Plainfield police said they caught a man who had been burglarizing vehicles in the Springhill subdivision with the help of some military surplus night-vision binoculars.
Michael Slaboszewski, 21, of the 24000 block of Illini, Plainfield, was arrested late Tuesday after he allegedly burglarized at least five vehicles in the neighborhood, according to Sgt. Mike Fisher.
Fisher said a young woman was arriving home after borrowing her father's car when she pulled into her driveway on Hawthorne Circle and spotted Slaboszewski sitting in her car.
"When the headlights hit him, obviously, he took off running," Fisher said.
Officers arrived and began searching the area, and were helped when they received a call from another resident who had spotted a suspicious person running in the neighborhood, Fisher said. The caller gave police a better idea of the direction in which the suspect had fled, he said.
Fisher said Slaboszewski had run into a farm field just east of the subdivision. Luckily, an officer was carrying a pair of night-vision binoculars. The equipment detects heat, which allowed the officer to spot Slaboszewski where he hid in the high grass.
When other officers moved towards him, Slaboszewski turned and ran — directly to the officer with the night-vision binoculars, according to police.
Fisher said Slaboszewski resisted as officers attempted to take him into custody and continued to struggle even after police use a stun gun on him. He was eventually subdued and taken the Will County jail.
According to police, abrasions on Slaboszewski's face were not a result of his struggle with officers.
"He claimed that was from a fireworks explosion two days before," Fisher said.
Police said Slaboszewski was carrying a backpack containing stolen items tying him to at least five other vehicle burglaries. All of the vehicles targeted in the crimes were unlocked, police said.
"We're telling people, lock your car doors," Fisher said.
Slaboszewski was charged with burglary, resisting a peace officer and criminal trespassing to a vehicle.
Fisher said Slaboszewski has had numerous run-ins with Plainfield police.
Jail records show that since 2010, Slaboszewski has been arrested on charges including heroin possession, aggravated assault, interfering with the reporting of domestic violence and resisting an officer.