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Senior citizens in Brookfield and North Riverside were targeted for burglaries last week, according to police.
On May 3, an 80-year-old Brookfield resident told police she had let a man inside her home and later discovered jewelry and $5,000 in cash missing from a night stand drawer. The man appeared at the back door between 4 and 4:30 p.m., said he was doing work in the area and asked if he could check for water in the basement.
The man chatted with the woman and her husband for a few minutes and then went downstairs with the woman for a short while. He left the home in a gray station wagon.
Afterward, the woman noticed that the bedroom dresser had been ransacked. The woman's husband told police he saw two people drive away in the vehicle.
On May 4, someone gained entry to the home of a 91-year-old North Riverside woman, possibly while she was asleep at home, and ransacked a bedroom dresser, whose contents were scattered atop the bed, along with several small jewelry boxes. Money and credit cards from a wallet were also taken from the home, according to police.@
Watch your scrap metal
Brookfield police are looking for three men who used a white SUV to steal - in broad daylight on a work day - a 4-foot section of ductile iron pipe and four 4-foot sections of steel spreader bars from the construction zone near Grand Boulevard and Harrison Avenue.
A witness called police at about 11:40 a.m. on May 7, saying she observed three heavyset men walking around the area, followed by a white Chevy SUV. The men, she said picked up an item, put it in the back of the SUV and then quickly left the area.
The items taken were valued at about $1,100.
On April 30 at 1:25 p.m., a business owner in the 9400 block of Southview Avenue called police to report a man digging through a dumpster just north of the Burlington Northern-Santa Fe railroad tracks.
When police arrived, they talked to the 22-year-old subject, a resident of Brookfield. He had placed numerous pieces of scrap metal in his vehicle and told police he had permission from the railroad to take it.
The man was turned over to BNSF police without incident.
Chicago resident John P. Bozarth, 45, was charged with a felony count of burglary after he reportedly took a 1-foot metal expandable ladder from the garage of a home in the 2200 block of Hainsworth Avenue, North Riverside, on May 3.
A witness told police she saw a man load the ladder into a blue station wagon and then drive away.
Police stopped the vehicle at Cermak Road and Home Avenue in Berwyn. The driver, Bozarth, reportedly told police he was searching for scrap metal in Forest Park and North Riverside and saw an aluminum ladder outside a garage and thought the owner had thrown it out.
The ladder's owner told police the ladder was kept inside the building and that he had last seen it there about 1 p.m., roughly 15 minutes prior to the time it was reported stolen.
Bozarth is being held at Cook County Jail with bail set at $10,000. He had a hearing related to the North Riverside incident on May 4 at Maybrook. He's got a court date on an unrelated case at the Markham courthouse on May 8.@
Gas pump tampered with
A Brookfield gas station had an unknown amount of gasoline stolen from two of its pumps on May 1 after someone pried open the front panels and tampered with the meter.
An attendant said a man walked into the Citgo station at 3419 Maple Ave. and prepaid $15 to use the pump before leaving without incident. Then 15 minutes later, several other vehicles drove up and used the same pump station without coming in to pay.
The activity ended when it became clear the employee was growing suspicious, according to the police report.@
Nap after chase
A 22-year-old Chicago man decided he needed a nap after allegedly leading police on a chase from Brookfield to Justice on May 6 about 5 a.m. The chase started at 31st Street and Kemman Avenue when a Brookfield officer tried to stop Miguel Soto for speeding.
The officer then watched as Soto reportedly drove erratically while reaching speeds of up to 77 mph heading southbound on First Avenue into Summit. Police were finally able to box Soto in at 88th and Archer, where Soto reportedly got out of his 2005 Chevy Equinox, fell down, hit his face on the pavement and then rolled over onto his back to sleep.
He was charged with driving under the influence, speeding, improper lane usage and fleeing and eluding.
These items were obtained from police reports filed by the Riverside, North Riverside and Brookfield police departments, April 30-May 7, and represent a portion of the incidents to which police responded. Unless otherwise indicated, anybody named in these reports has only been charged with a crime. These cases have not been adjudicated.
- Compiled by Bob Uphues