A serial car burglar was arrested on July 11 following weeks of traveling around the western suburbs, primarily Oak Park, River Forest, Berwyn, and Riverside, in search of cash to pay for pizza, according to police.
Dany Y. Ortiz, 21 of Cicero, admitted to breaking into unlocked cars around various pizza restaurants to take coins or dollars. Other items such as iPads, laptops, cell phones, and other electronic devices remained untouched in the reported burglaries.
Ortiz claims to be a “pizza lover” and named Slice Factory on Harlem Avenue in Oak Park as his favorite, according to detectives investigating the case.
“This is one of the most unusual and bizarre burglary patterns I have ever come across in my 31 years in law enforcement,” said Riverside Police Chief Thomas Weitzel. “Mr. Ortiz actually went out and identified pizza restaurants in early May and then would come back and burglarize cars for the cash in the communities where he wanted to try the pizza.”
Police started tracking the accused’s movements on July 2 after a surveillance video from a home on the 400 block of Louden Road in Riverside caught a visual of the burglar dressed in pajama pants and slippers. On July 11, police followed a suspicious vehicle report to Riverside where they found Ortiz, who matched the description of the video, the Patch reports.
Ortiz is facing multiple felony car burglary charges. He is cooperating with police and admitted that he used the stolen cash specifically for pizza.