Chase ends in arrest of NIU student

By M. Michelle Byrne

A high-speed car chase by DeKalb Police ended in the arrest Saturday of an NIU student who may be responsible for up to 45 burglaries.

Police caught up with Michael Montpas, 24, 424 Lincoln Hall, in an alley near 318 S. Second St. at about 3:30 a.m. Saturday. Montpas, who was on parole for a 1984 burglary conviction, was charged with residential burglary and possession of a stolen vehicle. Montpas is believed to be responsible for up to 45 residential and business burglaries and five car thefts in northern Illinois totalling nearly $53,000, DeKalb Police Detective Dan Gerace said.

Twenty-nine of the burglaries and three of the car thefts Montpas is believed to be involved in occurred in the DeKalb area, Gerace said.

All five of the stolen cars were recovered, and the property from burglaries in Plano was recovered, Gerace said.

DeKalb Police Officer Carl Leoni said the police department received a call that there had been an attempted burglary in Yorkville. Police suspected Montpas had been involved in the area burglaries for five to six weeks, and suspected he was using a car stolen in DeKalb between Friday and Saturday on the 800 block of North 12th Street.

Leoni said he was near Route 23 waiting to see if Montpas would come down the road from Yorkville. “I got lucky enough that he did come up 23, at which time I pulled up behind him, and he noticed me right away,” Leoni said.

Leoni said the chase, which at times reached speeds of 75 mph, began on Seventh Street. Leoni said, “I followed him all the way up to Prospect (Street), at which time he attempted to make a left turn on Prospect, but was going too fast to do so.”

The car came to a halt against the curb at the northwest corner of Prospect and Seventh streets, and then Montpas ran from the car, Leoni said. Montpas was caught by officers Craig Sell, Don Gladden and Mike Johnson on foot in an alley behind a garage, Kross said. About 10 officers from the night shift assisted during the pursuit, Kross said.

Cars stolen from DeKalb had been spotted in burglaries in other counties such as Kendall, Kane and DuPage in the past, Leoni said. Kross said the similar cases were reported earlier this year. Cars stolen from DeKalb were used in burglaries in other towns and later recovered in DeKalb, Kross said. Some of the recovered vehicles were found near Lincoln Hall, he said.

Montpas is believed to be responsible for four business burglaries on West Lincoln Highway, residential burglaries near the Hillcrest Drive and Ridge Drive area and some burglaries which occurred on Sycamore Road, Gerace said. Stores and restaurants on West Lincoln Highway were burglarized on February 18 after entry was gained through a broken window, and cash was taken.

Montpas started at NIU in the spring semester of 1987. He is a freshman with an undecided Liberal Arts and Sciences major, an employee from the Office of Registrations and Records said.

Montpas’ bond was set at $50,000 Monday, an employee at the DeKalb County Courthouse said. A preliminary hearing is Thursday, she said.

esidential burglary is a class 1 felony, punishable up to four to 15 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines, DeKalb Assistant State’s Attorney Duke Harris said. Possession of a stolen vehicle is a class 2 felony, punishable up to 3 to 7 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines, Harris said.