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Local News

Trespasser said he took photos of property for final exam: cops

Michael J. Vanko, 22, Addison
Michael J. Vanko, 22, Addison

An Addison man told officers he was taking photos as part of his college final exam when he was arrested, according to Joliet police report.

Michael J. Vanko, 22, appeared to be “extremely nervous” and “changed his story” throughout an interview with officers after he was arrested on May 6, according a police report obtained by The Herald-News through a Freedom of Information Act request.

Vanko initially was arrested by the officers on probable cause for burglary and possession of burglary tools but only later was charged with misdemeanor criminal trespassing for entering a dilapidated residence at 512 Scott St., according to court records.

Vanko had shown his videos and photos at the Addison Center for the Arts between Dec. 12 and Jan. 12, according to the gallery’s website. His display was called “Decaying History.”

A witness who called the police had spotted Vanko entering the residence on Scott Street with binoculars from 100 yards away, according to the police report.

Officers who responded to the scene found Vanko had a pry bar, glass cutter, screwdrivers, wrenches and lights stored in his book bag, according to the police report.

Vanko told the officers he was taking photographs and working with Joliet Central High School students, according to the police report, but then claimed he was a student at the College of DuPage and was taking photographs for his final exam.

Vanko said the tools in his book bag were from a maintenance class and then said they actually belonged to his father, according to the police report.

Vanko told the officers he was “only taking pictures and did not see any no trespassing signs,” according to the police report.

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