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Brutal Murder Of Coin Shop Owner Linked To NW Side Burglar: Prosecutors

By Erica Demarest | April 22, 2016 1:54pm | Updated on April 25, 2016 7:17am
 Jonathon Herrera, 19, is charged with first-degree murder in the death of 56-year-old Petro Rymar on April 1.
Jonathon Herrera, 19, is charged with first-degree murder in the death of 56-year-old Petro Rymar on April 1.
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DNAinfo/Kelly Bauer; Chicago Police Department

COOK COUNTY CRIMINAL COURTHOUSE — A Jefferson Park man has been charged in the brutal murder of an Irving Park coin shop owner earlier this month.

Jonathon Herrera, 19, left two bloody fingerprints when he stabbed to death 56-year-old Petro Rymar and pillaged the man's store at 3939 N. Pulaski Road at 4:50 p.m. April 1, police and prosecutors said.

Authorities also linked Herrera to a March 24 burglary in Forest Glen in which he allegedly stole $25,000 worth of jewelry, coins and U.S. currency from Archie's Precious Metals, 5516 W. Devon Ave.

Herrera, of the 5300 block of North Lovejoy Avenue, is charged with first-degree murder, armed robbery and burglary.

The slaying happened after Rymar, who owned Bart's Coins And Collectibles, buzzed Herrera into his shop, Assistant State's Attorney Brian Whang said during a bond hearing Friday.

Once inside, Herrera stabbed Rymar multiple times in his chest and stomach with "a sharp instrument," Whang said. It's not clear what was used; police records list the weapon as "a sharp object."

Herrera then stole several items from the store's vault and broke a front window with a stool to escape, prosecutors said.

Several witnesses saw Herrera climb out of the window and run way, according to Whang. Several of those people were able to positively identify him, police said.

Police responding to 911 calls found Rymar unresponsive in a back office, prosecutors said. He was later pronounced dead.

In the days after the fatal attack, Herrera sold or pawned several of the items he took from Rymar's shop, Whang said. Police said they linked Herrera to the crime through two bloody fingerprints he left near the vault and windows.

Prosecutors also have charged Herrera in a March 24 burglary at Archie's Precious Metals.

He is accused of entering the shop through the roof, stuffing $25,000 worth of cash and wares into garbage bags and fleeing. Surveillance cameras captured Herrera enter a room with a safe and later walk down an alley with a garbage bag in his hand, Whang said.

A store employee recognized Herrera on the security footage as someone who had pawned an item in the same store on March 21, prosecutors said. Herrera used his state ID for the transaction, court records show, and the victim was able to provide Herrera's information to police.

Cook County Judge Adam Bourgeois Jr. on Friday ordered Herrera held without bail.

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