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Man Charged With Riverside Package Thefts

CHICAGO (CBS) -- A Des Plaines man was charged for stealing packages Thursday from porches in west suburban Riverside worth $1,140.

Authorities were called at 12:37 p.m. to the 100 block of East Burlington for reports of package theft, according to Riverside police. A witness saw a man take a package from a neighbor's porch, run to the back of the property and disappear near the Burlington Northern railroad tracks.

Police searched the area and could not find the offender, but learned he was seen entering a 2016 Chevrolet Cruz with out-of-state license plates on the same block. They found the car, but no one was inside, so they set up surveillance, police said. About 2 p.m., two people got into the car and were taken into custody.

Police said an image taken from surveillance video shows Danny Ortiz of Des Plaines stealing packages in Riverside Thursday. (Credit: Riverside police)

Opened packages from UPS and other sources were found inside the car, which was seized as evidence, police said. The car was from Enterprise Rent-A-Car and rented in Des Plaines.

Danny Ortiz, 29, of the 100 block of Inner Circle Drive in Des Plaines, rented the car to take his mother for pain treatment at the Riverside Pain Management Clinic, police said. He used fictitious information to rent the car and planned to use it to commit crimes throughout the day.

Ortiz and his brother, Manuel Otriz, 33, got bored while waiting for their mother to be treated at the pain clinic and decided to walk along East Burlington, where the packages were stolen, police said. Only Ortiz stole the packages, so his brother was not criminally charged.

Ortiz also had marijuana in a mason jar that was individually packed for delivery, police said. He told investigators his mother had a legal medical marijuana card and it was hers, but Illinois law requires that marijuana be kept in its original packet from the medical marijuana distributor.

Ortiz was charged with on felony count of theft, one count of possession of drug paraphernalia, unlawful possession of marijuana, felony manufacture delivery of marijuana and misdemeanor theft.

Police said Ortiz has 17 prior arrests and convictions including dangerous drugs, invasion of privacy, attempted homicide, weapons offenses and assault.

He is also a convicted felon and self-admitted street gang member, police said. He was classified as an armed habitual offender in a previous case and had an attempted homicide arrest in 2008 in Franklin Park. The arrest was pled down to an aggravated battery of a firearm and Ortiz served four years in prison.

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2016. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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