Riverside police appear to have solved at least 15 car burglaries that occurred in the village over the past 2 1/2 months with the arrest of a teenager wanted in Iowa for escaping from a juvenile detention facility in Dubuque on May 15.

According to Riverside Assistant Police Chief Thomas Weitzel, two plain-clothes officers stopped the youth for a curfew violation just after 1:30 a.m. on Aug. 5 after he was seen carrying a shopping bag and crossing into Riverside from Berwyn at Longcommon Road.

The boy identified himself as an 18-year-old. Police records identified him as committing thefts in Lyons and
Berwyn over the past two months. In the shopping bag, police found loose change, a Sony DVD player and two small DVD monitors that appeared to come from a vehicle. On the previous afternoon, a resident in
the 500 block of Parkway Road reported
similar equipment stolen from his
vehicle, and later identified the equipment as his.

After fingerprinting the suspect, however, police found that he was, in fact, a 15-year-old from Keokuk, Iowa. In addition, they found he was a fugitive wanted for escaping from the Hillcrest Detention and Shelter facility in Dubuque, where he had been sentenced after a conviction for the manufacture and delivery of 110 pounds of cannabis.

In a statement to police, the boy said he came to the area because he had friends in Berwyn and Lyons, and reportedly either stayed in their homes or slept in area parks since his escape. He reportedly admitted committing car burglaries in Riverside, Lyons and Berwyn, targeting only unlocked cars and stealing only items in plain view. He then traded those items, reportedly, for drugs.

In addition, Weitzel said the boy identified 15 addresses where he had burglarized vehicles. Riverside charged the boy with four counts of felony theft and four counts of burglary to a motor vehicle. He was then turned over to the Cook County juvenile authorities, and is awaiting extradition to Iowa to face escape charges.