Sometime between midnight Nov. 23 and 7 a.m. Nov. 25 – that would basically be over Thanksgiving – unknown persons removed catalytic converters from 62 vehicles parked in the Castle Buick rear storage lot, 7400 W. Cermak Rd. Seven of the vehicles belonged to customers having their cars fixed; 32 were new vehicles, nine were used cars and five were employee vehicles. A few leased cars and miscellaneous company cars were also stripped. All of the cars, except two, were American-made.

Barbed wire fence borders the perimeter of the lot and security lights were working according to a dealership manager.

Police discovered a cemetery access gate in the north HH Gregg parking lot to be wide open, which police guessed may have allowed thieves access to the car lot. Also, a portion of the chain link fencing on the north end of the lot adjoining a cemetery access road had been tampered with. The metal fencing had been cut and temporary wire fasteners were found to be holding it up. This allowed a long section of fencing to be lifted and propped up, possibly allowing offenders to enter and exit the lot easily.

Police reported that they believed “sawzalls” were used to cut the pipes. The manager said the cost of repair and parts for each car would average $650.

Black Friday indeed!

North Riverside police arrested Roberto Chavez, 26, and Nallely Angeles, 24, both of Cicero, for leaving their four year old son in a running 2001 Ford Expedition for at least 33 minutes in the parking lot of Kohl’s clothing store at 12:22 a.m. on Nov. 25. Both parents were charged with one misdemeanor count of endangering the life or health of a child.

The passenger side rear window of a Cadillac Escalade parked in the Sears north lot between 4 a.m. and 5:20 a.m. on Nov. 25 was shattered and a new 32Ðinch flat screen Samsung TV and a purse were missing.

‘I get my weed in the Forest Preserve’

Roberto L. Almazan, 20, of the 1800 block of Highland in Berwyn was arrested after someone reported a suspicious auto parked in the 2500 block of 2nd Ave. in N. Riverside at 11:55 a.m. on Nov. 27. Police observed a black BMW with two passengers parked in front of a Kia. Police questioned the occupants of the BMW and sent them on their way. Police saw the Kia driver making furtive movements and when an officer tapped on the driver’s side window, he could immediately smell a strong odor of cannabis. In plain view, the officer saw a backpack containing a glass container filled with a green leafy substance, three glass smoking pipes, a digital scale and six empty small clear plastic baggies. Police transported Almazan to the station where he stated that the cannabis was strictly for his own personal use. When questioned about the more than 30 grams of pot, he allegedly said, “This amount of cannabis will last me a long time.” He also told police, “I don’t purchase the weed. I get it from the Forest Preserve off 5th Avenue and 26th Street in North Riverside. Kids leave the leftovers there and I collect it.” Almazan was charged with one felony count of unlawful possession of cannabis, one felony count of unlawful delivery of cannabis and one count misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia.

Double-DUI car crash

Brookfield police reported that both drivers were drunk in a non-injury car accident at 47th and Eberly St. on Nov. 27 at 2:30 a.m.. Michael Zolezzi, 23, of Downers Grove allegedly blew through a stop sign traveling westbound on 47th St. where his red Jeep Grand Cherokee struck the side of the white Nissan Maxima driven by John Wallace, 45, of Countryside. The officer observed that both men smelled strongly of alcohol, swayed while standing and had bloodshot, glassy eyes. Zolezzi failed field sobriety tests and registered a breathalyzer blood alcohol content of .198, more than twice the legal limit of .08. Wallace refused to take field sobriety or breathalyzer tests, but was charged with DUI anyway, as well as not having a license.

Siblings fight over loaded gun

North Riverside police have concluded their suspicious circumstances investigation into the case of a woman, age 83, who accidentally discharged a loaded gun while cleaning it, shooting herself in the breast on the morning of Nov. 12 in the 2300 block of S. Hainsworth Ave. The injury was reported by the woman’s 82-year-old brother, who argued with the sister about the .22 Derringer, before allegedly loading it at her request and leaving the house. The woman told police that she shot herself when she wiped the gun with a GermX cleaning wipe. When her brother returned, he found his sister injured and called 911. Police found the bullet lodged in the bedroom wall. The woman was taken to the Loyola Hospital trauma unit for medical assistance. When asked if she had thoughts of hurting herself, the woman allegedly told officers, “Are you crazy? Why would I want to kill myself? I love my life!” The gun was confiscated and the woman was told she would need a Firearm Owner’s ID card before it could be returned to her.

These items were obtained from police reports filed by the Riverside, North Riverside and Brookfield police departments, Nov. 15-22, 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 Jean Lotus