Cops: Stolen guns used in Niles robbery

Two handguns stolen from an apartment in the 3700 block of Forest Avenue, Brookfield, on May 7 were recovered in an SUV police say was used as a getaway vehicle by two men suspected of robbing a Niles woman at gunpoint outside her home about 2:30 a.m. on May 15.

The guns, a Beretta 92FS and a Colt 1911, were found along with the Niles woman’s credit cards and ID on May 15 inside an SUV stopped by police about 15 minutes after the robbery in Chicago’s Jefferson Park neighborhood.

During that stop, two men, one of them armed with a handgun, climbed out of the SUV and fled. They were later captured by police in the Austin neighborhood of Chicago.

Four people were charged in connection with the armed robbery, including a 20-year-old Berwyn resident Angelo Rodriguez, who reportedly told a Brookfield detective that he worked with the victim of the May 7 burglary. The two men were working together when the victim was notified that his residence had been burglarized and that three handguns and a rifle were missing.

Also charged with armed robbery by Niles police were Peter Bloodgood, 22, and Julian Cortez, 21, both of Berwyn, and Mercedes Alvarez, 22, of Chicago. A fifth suspect was not charged.

Brookfield police continue to investigate the May 7 burglary.

Wanted for sexual abuse

A 21-year-old Chicago man wanted since 2012 on three outstanding warrants, including one for criminal sexual abuse, was apprehended by Riverside police on May 14 after an officer pulled him over for talking on a cellphone while driving about 11 a.m. in the 3500 block of Harlem Avenue.

Police learned Jose A. Arzate’s true identity through fingerprint records after he reportedly gave police multiple false names and dates of birth to deceive police because he knew there were outstanding warrants for his arrest.

Once his true identity was solved, police learned Arzate was wanted on a warrant by Calumet City police for a 2012 criminal sexual abuse case. He also had outstanding warrants for his arrest for traffic offenses from Hazel Crest police and the Cook County Sheriff’s Police.

Riverside police turned over Arzate to Calumet City police after citing him for talking on a cellphone while driving, driving on a suspended license and having no vehicle insurance. 

Woman struck by car on Ogden

A 40-year-old Brookfield woman suffered a broken pelvis and a concussion, police said, after being struck by a car as she ran across the street in the 8900 block of Ogden Avenue just after noon on May 12.

According to the police report, the woman was 75-100 feet west of Prairie Avenue when she ran into Ogden Avenue from the south side of the street. A 72-year-old Downers Grove woman who was eastbound on Ogden Avenue slammed on her brakes to avoid hitting the pedestrian, who kept running across the street and was struck by a westbound Nissan, going about 30 mph, driven by a 23-year-old McCook man.

Police did not ticket the McCook man for striking the woman, since multiple witnesses reported that the woman simply ran into traffic and was not in a crosswalk. 

Dog not so lucky

Less than two hours after a Brookfield woman was struck by a car after she ran into traffic on Ogden Avenue on May 12, a vehicle struck and killed a chihuahua at almost the exact same spot, Brookfield police said.

According to a witness who had been unable to catch the dog, the chihuahua had been darting in and out of traffic in the 8900 block of Ogden Avenue for a few minutes around 1:35 p.m. Several cars stopped to avoid hitting the dog, but it eventually was struck and killed by a vehicle.

The dog’s owner, who lives in the 4500 block of Grove Avenue, had called police earlier in the day to report her dog “Star” missing. She responded to the scene after being notified by police and confirmed the dog was hers.

And in Riverside …

A 57-year-old Berwyn man was injured when he was struck by a car while trying to cross Harlem Avenue at York Road at about 1:05 p.m. on May 18.

According to witnesses, the man ran into Harlem Avenue trying to catch a stopped bus before it pulled away from the corner. Before he reached the bus, the man was struck by a 2004 Toyota passenger car driven by a 46-year-old Oak Park man.

One of the witnesses was a firefighter/paramedic, who rendered aid until Riverside paramedics reached the scene. The victim’s injuries were described as non-life threatening in the police report. The victim was transported to Loyola University Medical Center.

The driver of the Toyota was not ticketed by police.

Candle causes fire

  • A 32-year-old Brookfield woman was treated for smoke inhalation at LaGrange Memorial Hospital after firefighters extinguished a fire in her bedroom around 6:15 a.m. on May 17.

The woman reportedly lit a candle on a bookshelf the prior night. When she awoke, the bookshelf was on fire. She called 911 after failing to extinguish the fire by herself. A 27-year-old woman who also lived in the house was not injured in the fire, which was contained inside the bedroom.

  • The owners of a home in the 4200 block of Elm Avenue, Brookfield, called police on the morning of May 13 after opening their overhead garage door and finding a pile of burnt debris on the north side of their driveway near the garage. Some of the vinyl siding on the northeast corner of the garage had melted due to the heat of the fire.

The debris that remained appeared to be a seat cushion, according to police. The owners said the seat cushion did not belong to them.

Just like Romeo and Juliet

Brookfield police broke down the door to an apartment in the 9100 block of Sahler Avenue on May 18 after someone called 911 to report a male subject using dishes to climb a wall of the building and then entering the building through a second-story window.

When police arrived, a woman appeared at the same window. Police asked if there was a problem and said they needed to speak with someone in the apartment about the incident that had just been reported.

The woman said she would let police in, but after waiting two minutes, police gained entry to the apartment building and began knocking on the apartment door and announcing that they’d force open the door if no one let them in.

After several more minutes, police forced the door open, breaking the door frame in the process. A sweep of the apartment led police to find the subject in question, a 19-year-old Aurora man, hiding in a bedroom closet underneath some clothing.

A 36-year-old woman who lives in the apartment told police that the man was her 18-year-old daughter’s boyfriend and that she didn’t want him in the apartment. The man told police he sneaked into the apartment through the window, because his girlfriend’s mom doesn’t like him.

Police told the man to leave the apartment based on the mother’s statements. He left in the company of his girlfriend.

Bike thefts

  • A resident of the 3200 block of Maple Avenue, Brookfield, called police on May 12 at about 2:30 p.m. to report that his bicycle had been stolen earlier that day. The victim told police that at 10 a.m. he noticed a black male with a thin build, about 40 years old, wearing a green baseball cap and a backpack walking up his driveway towards the front door. Believing the man was a solicitor, the victim simply walked away from the front door.

Minutes later, the victim looked out the window and saw the same subject riding away southbound on Maple Avenue on his black Schwinn Highlands mountain bike. The bike was valued at $370.

  • A Riverside resident contacted police on May 18 to report that his son’s bicycle had been stolen from the bike rack outside Blythe Park School, 735 Leesley Road, earlier in the week. The man told police his son left his bike, unattended and unlocked, on the bike rack outside the school on May 15.

It was a bright orange dirt bike with a blue seat and “General Lee” stickers on it. The bike was valued at about $200, according to the police report. 

Felony DUI

A 31-year-old Chicago man faces felony drunken-driving charges after Riverside police reported observing him driving erratically while southbound from the 3400 block of Harlem Avenue at about 11:30 p.m. on May 17.

A Riverside police officer reported observing a silver Honda weaving while southbound, periodically stopping in traffic and continuing southbound after crossing into a left-turn only lane.

The officer stopped the Honda in the 4200 block of Harlem Avenue and spoke to the driver, later identified as Frederico Gaytan-Rodriguez, who reportedly admitted he never obtained a driver’s license and could not prove he had insurance for the vehicle.

Inside the vehicle, the police officer reported seeing a black plastic bag containing a six pack of beer bottles, two of them empty, on the floor behind the front passenger seat. Another empty beer bottle was also found inside the car.

A breath test revealed Gaytan-Rodriguez’s blood-alcohol level to be .174, which is more than twice the legal limit of .08.

Because Gaytan-Rodriguez had no valid license, the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office upgraded the drunken-driving charge to felony status. He was also cited for numerous traffic violations. 

Come on, kids

Police cautioned a group of 11 year olds about unnecessarily calling 911 after police responded to the 3700 block of Grand Boulevard to investigate a possible theft.

One of the subjects, a girl, said she was eating with two of her friends when two boys began calling them names. The girl told police that one of the boys may have stolen two gumballs from her, but she wasn’t sure. Carrying a ketchup bottle, she followed the boy out of the restaurant and threatened to squirt him with it. The boy grabbed her arm to make her drop the ketchup bottle.

The officer advised the group that they shouldn’t call each other names, to avoid being with each other if they don’t get along and of proper 911 usage.

These items were obtained from police reports filed by the Riverside, North Riverside and Brookfield police departments, May 5-11, 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.