An intruder lifted an unlocked kitchen window, cut through the screen and proceeded to burglarize a home — where a two adults and their children slept soundly — in the 100 block of North Cowley Road in Riverside during the early morning hours of May 10.
Riverside police were called to the home at about 7:10 a.m. by the homeowner, who reported that several electronic devices, including cellphones, computer equipment and an iPad, along with a wallet containing cash, were taken from the first floor of the home.
Police Chief Thomas Weitzel said the family was shaken by the incident and that he has directed the midnight shift to increase patrols in the area, including foot and bicycle patrols and “other covert actions.”
“My investigators are working this case nonstop in hopes to get a resolution to this very unsettling crime,” Weitzel said in a press release.
According to Weitzel, the homeowner told police that he had gone to bed at 12:30 a.m. and that he discovered the burglary after he woke up at 5:30 a.m. No one was awakened by the intruder, who apparently kept to the first floor of the house.
The burglar crawled into the home through an L-shaped opening cut into the window screen after pushing open an unlocked kitchen window. Weitzel said that police discovered a bicycle, which did not belong to the family, at the scene. The bike reportedly was stolen that same night from a residence in the 200 block of Longcommon Road.
Weitzel said that police recovered fingerprint and DNA evidence, which has been submitted to the Illinois State Police Crime Lab. Police have also been visiting pawn shops and checking with other area police departments to see whether any similar incidents have been reported elsewhere.
While incidents where burglars enter occupied homes at night are rare, it’s not unheard of. In February, a 17-year-old Forest View boy was charged with burglary after he walked into an unlocked home on Kimbark Road in Riverside during the early morning hours.
He reportedly stole a cellphone belonging to a teenage girl and was allegedly trying to steal jewelry when he awakened the girl. He was later arrested in North Riverside.
And in August 2015, Brookfield police arrested an 18-year-old Broadview man for crawling through the window of a home to snatch a purse that he saw sitting on the kitchen counter of a home in the 3200 block of Prairie Avenue. The residents of the home were sleeping at the time of the incident.
The alleged offender in that case also used keys found in the purse to steal a vehicle parked in the driveway.