Police disperse large crowd at the mall

Security personnel and local police were able to disperse a large gathering of teenagers at the North Riverside Park Mall, 7501 Cermak Road, on the evening of Dec. 26, potentially averting the kind of situation that spun out of control on that same date in 2006.

According to North Riverside police, mall security officers started enforcing the mall’s youth escort policy at 6 p.m. that evening, ordering anyone under the age of 18 unaccompanied by an adult out of the mall.

Less than 15 minutes later, a large group of about 150 teens re-entered the mall in one group, police said, overwhelming security personnel and the two North Riverside police officers assigned to the mall that evening.

“The kids began playing the game of ‘Let’s go through another door,” said North Riverside Police Commander Christian Ehrenberg.

One local ordinance ticket was issued to a juvenile for trespassing. Four separate fights were reported, but no one was arrested. Several mall stores, according to the police report, opted to shut their security gates to prohibit juveniles from entering while the crowd remained onsite.

However, at no time did the mall itself close, and Ehrenberg stated, “The situation was under control the entire time.”

Additional police officers from Berwyn, Riverside, Stickney, Broadview and McCook were called to the mall to assist North Riverside officers in removing unaccompanied juveniles from the mall over the next two hours.

Once outside, a large crowd of juveniles reportedly pushed their way onto buses without paying. Police responded to the bus stop to order everyone off the bus and ensure all passengers paid their fares.

By 8:30 p.m., the juveniles had left the mall property, according to police.

Teens charged with burglary

Three 17-year-old males, two from Riverside and one from Brookfield, were charged on Dec. 27 with the Christmas Eve burglary of a home in the 300 block of Herrick Road in Riverside.

According to police, one of the suspects arranged for the home to be burglarized between 4 and 5 p.m. when he accompanied the victims to a church service that afternoon. He allegedly left the service for a couple of minutes to call his collaborators and let them know no one was at home and to use a side door he knew to be unlocked.

Numerous items, including electronics equipment, bottles of alcohol, a camera, a safe containing personal papers and several hundred dollars in cash, were taken from the house.

On Dec. 27, one of the suspects allegedly tried to login to a Kindle taken from the residence using a wireless router, which police traced to a residence on Groveland Avenue in Riverside. There police took one of the suspects into custody and reportedly recovered several of the items stolen.

Police also arrested suspects who lived in the 300 block of Herrick and the 3800 block of Cleveland Avenue in Brookfield. Officers reported recovering all of the property except for some cash. Police also say they linked at least one of the suspects to the Dec. 5 burglary of a home in the 200 block of Shenstone Road in Riverside.

Although all three suspects are juveniles, the Cook County State’s Attorney has charged Jason E. Straka and Anthony W. Samson, both of Riverside, and Vincent A. Lamanna, of Brookfield, as adults. Each is charged with one count of residential burglary.

A resident of an apartment building on Forest Avenue in Riverside reported to police just prior to midnight on Dec. 25 that sometime within the previous two days, someone had gained entry to his apartment and removed a slew of items, including a 32-inch flat-screen TV, two laptop computers, an electric guitar, an electric bass guitar, and an electric keyboard.

Police stated there were no signs of forced entry to the apartment, and no one police interviewed said they noticed anything out of the ordinary during time when the burglary reportedly was committed.

Van jumps curb

A 76-year-old Chicago man was ticketed by Riverside police on Dec. 25 about 9 p.m. after he lost control of his 2002 Chevy van while driving northbound in the 3100 block of Harlem Avenue, slid across the southbound lanes, jumped the curb and struck a parkway tree before coming to rest next to an apartment building.

A witness who was driving behind the man said she noticed the van hit a patch of ice on the snow-covered street before spinning out of control. Police called a family member to pick up the man. He was cited for failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident and damage to village property.

These items were obtained from police reports filed by the Riverside, North Riverside and Brookfield police departments, Dec. 20-27, 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