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Indian Head Park’s Google Satellite burglar pleads guilty

<p>Indian Head Park police. | Sun-Times Media stock photo</p>

Indian Head Park police. | Sun-Times Media stock photo

The Chicago man who admitted using Google Maps to find expensive homes to rob pleaded guilty Nov. 7 to two counts of residential burglary.

Samuel A. Watson, 35, pleaded guilty to burglarizing two Indian Head Park homes in 2011.

Indian Head Park police arrested Watson, of 1741 W. 80th St., at his home on Sept. 23, 2011, in connection with a July 18 burglary on the 11000 block of Indian Woods Drive.

Watson was charged with one count of burglary after a resident of the home identified him in a lineup, Sgt. Curt Novak said.

The resident was asleep when Watson allegedly pried open a rear door and stole items before coming face to face with the homeowner when he opened a bedroom door.

Police conducted a manhunt for Watson the night of Sept. 21, when, in a separate incident, he rammed a black SUV into a parked car attempting to elude police in a parking lot on Indian Woods Drive.

A passenger in the SUV, Claude L. White, 45, of 1741 W. 80th St. Chicago, was arrested by Burr Ridge police and charged with one count of burglary for a break-in that night to a townhouse on Old Mill Lane. A jewelry box reported missing from the townhouse was in the SUV.

The driver escaped despite a search with the Cook County Sheriff’s Department helicopter and canine unit.

White cooperated with the police, who arrested Watson at his Chicago apartment.

During police questioning, Watson said he searched “expensive homes along highways” on Google, and Indian Head Park and Burr Ridge came up, Novak said.

“He used the satellite view on those homes where you can see 360 degrees,” Novak said.

The Indian Woods Drive burglary was one of eight break-ins in Indian Head Park between March 4 and Sept. 10, 2011.

On Nov. 7, Watson pleaded guilty to the Indian Woods Drive burglary and the Aug. 19, 2011 burglary of a home on the 6400 block of Blackhawk Trail.

He was sentenced to 4.5 years in prison for each burglary. The sentences will run concurrently, court officials said.

However, Indian Head Park police officials said Watson was on parole in Michigan when he committed the Indian Head Park burglaries, so when he has served his sentences in Illinois, he will have to report to authorities in Michigan.

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