in St. Charles and Aurora in spring 2013.

Mark E. Swienton, of the 1300 block of Monomoy Street, could have been sentenced to up to 30 years in prison because of his extensive criminal record, which includes 12 felony convictions.

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Swienton broke into a business March 8, 2013, in the 1300 block of West Galena Boulevard in Aurora by smashing the front-door window with a rock. He didn't get any money, because the cash register was empty, but he cut his hand and his blood was found on broken glass.

Swienton was caught red-handed outside a St. Charles auto shop store on March 22, 2013, wearing gloves and a mask, after Aurora police got permission from a judge to put a GPS tracking device on Swienton's car.

Aurora police were investigating a spate of smash-and-grab burglaries primarily at gas stations and auto repair shops.

Swienton also admitted to an Aurora burglary after prosecutors dismissed other burglary charges against him.

He was driven by substance abuse and loss of a job, according to Kane County Assistant Public Defender Julia Yetter. During his sentencing hearing, evidence was presented that he committed the burglaries to get money to pay for heroin and cocaine.

He pleaded guilty Jan. 15 to two counts of burglary. As part of the plea agreement, burglary charges in three unrelated cases were dropped. He agreed to pay $5,199.45 to the victims of those cases to cover the cost of property damage and stolen merchandise, property and cash. If he fails to pay the restitution, the charges can be reinstated.

At the time of the Aurora and St. Charles burglaries, Swienton was on parole for three felony convictions, two from Cook County and one from Kane County.

Swienton is eligible for day-for-day good conduct sentencing, and will receive credit for time spent in the Kane County jail.

• Daily Herald staff writer Susan Sarkauskas contributed to this story.

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