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Woman Nabbed in Break-in Tells Cops She Wanted Cigarettes

Linda Hernandez was found inside the house only minutes after the homeowner had left, Joliet police said.

A Joliet woman who has snuck into a man's house twice in the last three weeks was arrested Wednesday afternoon for burglary, Joliet police Cmdr. Rich Demick said.

The victim told officers that he had left his home in the 200 block of Illinois Street at about 4 p.m. but double-backed to retrieve something he forgot, only to find that Linda G. Hernandez, 42, had let herself in during the short time he was gone, Demick said.

She had done almost the same thing on Dec. 1, when police arrested her on a charge of criminal trespass to property, he said.

In the most recent incident, Hernandez initially told police she "knew (the homeowner) kept cigarettes in his house and she wanted to borrow some," Demick said. She went in when she found the door unlocked, she said.

Hernandez later said she was looking for her daughter, whom she said often visited the homeowner, Demick said. She lives less than three blocks away from the victim.

In both cases, police believe her true motive was to burglarize the home, Demick said. Hernandez, of 609 Morgan St., was charged with burglary because she admitted her plan was to take cigarettes without the victim's knowledge or permission, he said.

Hernandez has a long track record with the police. According to the Will County jail log, previous arrests include burglary and criminal trespass to vehicle charges in July 2012, retail theft in January 2011, June 2010 and July 2009, manufacture/delivery of a look-alike substance in April 2010 and June 2010, narcotics possession in July 2010 and possession of a controlled substance in June 2010.

Hernandez is being held in the county jail in lieu of $50,000 bond.

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