CHICAGO — A 13-time convicted felon has offered his own defense to Chicago cops after being found driving a stolen vehicle, prosecutors say. He’s a burglar, not a car thief.
Frank Ortiz, 56, is right. he is a robber In fact, he’s currently out on parole on his fourth theft charge. Coincidentally, the stolen car he was allegedly driving was brought into the robbery, prosecutors say.
Chicago police stopped Ortiz at the 1100 block in North Cicero on Sunday after determining that the Volkswagen Jetta he was driving had stolen license plates, prosecutors said. . Police later found the vehicle identification number on the car’s windshield covered.
After a little research, police determined the license plate should have been on a blue Volkswagen SUV and the black Jetta was reported stolen late last year, prosecutors said.
Police called the Jetta’s registered owner and learned that thieves broke into his home on December 10 and stole his car keys. He reported that a car parked in front of his house was stolen two days after his.
“I am not a car thief.
Ortiz spoke up in court, telling Judge Charles Beech that he actually told the officer, “My conviction is robbery.”
“My daughter,” Ortiz continued. “She got a car from somewhere.”
His public defender told Beach that Ortiz has three children, two of whom are under the age of 18. Lawyers said he works full-time at a sandwich factory and attends church regularly.
Beach ordered Ortiz, who is charged with possessing a stolen car, to post $500 bail to get him home. He has decided not to revoke his parole, prosecutors said.
Ortiz was released from prison in February 2022 after serving half of a seven-year theft conviction, according to Illinois Department of Corrections records. His previous convictions include running away from electronic surveillance in 2018, burglary in 2013, possession of a firearm with a falsified serial number in 2011, theft in 2009, and his 2006 burglary. Attempts are included.
Other sentences he received included a 16-year sentence for burglary in 1999, two three-year sentences for felony possession of a firearm in 1998, and a 12-year sentence for armed robbery in 1984. It is