10 years for burglar who left his photo on computer

Pleads guilty to breaking into two Riverside home

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By BOB UPHUES

Updated May 1, 2012, 12:45 p.m.

Dominick J. Harvey will likely be very careful the next time he sits down in front of a laptop computer to snap a photo of himself. Particularly if the laptop is one he stole.

In April, Harvey pleaded guilty to burglarizing two Riverside homes in August 2011 and is now serving a 10-year sentence at Stateville Correctional Center.

A prime piece of evidence against the 43-year-old Harvey was a partial photo of him that was found on the hard drive of an Apple MacBook Pro laptop stolen from a home in the 500 block of West Parkway Road. Harvey failed to clear the photo from the hard drive, and that picture - which showed the top half of a man's face - was turned over to police, who made it public.

According to Riverside Police Chief Thomas Weitzel, the photo's dissemination prompted a flood of phone calls from people who recognized Harvey.

"Literally within 15 minutes of the photo being published we had phone calls from several individuals who gave us all the same name," Weitzel said last September.

It took a month to finally track Harvey down, but police finally arrested him without incident on Sept. 21, 2011 at his Berwyn home.

After stealing the laptop, Harvey sold it at an electronics store in Cicero for $150. An employee at the store discovered the owner's name through information on the hard drive and turned it over to him after learning it had been stolen. The owner then combed the hard drive and discovered Harvey's photo.

"He knew [the photo] was on there," Weitzel told the Landmark when Harvey was arrested. "He admitted taking the picture, but he couldn't figure out how to get it off."

Harvey has been in and out of prison since 1991. He had been convicted previously of burglary, forgery, retail theft, possession of a stolen vehicle, obstructing justice and drug possession.

At the time of his arrest in September 2011, Harvey was on parole after serving two years of a six-year sentence for residential burglary.

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