N. Riverside cops clear several vehicle burglaries

Less than a week after reporting a rash of vehicle break-ins, North Riverside police arrested the man they believe was responsible for all of them.

On April 23 about 3:45 a.m., police arrested 23-year-old Carlos Gutierrez-Villa, of Broadview, after getting a 911 call about someone attempting to break into a vehicle in the 2300 block of 2nd Avenue.

A resident was on his back porch having a smoke when he noticed someone walk up to his neighbor’s driveway, acting suspiciously. As the man approached a car parked in the driveway, the neighbor yelled out, causing the man to run away north on 2nd Avenue.

Police searched the area and found Gutierrez-Villa about 4 a.m. hiding behind an air-conditioning unit in the backyard of a home in the 2300 block of 4th Avenue.

According to the police report, Gutierrez-Villa had about $13.50 in loose change on him. Police later searched his home, where they reportedly recovered a JVC stereo unit stolen from a vehicle parked in the 2200 block of 10th Avenue during the overnight hours of April 17-18. In all, nine vehicles were broken into during those two days, police reported.

Police also learned Gutierrez-Villa had been previously charged with burglary in Broadview.

The Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office charged Gutierrez-Villa with one count of felony burglary. He was also charged with misdemeanor attempted criminal trespass to a vehicle and criminal trespass to property.

Gutierrez-Villa is in Cook County Jail being held without bond and awaiting a May 2 court date.

  • Oak Park resident Dominick D. Wellington, 26, faces felony burglary charges after he was found taking a backpack out of a vehicle police later learned was stolen on April 21 around 7 p.m.

Police initially responded to the North Riverside Park Mall, 7501 Cermak Road, after someone called to complain that a man was taking photos and video of a female patron at the mall.

After escorting Wellington out of the mall, he walked up to a green Chevy Malibu, reached in and grabbed a backpack from it. Wellington told officers the car belonged to a friend.

But police ran the license plate of the car and learned it was reported stolen out of Broadview earlier that day. In Wellington’s pocket, police reported recovering a remote control for the car’s stereo.

Police contacted the car’s owner, who said he left the keys in the ignition outside the Walgreens at 17th Avenue and Roosevelt Road in Broadview. After being in the store for five minutes, he returned to see his car being driven away.

Burglary

  • Riverside police are cautioning residents after receiving a report on April 23 that someone appeared to have attempted to break into a home in the 200 block of North Delaplaine Road.

Two teenage girls were inside the home about 3:30 p.m. when they heard a loud bang. But when their father came home later that evening, he noticed pry marks on the patio door and a shoe impression in the mud.

A neighbor told police she saw a man on the rear porch of the home around 3:30 p.m.

  • The owner of Blue Water Lounge, 9014 31st St., Brookfield, called police on the morning of April 23 after he arrived at work to find a glass entry door shattered. While someone appeared to have entered the bar, it was unclear if anything was missing, according to police.

  • Two garages on the east side of North Riverside were reportedly burglarized during the overnight hours of April 23-24.

A bike, a power drill, a painting and CDs were taken from a garage in the 2200 block of Northgate Avenue. A wallet and cash were taken from a van parked inside a garage in the 2200 block of Forest Avenue. Three extension cords were also taken.

  • A garage in the 2300 block of Westover Avenue, North Riverside, was burglarized between 9:15 and 11:45 a.m. on April 22.

The homeowner related she had left the overhead garage door open. Taken from the garage were a red men’s FreeSpirit road bike, a blue and purple woman’s mountain bike with a red kid’s Schwinn trailer attached to it and a red Radio Flyer tricycle.

  • A 30-year-old Summit man reported on April 27 at 4:25 p.m. that someone had burglarized his vehicle while he was shopping inside the North Riverside Park Mall, 7501 Cermak Road.

The man said he parked his 2004 Ford pickup truck in an overflow lot at the mall at about 2:30 p.m. When he returned at 4:30 p.m., he found the front passenger side door handle pried open. Missing from the truck was a Kenwood stereo, a stereo amplifier, 150 CDs and two bags filled with clothes.

Police also discovered that the man had a valid warrant for his arrest out of DuPage County. He was taken into custody and given a May 28 court date in Downers Grove after posting bond. 

Not very bright

North Riverside police charged a 53-year-old North Riverside man with three misdemeanor counts of criminal damage to property after he allegedly keyed the rear section of a tan GMC Yukon parked in the 7800 block of 26th Street in North Riverside at about 4 p.m. on April 21 — while the driver of the Yukon was still in the vehicle.

The owner of the Yukon said he was sitting in his vehicle, waiting for his wife to drop off a job application, when the alleged offender walked up and keyed the vehicle.

The driver got out of the vehicle and confronted the man, who attempted to flee, but the driver tackled the man, called police and held the man there until officers arrived.

Police also reported that two other vehicles parked in that block, a Maroon Kia and a black Cadillac, had also been keyed.

Won’t talk

A 62-year-old man, whose address is unknown, was charged with disorderly conduct and obstruction after someone called to complain that he defecated outside a home in the 3700 block of Harrison Avenue at about 6 p.m. on April 24.

Police found their suspect at Grant and Maple avenues, but the man merely stared blankly into the distance and refused to talk to police, follow their commands or provide any identification. He was not, however, physically combative at any time.

LaGrange police, who had previous contact with the man, were able to provide Brookfield police with the man’s name, but he had no driver’s license on file and would not tell police his address.

He also could not post bail and now is being held at Cook County Jail with bond set at $25,000. 

Mail problems

A 55-year-old U.S. Postal Service letter carrier called Brookfield police on April 24 at about 3:20 p.m. alleging that a drunken man inside a house in the 3700 block of Morton Avenue refused to give back mail mistakenly delivered to him.

Police contacted the man, who reportedly initially refused to open the door more than a few inches and then slammed it in the officer’s face, speaking unintelligibly. The man reportedly continued to rebuff the officer’s requests for the mail until he was threatened with arrest for obstruction.

At that point, the man reportedly apologized for his behavior and gave the officer the three pieces of mistakenly delivered mail, which were addressed to a neighbor. 

Missing a bumper?

A 53-year-old Brookfield woman was charged with misdemeanor driving under the influence , leaving the scene of an accident and other offenses after she allegedly backed her gray Dodge Dakota out of a parking spot and into a blue Dodge van in the 9100 block of Broadway Avenue, Brookfield, and then driving away on April 21 at about 6:05 p.m.

The driver of the van followed the Dakota and called police, who stopped the Dakota in the 3600 block of Prairie Avenue. The driver of the Dakota told police she knew she struck something, but thought it was the curb.

Police showed her that, in fact, the Dakota’s rear bumper was stuck to the grill of the van. A breath test later reportedly revealed the woman’s blood-alcohol level to be .290, which is more than three times the legal limit of .08. Police also reported recovering a pint bottle of vodka inside the jacket of the driver of the Dakota.

Theft

An 18-year-old female student at Riverside-Brookfield High School on April 21 was charged with theft and one count of unlawful use of a credit card after she reportedly stole a wallet and purse from a fellow student while the school was in a soft lockdown back in February.

The victim told police she left her backpack at the back of a classroom as her teacher had ordered on the afternoon of Feb. 21, after someone allegedly threatened to “shoot up” the high school. Police later arrested the person responsible for making the threat.

As police investigated the theft, they learned a credit card from the stolen wallet was used at the BP gas station at 26th Street and Desplaines Avenue later on the afternoon of Feb. 21. Using surveillance video, police were able to develop leads on two suspects, with whom they had previous contacts.

On April 21, police picked up their suspect, an 18-year-old Riverside resident, from the high school and charged her with the theft.

Lucky he wasn’t killed

North Riverside police cited a 22-year-old Glen Ellyn man for public intoxication and entering a crosswalk illegally after he reportedly ran into Cermak Road at 12th Avenue into the path of a 2012 Toyota Highlander being driven by a 49-year-old Clarendon Hills woman about 3:10 a.m. on April 23.

According to the accident report, the woman was driving eastbound on Cermak Road, approaching 12th Avenue, where she had a solid green light. But the man allegedly ran out into the intersection and into the path of the vehicle.

The driver turned slightly to the right to avoid striking the man. The man reportedly jumped on top of the hood of the Toyota and then fell off. Police said the man appeared intoxicated and admitted drinking “a lot” of alcohol that night.

Paramedics took the man to Loyola University Medical Center for treatment. 

Dog attacks girl

Brookfield police reported on April 27 that a girl was walking in the 4400 block of Prairie Avenue at about 1:30 p.m. when a black dog came out of a building and charged her, biting her on the right buttock.

The girl received five stitches at the hospital and the girl’s mother contacted police, who visited the home where the dog lived. The dog’s owner reportedly stated that her pet, a pit bull, raced past her and ran around the building as she went outside to throw away the garbage.

Police issued the dog’s owner citations for having a dog at large and for her dog biting the girl. 

Creepy

  • A 17-year-old Brookfield girl told police that on April 22 at about 8:15 a.m. she was walking to school in the vicinity of Prairie and Washington avenues when she saw a silver vehicle stop and park. The driver, a white, heavyset female wearing a pink shirt, reportedly started taking photos of the girl.

The driver of the car never spoke to the girl and later was seen by the girl taking more pictures at another location near Kiwanis Park.

  • Riverside police on April 27 released a report regarding a suspicious incident that had happened on April 23 at 5:20 p.m.

According to police, a 14-year-old girl was walking in the vicinity of Woodside Road and Park Place when she noticed a black Jeep Cherokee following her.

As the student walked south, she said the Jeep slowly followed her. When the girl stopped, the Jeep would stop and the driver would stare directly at her. No words were exchanged between the two at any time, according to police.

When the girl began talking on her cellphone, the vehicle drove away. The driver was described as a white male, between 50 to 60 years of age with very little hair and a large nose. 

 

Vehicle theft

A 37-year-old Berwyn man contacted North Riverside police on April 26 at about 8:15 p.m. to report that his red 2006 Jeep Wrangler had been stolen from the Sears east parking lot at the North Riverside Park Mall, 7501 Cermak Road.

The man said he parked his vehicle in the lot at about 6:30 p.m. When he returned about an hour later, he noticed the Jeep, which had large black rims and a black soft top, was gone. 

Arson

Emergency crews responded to the alley behind the 3600 block of Prairie Avenue, Brookfield, after a 911 caller reported a fire coming from behind a residence at 6:35 p.m. on April 26.

The source of the fire turned out to a television inside a cardboard box in the alley next to a garage. Investigators found a vinegar bottle next to the TV that smelled as if it may have contained some kind of accelerant, possibly gasoline.

The overhead garage door near the fire was covered with a black substance that appeared to be some type of oil, according to police, who are continuing to investigate the incident. 

More IRS scams

  • On April 23, a Brookfield man called police after receiving multiple calls from a number with a Rochester, New York, area code. The person on the other end said he was from the IRS and advised the Brookfield resident he owed the IRS money.

The Brookfield resident told police he simply hung up on the caller, but wanted to report the incidents.

  • A 24-year-old Brookfield woman contacted police on April 24 after receiving a voicemail from someone claiming to be an IRS agent. The woman called the number back and was transferred to a number of different people, one of whom asked for her address, date of birth and Social Security number, which she provided.

The “agent” then warned the woman about IRS scams and said he’d be in touch. Afterward, the woman did research on the Internet and learned that the number she’d received the call from was used to perpetrate scams.

These items were obtained from police reports filed by the Riverside, North Riverside and Brookfield police departments, April 21-27, 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