An Elgin man police describe as a “career criminal” faces new accusations that he burglarized a string of cars and also stole one, police announced late last week.
Charles L. McCammon, 48, remained in jail as of Monday on $125,000 bail, charged with four counts each of burglary and unlawful use of a credit card, along with theft, possession of a stolen vehicle and criminal trespass to vehicles.
He was first arrested late last month after Elgin police received several reports tying him to car burglaries on the city’s west side.
McCammon “would go out on a nightly basis on his bike, open unlocked (car) doors and take any items of value,” said Cmdr. Glenn Theriault.
Items stolen include about $400 in cash, a DVD player and credit/debit cards, according to police reports. Records also state McCammon often used the cards to purchase about $100 in fast food.
“This is why we tell people to lock their doors,” Theriault said.
Police said several reports led them to McCammon – a parolee released last summer after serving about one year on an attempted burglary charge. According to the Illinois Department of Corrections, McCammon has had several stints in prison on convictions including burglary, drug possession and armed violence dating back to the mid-1990s.
Police received reports from Jewel employees that a suspicious man was frequently using the Coinstar machine to exchange coins for dollars, Theriault said.
Another report told of a suspicious man riding a bicycle at night around the west side of city not far from the Larkin Avenue Jewel, he said.
Residents who installed a security camera on their apartment building pointed at their cars after a recent rash of burglaries also caught a man on tape breaking into a car, Theriault said. That man reportedly was later identified as McCammon, who was also identified on Jewel’s surveillance tape as the man using the Coinstar machine, police said.
When sheriff’s police heard of McCammon’s arrest, they said they interviewed him and were able to tie him to three car burglaries in an unincorporated area near Elgin, as well as a stolen car, said Lt. Pat Gengler.
On Dec. 5, a car was reported stolen from a home in the 12N000 block of Randall Road near Elgin’s west side. The car was recovered the next day, parked in Elgin and drivable, Gengler said.
McCammon is charged in relation to those incidents, as well.
“This is a very hard crime to solve,” Gengler said of car burglaries.
McCammon is due in Kane County court on Jan. 24.