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Mover accused of theft caught leaving for Australia

Duane T. Horton

Duane T. Horton

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A Chicago moving company employee is being held without bond after being charged with stealing more than $27,000 worth of jewelry from a north suburban customer, officials said.

Duane T. Horton, 37, of the 2800 block of West Berwyn, was arrested June 12, eight days after the crime was committed, and three days before he allegedly planned to leave the country.

Three rings were stolen, and two of them, worth a total of $26,000, have been recovered, interim Glencoe Public Safety Chief Alan Kebby said Monday.

“The key was that we got the information in a timely fashion, which allowed us to get the items back in a timely fashion,” Kebby said. He noted that much of the time, victims don’t notice the loss of property for months, after many strangers have been in the house to perform one service or another.

“At that point, it could be the butcher, the baker, the candlestick maker — which one, they haven’t a clue,” he said.

This time it was different: the victim reported seeing Horton doing something suspicious near a storage box in the master bedroom closet, which contained the rings.

As it turned out, if much time had passed, not only would the jewelry be gone, but so would the suspect. Horton and his girlfriend had planned to be on the way to Australia on Saturday.

Glencoe police staked out Golan’s Moving & Storage at 3600 Jarvis Ave. in Skokie because he was due to pick up his paycheck. He didn’t show up, Kebby said.

But Skokie Police, who’d been asked to watch for Horton, noticed his black Mini-Cooper, and pulled him over June 12 on the 7800 block of Kilbourn Avenue.

The crime allegedly occurred during a June 4 move from the 200 block of South Avenue in Glencoe to the 600 block of Vernon Avenue. One of the stolen rings, a $1,200 white gold/diamond band, is still unaccounted for.

Kebby said Horton has a criminal history, but didn’t know if he is suspected of stealing from other customers.

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