Riverside reports a pair of robberies

Riverside police are soliciting the public’s help as they investigate two robberies in the village in late August and early September.

The most recent incident took place on Sept. 4 about 1:15 a.m. A man who lives in the 3000 block of Harlem Avenue called police, claiming that he had pulled his vehicle into his garage and was exiting the garage when a man confronted him, saying, “Give me everything you got or I’ll hurt you.”

The victim twice told the man he had nothing, and the offender ran away northbound through the alley and then onto Lindberg Road. The offender was described as being a white male, about 6 feet tall with a muscular build. He was wearing a black hooded sweatshirt that was pulled around his head so tightly the victim could only see his eyes.

The offender kept his hands in the pockets of his gray pants during the attempt and no weapon was displayed.

Police also continue to investigate a robbery reported on Aug. 23 at 10:33 p.m. by a woman who said she was walking down the railroad tracks in the 100 block of East Quincy Street when a man approached her saying, “You need to learn to keep your mouth shut” and “You should know better than walking alone back here.”

The man reportedly beat the woman, then robbed her of $20 and three silver chains before leaving the scene in a dark-colored vehicle. Police later interviewed a suspect and arrested him on an unrelated warrant issued by Cook County Sheriff’s Police. However, police released the man after he posted bond.

Police believe the Aug. 23 robbery was not a random act and that the victim may have known the offender.

Anyone with information about either incident is being asked to contact Riverside Police Detective Sgt. Frank Lara at 708-447-2127 or flara@riverside.il.us.


Arrested for burglary

A 34-year-old Berwyn man, previously banned from the North Riverside Park Mall, was arrested and charged with burglary there after he reportedly broke into two retail kiosks in the common area of the mall, taking two Kenneth Cole watches from one of them.

David Sopys, 34, is being held without bond in Cook County Jail. He reportedly was wanted on a warrant for a previous North Riverside retail theft when he was detained by a mall security guard on Sept. 7 about 8:40 p.m.

The security guard had noticed Sopys walking through the mall, 7501 Cermak Road, two hours after stores closed for the night. The security guard reported seeing Sopys enter one kiosk in the lower level of the mall and then a second, where he allegedly took the two watches. Police said they recovered the watches from his jacket pocket.

Security detained Sopys as he approached an exit door.

In addition to burglary, Sopys was charged with criminal trespassing. He has a Sept. 15 hearing at the Maybrook courthouse.


Vehicle break-ins/Theft of parts

A North Riverside resident reported on Sept. 6 that during the overnight hours of Sept. 5-6, someone stole $2 and two cellphone chargers from the center console of her 2009 Ford, which was parked on the street in the 2300 block of Northgate Avenue. The vehicle reportedly had been left unlocked.

Police on Sept. 6 also reported that another resident of the same block discovered that the center portion of all four hubcaps on his 2006 Mercury Marquis had also been stolen. The car was parked on the street the previous evening. A month earlier someone stole the same item from two of his hubcaps, according to police.

Also, on Sept. 6 police responded to the 2300 block of Hainsworth Avenue, where two residents reported that their vehicles had been burglarized. Police stated that a folding knife and a Zippo lighter were taken from an unlocked 1989 Honda

Meanwhile, a wallet was taken from the center console of a 2002 Audi whose trunk lock had been removed. Entry to the car was gained by pushing down the rear seat from the trunk.

Police reported that other vehicles on the block had been rummaged through, but their owners did not want to file police reports.

Brookfield police responded to a home in the 3100 block of Prairie Avenue on Sept. 6 after a resident called, stating that his 2012 Honda was burglarized overnight while parked in an unlocked garage.

A plastic coin holder was missing from the center console of the vehicle. Nothing else from the garage was reported missing.

A Brookfield resident went to police on Sept. 6 after discovering someone removed a plastic bag containing banking information and personal information from her vehicle. The victim stated that the theft may have happened while she was visiting the eye doctor in LaGrange Park on Sept. 5.

The victim worried that whoever stole the bag might try to break into her home, since her personal information was listed on items in the bag. 

A resident of the 4600 block of Custer Avenue, Brookfield, contacted police on Sept. 6 to report that during the overnight hours someone removed the catalytic converter from her 2000 Chevy Cavalier, which was parked on the street.

Meanwhile, a resident of the 2400 block of First Avenue, North Riverside, called police on Sept. 6 to report that the catalytic converter had been stolen from his 2004 Chevy Cavalier during the overnight hours. The vehicle was parked on 24th Street just west of First Avenue, according to the police report.


Battery to police officer

A Riverside police officer complained of chest pains and was placed on injury leave after struggling with a woman who reportedly became violent as police investigated a domestic battery complaint on Aug. 31 at an apartment building in the 100 block of Pine Avenue.

Police charged Maribel Torres, 32, with felony battery to a police officer and two counts of resisting arrest after allegedly fighting with police, who allowed her boyfriend to leave her residence.

According to police, the boyfriend no longer wanted to live with Torres and she attempted to prevent him from leaving, which escalated the situation. When police arrived, the boyfriend had a duffel bag in his hand and was trying to leave the building. Torres reportedly entered her boyfriend’s car and wouldn’t leave. After being talked out of the vehicle by police, she reportedly went after the vehicle as her boyfriend tried to pull away.

That’s when she began fighting with the officer, said police.

A 29-year-old Melrose Park man faces felony domestic battery charges after he allegedly grabbed a 27-year-old North Riverside woman around the throat, causing her to almost black out during an altercation about a text messages exchange between the woman and another man on Sept. 6.

The man denied choking the victim. He was also charged with misdemeanor domestic battery. The incident occurred in the 2200 block of 7th Avenue in North Riverside.


Vehicle stolen

A 19-year-old North Riverside man called police on Sept. 3 at 1:25 p.m. to report that sometime after 8 a.m. someone had taken his blue 1994 Honda Civic 2D from the alley behind his apartment building in the 2300 block of 17th Avenue.

The car reportedly has a modified racing engine and was worth about $1,000, according to the police report. A neighbor reported seeing the Honda parked there as late as noon on that day.


Bike thefts

Three bicycles were reported stolen in Riverside last week.

A 14-year-old Brookfield boy reported on Sept. 1 that his black and red Diamond Back street bike valued at $300 was stolen from the bike rack in front of Riverside-Brookfield High School, 160 Ridgewood Road, between 5:30 and 6:20 p.m. The bike reportedly was locked to the rack.

The bike was later recovered by its owner, who reportedly saw a subject riding his bike near the school later that evening.

A 57-year-old North Riverside man contacted Riverside police on Sept. 1 to report that his son’s unlocked black GT Aggressor bicycle valued at $350 was stolen from beneath a flight of stairs behind 5 E. Burlington St. sometime between 1 and 6 p.m.

A Riverside girl reported to police on Sept. 6 that her men’s Raleigh Detour bicycle valued at $359 was stolen from a bike rack outside the north platform of the Riverside train station in downtown Riverside between 1:45 and 6 p.m.

The bike was reportedly locked to the rack with a combination lock. Both the bike and lock were missing.


Walked away from stove

Brookfield Fire Department personnel were called to an apartment in the 4600 block of DuBois Boulevard on Sept. 6 at about 4:10 p.m. after someone noticed smoke coming from a second-floor window of the building.

A police officer evacuated neighboring apartments and fire personnel forced entry into the smoky unit, where they found a pot of food burning on the stove. Officials eventually were able to contact the resident, who said she forgot about ribs she was cooking on the stove before she left her apartment.


Stuck on tracks

A 26-year-old Aurora, Ohio, man, whose 2006 Toyota Camry became stuck on the Burlington Northern-Santa Fe Railroad tracks west of Maple Avenue on Sept. 6 about 9:25 p.m., told police he mistakenly turned onto the tracks instead of Burlington Avenue as he drove south on Maple Avenue.

According to police, the driver told police he was on his way back to an Ogden Avenue motel when he made the mistake. Police said the man did not appear to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Train traffic was stopped in both directions as the vehicle was towed from the tracks. Brookfield police then handed the matter over to BNSF police.


Needed a place to rest

Brookfield police responded to the 3100 block of Raymond Avenue at 3 a.m. on Sept. 3 after receiving a call from someone reporting an unresponsive subject lying in the parkway.

Police located a 34-year-old Orland Hills man passed out on the parkway. Upon being awakened the man told police he was trying to get to a friend’s house on the block, but had stopped to lie down.

An officer located the friend and turned the very tired man over to him.


You’ll have to talk to a manager

An employee at the Mobil gas station, 9137 Ogden Ave. in Brookfield, called police on Sept. 8 at about 6 a.m. after arguing with a customer about an item the customer wanted to return for cash.

A 21-year-old man had purchased a package of condoms the previous night, but returned the following morning to get a refund so he could buy some gas. The employee told the man he needed to come back after 9 a.m. when a manager was on duty, igniting an argument that resulted in the employee calling police.


Ran out of poo

A resident of the 2200 block of Park Avenue, North Riverside, called police on Sept. 2 at about 6 p.m. after noticing that someone had attempted to scrawl a profanity in animal feces on the overhead door of her garage.

The feces spelled out “F—k Y” on the door. The homeowner later washed off the partially scrawled obscenity from the door.


These items were obtained from police reports filed by the Riverside, North Riverside and Brookfield police departments, Aug. 29- Sept. 7, 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