A 43-year-old man caught trying to rob the poor box at St. Mary Church in Riverside in 2005 has been sentenced to seven years in prison by a Cook County Circuit Court judge.

On May 18, Judge Thomas Tucker sentenced Russell L. Mackey to seven years for three counts of aggravated burglary and two years for criminal damage to property. The sentences will be served concurrently.

The verdict closed the books on two separate incidents reported in Riverside in February 2005. On Feb. 1, 2005 a custodian at the church called police after witnessing a man later identified as Mackey trying to steal money from the metal poor boxes inside the church.

On Feb. 18, 2005, Mackey returned and the custodian saw him trying to physically remove a poor box from the wall. After being confronted by the custodian, Mackey said he was there to see a priest and the custodian offered to take Mackey to see one.

The custodian alerted a school employee to call police, who took Mackey into custody several minutes later. Police found a screwdriver, cash and a check made out to the Riverside United Methodist Church in Mackey’s SUV.

Meanwhile, a man arrested in March by Riverside police for attempting to break into three homes, was sentenced to six years in prison by Cook County Circuit Court Judge Carol Kipperman on May 19.

Frank B. Santiago, 27, whose last known address was in Lyons, was found guilty of residential burglary in connection with an incident on March 25 in which he reportedly broke into a house in the 700 block of Selborne Road and then tried to break into a home in the 400 block of Longcommon Road. Police also charged him with breaking into a vacant home in the 200 block of Addison Road.

At the time of his arrest, Santiago was on parole for burglary, forgery, possession of a stolen vehicle and a felony weapons charge from 1999.


Police are looking for the person or persons who made off with over $7,000 in welding and cutting tools during a burglary at AirGas, 9100 47th St. in Brookfield on May 20.

Police arrived at the scene just after 10 p.m. in response to an activated burglar alarm. Once there, officers found the glass front door shattered and the building alarm sounding. Police called the business’ branch manager, who told police burglars had made off with two Hypotherm plasma cutters (valued at $2,500), a Miles mig welder ($700), two Victor cutting torches ($260 each) and one Victor cutting torch outfit ($895).


 LaGrange Park resident Mary K. Wei, 19, was charged under the state’s zero tolerance statute driving under the influence of alcohol after she allegedly drove her 2001 Mercury two-door into the rear end of a 2004 Honda, which then hit a 2001 Chevy on May 19 just before midnight.

According to the report, the Honda and Chevy van were stopped at the light on 31st Street at Maple Avenue in Brookfield. Wei reportedly told police that she was reaching for her ringing cell phone just prior to the crash. While speaking with Wei, the officer reported that he smelled alcohol on her breath.

In addition to DUI, Wei was cited for failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident, driving an uninsured vehicle and illegal transportation of open alcohol.

No one was injured in the incident.

 A man who was seriously injured in a head-on collision on Harlem Avenue on May 14 was charged last week with driving under the influence and cited for several traffic offenses.

Elmhurst resident Jacek Szajna, 37, was allegedly drunk when his 1993 Dodge Caravan struck a 2003 Mitsubishi Eclipse and then swerved into the northbound lane of traffic, slamming head-on into a 200 Chevy pickup truck.

Szajna was thrown through the windshield of his van and suffered a severe cut on his throat. After undergoing emergency surgery, Szajna was released into police custody on May 17. In addition to DUI, he was cited for driving in the wrong lane, improper lane usage, failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident and having no driver’s license on his person.

The drivers of the other two vehicles involved in the crash were not seriously injured.

 Riverside police charged Lyons resident Joseph F. Delgado, 22, with driving under the influence after being stopped for speeding in the 100 block of East Quincy Street just before 1 a.m. on May 17. According to the report, Delgado’s vehicle was headed westbound, traveling 40 mph in a 25 mph zone, and drove through a stop sign at South Delaplaine Road.

After reportedly failing field sobriety tests and a portable breath test, he was arrested for DUI. He refused to submit to a breath test at the station.

These items were obtained from police reports filed by the Riverside and Brookfield police departments from May 14 through May 21 and which represents a portion of the incidents to which police responded. Unless otherwise indicated, anyone named in these reports has only been charged with a crime. The cases have not yet been adjudicated.

?”Compiled by Bob Uphues