Oak Lawn police solved a year-old residential burglary against an elderly couple by tracing DNA evidence on a flashlight that was dropped at the crime scene.
Police charged Mark Stanko, 27, of Alsip with one count of felony burglary stemming from an Oak Lawn burglary on Aug. 4, 2011.
Stanko is currently being held in the DuPage County after he was arrested for similar crimes in Palos Heights and Willowbrook, an Oak Lawn police press release said.
According to police, an unknown male entered the home in the 9900 block of 52nd Avenue through an unlocked window around 3:42 a.m. Aug. 5.
The elderly couple in their late 60s awoke to an intruder standing in their bedroom. Police said the burglar sprayed pepper-spray in the face of the 69-year-old wife. The burglar then fled through the kitchen door.
The homeowner received minor injuries but did not wish to go to hospital. Police searched the neighborhood couldn’t find the burglary suspect.
Police said the burglary suspect, now identified as Stanko, took cash, credit cards and small electronics. In his haste to flee the house, police said that several items were dropped outside the elderly couple’s home, including the burglary suspect’s flashlight.
The flashlight was submitted to the Illinois Crime Lab for analysis. Oak Lawn police were contacted on Oct. 22, 2012 that DNA evidence recovered from the flashlight matched Stanko’s.
The Cook County State’s Attorney approved charges against Stanko on Tuesday, whose last known address is the 11100 block of South Avon Avenue, in Alsip.
Stanko has previous arrests in Oak Lawn for retail theft from September 2011.