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The County of DuPage
Wheaton, Illinois

Press Release

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Bond Set for West Chicago Man Charged with Hijacking Vehicle at Knifepoint

DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert Berlin and West Chicago Chief of Police Michael Uplegger announced today that bond has been set for a West Chicago man accused of hijacking a sixty-two-year-old man’s car at knifepoint. Moises Patino-Romero, 25 (d.o.b. 2/11/1995) of 103 E. Geneva Street, appeared in Bond Court this morning where Judge Alex McGimpsey set bond at $300,000 with 10% to apply. Patino-Romero has been charged with two counts of Aggravated Vehicular Hijacking, a Class X Felony.     
            At approximately 12:08 p.m., on March 31, 2020, the victim went to a local store and left his vehicle unlocked in the parking lot while he went inside. The victim returned to his vehicle and drove away while speaking to someone on the phone. It is alleged while the victim drove, Patino-Romero appeared behind him from the backseat, reached around and held the knife in front of his face. It is further alleged that Patino-Romero told his victim something to the effect of "tell him you'll call him back." It is alleged that the victim then jumped out of the car, ran away and contacted the police from another phone. An investigation conducted by the West Chicago Police Department led to Patino-Romero who was apprehended approximately twenty-four hours later. At the time of his arrest, Patino-Romero was on a recognizance bond for a Criminal Trespass to Residence in the early morning hours of the same day. That charge has since been upgraded to Residential Burglary, a Class 1 Felony. He was released from custody on March 31, 2020 at approximately 11:45 a.m. in that case. It is alleged that he committed the current offense approximately twenty-five minutes after his release. The bond set this morning by Judge McGimpsey is for both of Patino-Romero’s cases.    

“The allegations against Mr. Patino-Romero are outrageous,” Berlin said. “This type of violent behavior, particularly in consideration of the current stay-at-home order, will not be tolerated in DuPage County and will be met with the full force of the law. What I find particularly troubling is the fact that Mr. Patino-Romero was just released from custody less than half an hour before he allegedly committed this crime. Thankfully, the victim in this case was not physically harmed. I would like to thank the West Chicago Police Department for their outstanding work in identifying and apprehending the defendant in this case. I would also like to thank Assistant State’s Attorneys Heather Misura and Alyssa Rabulinski for their efforts in securing charges against Mr. Patino-Romero.”  
            “I would like to thank the officers of the West Chicago Police Department and the DuPage County State’s Attorney’s Office for their work on this case,” Uplegger said. “I am extremely proud of the work the men and women of the West Chicago Police Department do on a daily basis so that individuals such as Moises Patino-Romero are held accountable for their crimes.”         
            Patino-Romero’s next court appearance is scheduled for April 27, 2020 for arraignment in front of Judge George Bakalis.          
            Members of the public are reminded that this complaint contains only charges and is not proof of the defendant’s guilt.  A defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial in which it is the government’s burden to prove his or her guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.