Updated 12/20/2011 1:20 p.m.
The man Riverside’s police chief once called a “one-man crime wave” is back in jail after trying to sell a laptop computer he allegedly stole from a vehicle in Riverside last week.
William Wesley Brown, 35, was also found in possession of a global positioning system (GPS) unit he allegedly took from another vehicle in Riverside. Police charged Brown with two counts of felony theft.
At the time of his arrest, Brown was on parole. In July, he was released from Big Muddy Correctional Center Southern Illinois after serving seven years of a 15-year sentence for a host of crimes, from residential burglary to stealing an SUV to escaping from police custody.
In July 2003, Brown stole an SUV from a home in the 200 block of Southcote Road in Riverside and led police on a high-speed chase that ended when he crashed it into two trees in Centennial Park. He and a female accomplice escaped on foot, but River Forest police, who were also looking for Brown, apprehended them at a Chicago hotel.
Brown escaped from River Forest police while he was being booked, and it took more than 30 police officers to eventually find him hiding in the back of a car that police said he was planning to steal.
He was given 15 years in a plea deal. After his release, Riverside police say he was staying at a residence in the 3800 block of Harlem Avenue in Berwyn.
While living there, police said, Brown would venture into Riverside to find things to steal. On Dec. 18, he allegedly stole the GPS unit from a vehicle parked in the 400 block of Selborne Road and a laptop from a vehicle in the 100 block of Northgate Road.
About 1:20 a.m., Riverside police received a call from someone reporting that a man stopped him on the street and tried to sell him a laptop computer. Suspicious, that person called police.
North Riverside police stopped Brown at 26th Street and Veterans Drive. Brown reportedly had the laptop computer hidden under his jacket. On the computer was the name of a Riverside resident, who confirmed it had been removed from her vehicle.