Friday, February 20, 2009

Convicted Chicago Outfit Extorter Suspected in String of Home Burglaries

Police have identified two ex-convicts -- one with ties to the Chicago Outfit -- as top suspects in a burglary ring traveling the North Shore and other suburbs lately.

Former mob extortionist Mario Rainone, 54, of 930 Grant St., Addison, and convicted burglar Vincent T. Forliano, 39, of 362 Glenwood Drive, Bloomingdale, were arrested Saturday and charged with burglarizing a Lincolnshire home on Trafalgar Square two days earlier.

Police would not disclose exact details of the arrests this week, except to say that investigators from various police departments had identified Rainone and Forliano as potential suspects in a string of area home burglaries.

"We started noticing there were patterns to other burglaries," explained Lincolnshire police Detective John-Erik Anderson. "Through intelligence sharing, we came up with these guys' names and put them under surveillance."

Police have not disclosed what evidence led to the arrests, but "they've been pretty much under regular surveillance for awhile now. It was a result of that regular surveillance that led us to arrest them," Anderson said.

Both men were picked up by Addison police and turned over to Lincolnshire on Saturday. They were charged and transferred to Lake County Jail on $500,000 bond.

Anderson expects other police departments in Lake, Cook and DuPage counties to file additional burglary charges in this case. Several burglaries have been reported in Deerfield, Buffalo Grove, Northbrook and elsewhere in the past month, though authorities had not officially tied those crimes together by the time the arrests were announced.

In 1992, Rainone pleaded guilty to six counts of racketeering and extortion in federal court. Prosecutors said he shook down several businesses for cash on behalf of a Chicago mob crew, including Francesco's Hole in the Wall Restaurant, which was then located in Wheeling.

Rainone was sentenced to 17 1/2 years but was released early, in December 2006, according to a Federal Bureau of Prisons inmate registry. He is still on parole and is wanted by South Barrington police on theft charges, Anderson said.

Forliano was paroled from the state's East Moline Correctional Center last May after being convicted of theft in Cook County. His record also includes burglary convictions in Cook and DuPage counties dating back the past two decades. In 2001, he was arrested by Winnetka police on suspicion of burglarizing condominiums on Green Bay Road.

Rainone was scheduled a Feb. 19 bond hearing in Lake County Court, while Forliano is to appear on Feb. 20.

Rainone's defense attorney, Sam Amirante, says he will ask the judge to reduce his client's $500,000 bond, which he described as unusually high for a burglary charge. Amirante could not say whether the arrest would lead federal authorities to revoke Rainone's parole. "Mr. Rainone should be presumed innocent, just like everyone else," he said.

Thanks to Matt Kiefer

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