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Car theft leads to two arrests, charges in several crimes

Nicholas D. Seidel

Nicholas D. Seidel

Two men face charges relating to several crimes in different suburbs after they were found staying together in a St. Charles motel, police said Wednesday.

Nicholas D. Seidel, 30, of Elgin, is charged with two counts of burglary, and one count each of unlawful possession of a stolen vehicle, aggravated fleeing and eluding, driving with a suspended license, and issuing counterfeit money, related to several incidents this month in St. Charles.

Dane R. Pheneghar, 22, of Glen Ellyn, is charged with one count of bank robbery, in connection to a Dec. 20 robbery at Elgin State Bank, but is a suspect in the Dec. 5th robberies at Fifth Third Bank in Wheaton and First State Bank in Geneva, as well as the Dec. 9 robbery of TCF Bank in Glendale Heights, according to FBI investigators.

Around midnight Dec. 21, St. Charles police were conducting surveillance at Don McCue Chevrolet, 2015 E. Main St., after past auto equipment thefts, said police spokesman Paul McCurtain.

An officer saw a black BMW pull out of the dealership with paperwork still attached to the front windshield. When the officer tried to stop the vehicle, it sped away down Main Street, police said. Eventually, the car crashed into a decorative fixture in Baker Park in downtown St. Charles and the driver – Seidel – allegedly ran from the area but was later arrested.

During the investigation, police also identified Seidel as being involved in a Dec. 18 burglary at The Colony, 3950 Stern Ave., when $1,000 of computer equipment was stolen. Evidence found at the scene tied Seidel to the crime, police said.

Police also determined Seidel allegedly used a $20 counterfeit bill to purchase an Arizona ice tea at Walgreens, 2751 East Main St. A scanner, computer, paper and fake $20 bills were also recovered from his car, police said.

After Seidel’s arrest on Dec. 21, police began surveillance at the St. Charles Super 8 motel room where he was staying, McCurtain said. During that surveillance, police found Pheneghar, who was staying with Seidel.

When police tried to conduct a traffic stop on the car Pheneghar was driving, he got out of the car and ran, but was eventually caught and arrested, McCurtain said.

The investigation led to the FBI charging Pheneghar with the bank robbery. He remains in federal custody, held without bail.

Seidel remains in Kane County jail on $110,000 bail.

St. Charles police, the FBI and the U.S. Secret Service – which investigates counterfeiting – continue to investigate the incidents. Additional charges are possible, McCurtain said.

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