A pair of men suspected of burglarizing homes throughout the southwest suburbs, including Brookfield, face charges in at least three municipalities, with Brookfield expected to level charges against one of the men sometime this week.
Brookfield Police Lt. Michael Manescalchi said last week that Stephen A. Kuzmicki, 46, a former Berwyn resident who listed his address as the Plank Road Inn, 7307 Ogden Ave. in Lyons, would be charged with attempted residential burglary in connection with an incident reported last month in the 4100 block of Arthur Avenue.
According to the report, at 2 p.m. on July 17 a resident of the 4100 block of Arthur Avenue called police to report a man attempting to pry open the rear door of a neighboring home. The suspect fled the area before police arrived, but Brookfield detectives noted similarities with other cases in surrounding towns.
A joint investigation launched by the Major Case Assistance Team (MCAT) confirmed similarities between the Brookfield incident and ones being committed elsewhere in the southwest suburbs.
In early August, police received their biggest break, when an off-duty Brookfield police officer, Sgt. John Marino, observed a man matching the description of one of the suspects in a residential neighborhood in Westmont. While the man fled the scene before Westmont police arrived on the scene, Marino was able to get the license plate number of the man’s car.
With that information in hand, police were able to set up a surveillance operation on the two suspects, Kuzmicki and Berwyn resident Mark J. Hay, 48, at the Plank Road Inn in Lyons.
On Aug. 12, just before 1 p.m., officers followed the two suspects to the 7200 block of Sandy Lane in Tinley Park, where they allegedly forced their way into a residence. Police from Brookfield, Lyons, Tinley Park, LaGrange and Orland Park arrested both Kuzmicki and Hay at the scene and impounded the vehicle.
During searches of both the vehicle and the suspects’ motel room in Lyons, police recovered items from other burglaries, including firearms and jewelry reported stolen from homes in Orland Park and Tinley Park just days earlier.
In all, Orland Park police estimated that the value of the property recovered exceeded $30,000.
Tinley Park police charged both men with three counts of residential burglary for three recent break-ins in that village. In addition, Orland Park police charged both men with two counts each of residential burglary.
Police are investigating whether the two men might also be connected to burglaries reported in several other west and southwest suburbs, including LaGrange, Oak Lawn and Palos Hills.