A 42-year-old Bolingbrook man was the mastermind of a huge burglary ring that had as many as 75 victims, police said Friday.
Francisco Alvarez was charged with one count of organizing a calculated criminal conspiracy, 15 counts of residential burglary and six counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. He does not appear to have a previous criminal record.
More than 50 houses are known to have been burglarized since June, police said. Many of the crimes involved doors and windows being pried open. The burglars typically took jewelry, electronics and cash.
"Sources informed the detectives of several possible offenders and our investigators were very determined to locate them," said Lt. Mike Rompa.
The break came Wednesday morning when a detective spotted three teens wearing gloves and carrying a crowbar while walking near Alvarez’s house, on the 500 block of Castle Court.
Four 15-year-old boys, one 14-year-old boy and one 15-year-old girl were charged with participating in a calculated criminal conspiracy and at least one count of residential burglary. Some of the juveniles face four or five counts, while one 15-year-old boy was charged in 17 break-ins.
Some suspects were also charged with possession of burglary tools.
Alvarez "would (usually) drive the crew to the houses and pick them and the proceeds up when they completed the burglary," said Rompa.
Alvarez is related to two of the teens, all of whom are friends and acquaintances. He was booked into the county jail. The teenagers were all booked into the River Valley Juvenile Detention Facility. Another 15-year-old boy was arrested but released without being charged.
Two vehicles were impounded, Rompa added.