The Riverside Police Department has taken four suspected burglars into custody in what Police Chief Tom Weitzel is calling the largest burglary arrest the department has had in quite some time.
Three suspects were apprehended in a “high risk” traffic stop at Oak Park Avenue and 30th Place in Berwyn on April 27. A fourth was apprehended later that day based on descriptions given by the first three. Police are currently searching for a fifth suspect, who Weitzel said they expect to have in custody by this afternoon.
The four suspects in custody are all residents of Cicero. Two are 17 years old, and the others are 18 and 19. Charges are pending. Weitzel said the arrests may tie back to 13 burglaries in Riverside since January.
The arrests occurred after a Riverside resident tipped off the police to a suspicious incident that occurred at his home on the 300 block of Fairbank Rd. late Wednesday morning.
Steve Campbell said a man rang his doorbell and when Campbell responded from an upstairs window, the man asked for a person who did not live at the residence. As Campbell continued to ask questions, the suspect began to leave his property.
“It was very much out of place,” said Campbell of the incident. “He didn’t belong here.”
Weitzel said the incident fit the pattern of 13 other burglaries. He said that the suspects would knock on doors to determine if residents were home before committing the burglaries. If someone answered the door, they would ask for someone who didn’t live at the home.
After the suspect left his home, Campbell immediately called the police and offered a description. Thirteen minutes after the attempted burglary, the first three suspects were apprehended in a coordinated effort between Riverside, North Riverside, Berwyn, and Lyons police departments.
“Mr. Campbell gave us a fantastic description. He called us immediately. He didn’t wait,” said Weitzel.
The suspects gave written statements admitting to the burglaries. Police searched three Cicero homes Wednesday night, and have currently recovered 131 pieces of stolen property, including flat screen televisions, laptop computers, jewelry, and more.
Weitzel said the suspects are also suspected in burglaries in North Riverside and Berwyn.
The police chief credited his department, Campbell, and the other nearby departments which participated in the apprehension with helping to finally nab the serial burglars.
“From my perspective, it was excellent work by everyone,” he said.