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Convicted felon faces charges in River Forest burglary

By Jim Jaworski

May 13, 2011

River Forest police have arrested a convicted felon in connection with a March home burglary, using a pawned camera to connect him to the crime, officials said Friday.

Vito Spiezio, 60, who has been convicted of the attempted murder of two police officers and a 1984 escape from Cook County Jail, was arrested Friday and is being charged with felony theft, police said. Police said Spiezio is a known gang member and was on parole.

On March 5, a camera was stolen from a home on the 1300 block of Jackson Avenue after the door to the home was forced open. In April, the Chicago Police Department Pawn Shop Unit located the camera, which River Forest police said was pawned by Spiezio.

"We got him when it was pawned back at the pawn shop," said Sgt. Marty Grill. "Chicago police have a very sophisticated (pawn shop) system."

Spiezio was arrested outside his home on the 3900 block of West Gladys Avenue Friday morning, police said.

Spiezio has a criminal record dating back to 1979, when he was convicted of burglary. In 1984, he was arrested for the attempted murder of two police officers, and then escaped from Cook County Jail while awaiting trail. He was convicted in 1984 of escaping from the jail, which added another seven years to his existing 12-year sentence. He also has numerous convictions for burglary and theft, according to police.

Spiezio served as a key prosecution witness in the fatal beating of a prison guard in 1989, who was attacked by two inmates. Spiezio testified against the two inmates, but denied involvement in the beating, according to newspaper reports.

He was paroled in November 2010 according to Department of Corrections records.


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