Long Grove break-in suspect pleads not guilty
A Vernon Hills man who authorities say was nearly shot by a homeowner while breaking into a Long Grove residence pleaded not guilty Wednesday to burglary charges in Lake County court.
Erik G. Mota, 28, of the 800 block of Westmoreland Drive, faces up to 7 years in prison if found guilty on two counts of burglary and two counts of attempted burglary to a motor vehicle, Assistant State's Attorney John Brown said.
He was arrested after Lake County Sheriff's deputies were called to a house on the 3000 block of Country Lane in Long Grove about 4 a.m. Oct. 20 for a report of a burglary in progress, authorities said.
The male homeowner was sleeping on a basement couch when he heard someone trying to enter through a window, authorities said. The resident retrieved a semi-automatic pistol and fired at the intruder, later identified by authorities as Mota.
After the shot was fired, the intruder ran from the house and drove off in a vehicle, which was parked nearby. Area police departments were alerted, authorities said, and Mota was picked up in Vernon Hills a short time later.
Authorities said Mota burglarized two vehicles in the home's driveway before trying to break into the residence.
Charges were not filed against the homeowner.
Mota, who is out of custody after posting $5,000 bond, is due back in court March 15, Brown said. His trial date is tentatively set for April 10.