Riverside police arrest alleged car thief

A 21-year-old Cicero man, who said he drove a stolen car to Champaign last week to attend a “weed party” and also to check out the university as a prospective student, was charged with possession of a stolen motor vehicle and theft after being pulled over in the stolen car in Riverside on March 3 about 4:40 p.m.

In addition, Juan A. Almazan was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia and served with a pair of no-bond warrants for domestic battery, issued by Cicero police and the Cook County Sheriff.

A police officer on patrol ran the registration of a vehicle with a broken tail light, which was eastbound on Lawton Road from Riverside Road. The vehicle came back as stolen on March 2 in Cicero.

The officer pulled the vehicle over and took the driver, Almazan and the passenger, a 19-year-old LaGrange man, into custody.

Police reported recovering several small bags and pill bottles, containing cannabis, inside the vehicle, along with paraphernalia used to package cannabis for sale. In addition, police reported recovering an iPhone that had been reported stolen, along with the vehicle owner’s wallet and credit cards.

Almazan reportedly told police he had stolen the car after getting bored at a party in Cicero. He and the passenger then drove to Champaign to attend a “weed party” and to see if the University of Illinois was a place Almazan might be interesting in attending, according to police, before driving back to the Chicago area.

The passenger was charged with possession of cannabis and drug paraphernalia.

“I really do not think these are the type of school visits that University of Illinois administrators envision when young men and women drive out for a campus visit,” said Riverside Police Chief Thomas Weitzel.

 

Two apartments burglarized

A handgun and between $3,000 and $4,000 in cash were taken from a Riverside apartment last week in what turned out to be one of two break-ins at the same building on the same day.

Police responded to an apartment building in the 7300 block of Ogden Avenue on March 2 at 9:50 p.m. after a resident of the building called to report his first-floor unit had been burglarized.

According to the police report, the rear door of the unit had been forced open. Missing from the unit was a Beretta Series 950 pistol, a safe containing the cash, a key to a safe deposit box, a Samsung television and a birth certificate.

The burglary reportedly took place between 3 and 9:50 p.m.

While police were on the scene, another resident of the first floor notified police that someone also had forced the rear door to his apartment and that two bank bags containing loose change and one plastic jug full of loose change had been stolen.

The victim had left his apartment at 7 a.m. and had just returned home to find police investigating the neighboring burglary.

 

Forgery

Shontavia S. Guy, 19, of Aurora, faces forgery charges after she allegedly opened a fraudulent charge account at the Rogers and Holland jewelry store in the North Riverside Park Mall, 7501 Cermak Road last month.

Police were called to the store on Feb. 24 by a store employee after Guy and a male subject who also reportedly had opened a fraudulent charge account during the previous week walked into the jewelry store on that date.

Both had left the store by the time police arrived, but Guy was detained in the parking lot of Tony’s Finer Foods. Police reported that Guy used a Washington, D.C., woman’s driver’s license information to open the charge account.

The Washington, D.C., woman told police she had been a victim of a federal government personal information data breach, which had occurred in recent months. Police also noted that the woman’s information had been used to open up a credit line at a Victoria’s Secret store in Chicago Ridge.

Guy denied involvement with respect to the Victoria’s Secret credit line. The police investigation into the male subject who was with Guy at Rogers and Holland remains open.

 

Robbery

A 13-year-old Chicago girl told North Riverside police that someone stole her purse during an altercation near Best Buy, 2358 Harlem Ave., on Feb. 28 at around 6 p.m.

Earlier that day, the victim said she was with four friends at the North Riverside Park Mall, where they became involved in a verbal altercation with a woman.

The girls left the mall and were walking near Best Buy, according to the police report, when a Saturn sedan pulled up next to them. Two male subjects and six female subjects reportedly got out of the vehicle and attacked the girls, taking the 13-year-old girl’s purse before fleeing the area.

Police reported that the victim had a scratch on her face and that her eyeglasses were broken as a result of the fight.

 

Vehicle runs over girl’s foot

A 14-year-old girl told Riverside police that a vehicle ran over her foot outside of PNC Bank, 40 E. Burlington St., while she was walking to school on the morning of March 3.

The girl told police that she was walking by the bank at about 7:50 a.m. when a white, four-door sedan pulled out of the driveway and ran over her foot. The driver, a woman, reportedly stopped the vehicle while the tire was still on the girl’s foot, asked if she was OK and then left.

The girl’s grandmother took her to the hospital as a precaution.

 

Bogus tickets

A 21-year-old Brookfield man was conned out of $100 after on March 5 he answered an ad on Craigslist offering two tickets to a Chicago Bulls basketball game. The victim met the seller at a Target store in Joliet and paid $100 for the tickets.

At the stadium, the victim learned the tickets were fraudulent and that the person who sold him the tickets was a Bulls season ticket holder who had been flagged in the past. Apparently, the seller made copies of the actual tickets and sold the victim the copies. Investigation into the matter continues, according to police.

 

Vehicle break-ins

  • A resident of the 3100 block of Madison Avenue, Brookfield, called police on March 1 about 11:10 p.m. after observing someone inside her vehicle, which was parked on the street near her home.

The woman yelled at the subject, who jumped into another vehicle and fled the area. Nothing was reported missing from the woman’s vehicle.

  • An employee of Hammer Express, 9100 Plainfield Road in Brookfield, called police on March 2 to report that someone broke into two shipping containers overnight. A driver arrived at the business at 5:30 a.m. and observed that the bolt seals on the trucks had been cut. Nothing was reported missing from either container.
  • A resident of the 9100 block of 26th Place, Brookfield, called police on March 1 to report that several items had been taken from his work truck, which was parked in front of his residence between Feb. 26 and March 1.

Among the items missing were two drills, a Sawzall, a tubing bender, five rolls of copper electrical wire and a roll of copper tubing.

 

Senior citizen scammed

An 88-year-old Brookfield man was scammed out of $1,890 last week after receiving a phone call on March 1 from someone claiming to be his grandson and stating he had been involved in a DUI accident and needed the money to pay an attorney.

A second subject then got on the phone and told him to go to a currency exchange and send the money to a lawyer in New York City. The victim did as he was instructed and wired $1,890 to the purported attorney.

A couple of hours later the victim received another phone call instructing the victim to send another $1,800. It is unclear whether the victim sent the additional money. Police were able to determine that the victim’s grandson had not been arrested and was fine.

 

Needed a tire

Brookfield police say a 61-year-old LaGrange man took the rear tire off a bicycle locked to the rack at the Congress Park train station in the 4000 block of DuBois Boulevard because his bicycle tire was flat and he needed a new one.

A witness called police on Feb. 29 at 12:30 p.m. to report that he just saw someone remove a tire from a bike and walk away with it. Police located a subject carrying the tire at Hayes and Finley in LaGrange and retrieved the tire.

The victim declined to prosecute the theft, content with getting his tire back.

 

Well, that’s embarrassing

A 53-year-old Brookfield man sought the assistance of police last week after he clicked on an Internet link that locked his phone and demanded money to unlock it.

According to the police report, the man was googling “mom porn” with his iPhone when he clicked the first link that popped up. A message that popped up stated he needed to purchase a $500 money card and send it to an undisclosed address.

A police officer was able to assist the man in unlocking and resetting his phone and suggested he be more cautious when viewing pornography on his cellphone.

 

Oh, that’s where it is …

A 56-year-old Countryside man called Brookfield police on March 6 at about 2:20 a.m. to report that his car had been stolen from the parking lot of St. Nikola Serbian Church, 4301 Prairie Ave.

When police arrived, they observed the man to be highly intoxicated and tried to get a clear sense of where he’d been that night. Police were able to locate one of the man’s neighbors, who told them the man had been drinking at a restaurant in Lyons earlier that night.

Police located the man’s vehicle in the parking lot of that restaurant and made sure the vehicle’s owner got a ride home from a friend.

 

Three times over the limit

Riverside police charged a 29-year-old Cicero man with driving under the influence, reportedly his third such arrest, after an officer stopped him for speeding 56 mph in a 30 mph while southbound from the 3300 block of Harlem Avenue on Feb. 29 at about 1:40 a.m.

The man’s blood-alcohol content reportedly was .264, which is more than three times the legal limit of .08.

Riverside police sought felony enhancement for the offense since the driver’s license had been suspended twice previously for DUI arrests in addition to a zero-tolerance suspension. The Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office, however, declined to file felony charges.

 

These items were obtained from police reports filed by the Riverside, North Riverside and Brookfield police departments, Feb. 24 to March 6, 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.