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Illinois man commits burglary as police follow him

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A man in Rockford, Ill., was not as swift as he intended as police watched him commit burglary, attempt to hawk the stolen goods and return to his home like nothing happened, according to prosecutors in Winnebago County announced last week.

The incident unfolded Dec. 6, when detectives with the Rockford Police Department were conducting surveillance on a known burglar and the suspect in several northwest-side residential heists. This subject, Gilbert McDonald, 45, had a long history of burglaries in the city of Rockford, and was paroled from prison in 2010.

Detectives observed McDonald driving throughout the west side of Rockford and then begin to circle a residential area. At one point, McDonald parked his vehicle and got out on foot, walking north into the neighborhood.

McDonald returned to his vehicle a short time later and drove away from the area. Within minutes, a residential alarm was reported at 3012 Arcadia Terrace, which is north of Lawndale Avenue. Patrol officers were sent to the alarm and discovered the back door to the residence was kicked in and jewelry items were found in the back yard at the home, apparently dropped as the suspect fled the scene.

While investigating the burglary, surveillance of McDonald continued, and he was seen parking and entering a jewelry store on South Main Street. McDonald left the store shortly after he entered, and detectives then met with store employees and learned McDonald had just sold them some jewelry.

The jewelry items McDonald sold were photographed and sent to personnel still on scene of the burglary. The victim of the burglary viewed these photos and positively identified the items as having come from their home.

McDonald was followed back to his residence, where he was taken into custody. He has been charged with residential burglary, a Class 1 felony.

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