Riverside police have charged a longtime lunchroom worker at Riverside-Brookfield High School with skimming money from the cash register in the cafeteria.

Lyons resident Patricia Reyes, 47, faces one count of felony theft for allegedly stealing a little more than $1,400 between Nov. 30 and Dec. 16, 2009. However, Riverside Police Chief Thomas Weitzel said the investigation continues and that both the school and police suspect the amount stolen by Reyes is much larger.

“If we need to get a forensic accountant involved we’ll do that through the state’s attorney or with the assistance of the school and [the food service company],” Weitzel said.

Police arrested Reyes on Wednesday morning after school officials alleged that security camera footage showed Reyes not charging people for food and keeping the money.

According to Weitzel, in the video evidence “you can clearly see her pocketing money.”

Reyes has worked in the lunchroom at Riverside-Brookfield High School for the past 12 years. She is employed by the school’s food service company, Quest.

Weitzel said that the school and Quest were instrumental in helping gather evidence against Reyes, including video footage and cash register records.

At a hearing Jan. 7, Reyes posted 10 percent of her $15,000 bond and is awaiting a court date on Jan. 11 at Maybrook.

Drug charges for Stickney man

Brookfield police slapped a 21-year-old Stickney resident with a variety of drug-related charges on Jan. 9, including allegedly selling LSD.

Jose De La Torre was charged with possession of cannabis, possession of a controlled substance (cocaine), unlawful delivery of a controlled substance (LSD) and several traffic offenses after an officer stopped him for a minor traffic infraction just before 2 a.m. in the 4000 block of Maple Avenue.

De La Torre’s license was suspended, police reported, leading to his arrest. In De La Torre’s pockets, police reported finding a plastic baggy containing cannabis and a tin foil packet containing a piece of paper divided into 20 pieces with a white powder (LSD) upon them all.

Brookfield bar burglarized

Brookfield police reported that someone broke into a 47th Street bar and stole cash from two video poker machines early in the morning on Jan. 7.

According to the report, police were called to Joe’s Saloon, 9220 47th St., at 5 a.m. The responding officer reported that a 6-by-6-inch window pane in the east entry door was broken. Found outside the door were three small bricks that came from a nearby flower pot.

The offender smashed open the cash register, but it contained no cash, police reported. About $150 was taken from the video poker machines.


A 37-year-old Danville man was charged Jan. 5 with possessing items stolen from a North Riverside home earlier that week.

A resident of the 2300 block of 5th Avenue reported that between 9 p.m. on Jan. 2 and 10 a.m. on Jan. 3 someone entered his home and removed two small TV sets, a Sony digital camera, a set of golf clubs and a golf bag.

On Jan. 5, the resident reported to police that a bed sheet from his home lay outside a black Saturn parked in the 8700 block of Cermak Road. The car was registered to Brian M. Lukas, who reportedly formerly employed the victim.

When Lukas came out of the building, police arrested him. At the time of his arrest, Lukas allegedly had in his possession the victim’s digital camera and a golf glove.

DUI hit-and-run

Riverside police charged Melissa I. Valdez, 22, with driving under the influence and leaving the scene of an accident, after she drove her 2007 Toyota into the back of a 2006 Chevy at the corner of Harlem and Ogden and fled the scene.

The victim, a 25-year-old Riverside man, reportedly followed Valdez to a residence in the 4500 block of Abbott Terrace in Lyons, where Lyons police reportedly found the car off the driveway in the backyard, stuck in the snow.

Lyons police called Riverside, who arrested Valdez. Her blood-alcohol level two hours after the incident was reportedly .144, or nearly two times the legal limit of .08.

Berwyn resident Edward L. Quintana, 21, who was a passenger in Valdez’s car, was charged with possessing less than 2.5 grams of cannabis.

These items were obtained from police reports filed by the Riverside, North Riverside and Brookfield police departments from Jan. 4 to Jan. 10 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