Homeless man charged with stealing food from Riverside apartment

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A homeless man was charged this weekend with burglarizing a home of food and drinks in west suburban Riverside.

Jason C. Smith, 42, was charged with a count of felony residential burglary after an Elmhurst police officer recognized him in surveillance video that was shared among local police departments, according to a statement from Riverside police. The officer had confronted Smith earlier when he was panhandling for money on a street in Elmhurst.

Jason C. Smith | Riverside police

Jason C. Smith | Riverside police

On Sept. 8, Smith allegedly broke into a second-floor apartment at 5 E. Burlington St. and stole items “including food and drinks from the refrigerator”, according to police.

The homeowner found Smith in the apartment and screamed, according to police. Smith then fled on foot.

Riverside detectives collected video from nearby businesses and distributed them to local police departments, asking for assistance in identifying the suspect, police said.

On Thursday, an Elmhurst officer recognized the man in the video as Smith, and retrieved squad car video from her confrontation with him to make they matched, according to the statement.

Riverside detectives and theWest Suburban Enhanced Drug/Gang Enforcement Task Force arrested Smith Friday evening while he was panhandling for money at the corner of Marion Street and North Boulevard in west suburban Oak Park, police said.

Police said that Smith was wearing the same clothes he wore the night of the burglary.

His bond was set to $40,000 at a bail hearing on Saturday, police said.

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