By Heywood Hoffman
4:56 PM EST, December 13, 2012
A flashlight used to point the way during an Oak Lawn home invasion more than a year ago ended up pointing the way to a suspect, police said today, thanks to DNA and detectives who wouldn't give up.
On Aug. 4, 2011 a 69-year-old homeowner and her 68-year-old husband were woken up by an intruder in their bedroom, who pepper-sprayed the woman before fleeing the home on the 9900 block of 52nd Avenue with stolen cash, credit cards and small electronics, police said.
Police set up a perimeter search but failed to locate the attacker.
However, police said, in his haste he dropped a few of the stolen items and one thing he had brought himself -- a small flashlight.
The woman was treated at the scene and not hospitalized, but detectives kept after the case, police said. As part of checking every possible lead, the flashlight was submitted to the Illinois State Police crime lab for analysis.
In October 2012 Oak Lawn police were notified that DNA evidence was obtained and linked to Mark Stanko, 27, of the 11100 block of South Avon Avenue in Alsip, who already was in DuPage County Jail on other burglary charges from Willowbrook and Palos Heights, police said.
On Tuesday the Cook County state's attorney's office approved an additional charge against Stanko, who now faces a felony count of residential burglary for the August 2011 attack, police said.
Court information was not available.
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