DNA from Wine Bottle Leads to Arrest in Rich Township Burglary

May 3, 2024Press Release

COOK COUNTY, IL – DNA from a wine bottle helped Sheriff’s Police detectives identify the offender in a Rich Township burglary, Cook County Sheriff Thomas J. Dart announced today.

Sheriff’s Police responded to a report of a residential burglary on Sept. 6, 2023 in the 4000 block of Blackstone Avenue in unincorporated Rich Township. The home had been ransacked, and the security system was damaged.

Sheriff’s Police Detectives were able to access the home’s security camera footage, which showed a man kick open the door to the home’s detached garage, open the garage fridge, and drink from a bottle of 19 Crimes Cali Red before putting it back in the fridge. The footage showed the man subsequently spotted the cameras and spray painted them with paint he found in the garage.

The footage also showed the man return to the home a few days later when he entered through a sliding door and damaged security system equipment.

The Sheriff’s Police Criminalistics Unit submitted DNA samples from the wine bottle to the Northeastern Illinois Regional Crime Laboratory for analysis.

In February, Sheriff’s Police detectives received a Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) report from the lab showing an association between the DNA from the wine bottle and 35-year-old Jeremiah Phillips.

Phillips, who does not have a known address, was taken into custody on May 1. On May 2, the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office approved felony charges of residential burglary, burglary, and criminal damage to property.

Phillips appeared today at the Markham Courthouse for an initial appearance hearing, where a judge ordered him released from custody pending trial.

The public is reminded that the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty by the government in a court of law.