Three people wearing masks and gloves and armed with a handgun and a screwdriver robbed a North Riverside convenience store early on Aug. 15, making off with $500 in cash and personal property taken from a store employee.

North Riverside police responded to 7-Eleven, 9205 Cermak Road, at about 1:15 a.m. after the store clerk reported the robbery.

The clerk reportedly told police that three people wearing masks and gloves entered the store while a fourth waited outside inside a dark sedan, which was parked in front of the convenience store.

The offenders, whose physical description was limited by police to the details regarding the masks, gloves and weapons, forced the clerk to open the cash register. After taking the money and the clerk’s personal property, the offenders fled the scene.

No one was injured during the incident, which remains under investigation by North Riverside police.

Strong-armed in alley

A North Riverside man contacted police the day after he reportedly was robbed of a bag containing methadone while we was walking in an alley between the 2200 blocks of 3rd and 4th Avenue on Aug. 11 at about 10 a.m.

The victim told police he got off the bus at First Avenue and Cermak Road and was walking in the alley when he was approached by a black male between 20 and 30 years old, with a thin build and wearing a yellow baseball hat and a yellow tank top.

The victim told police that the offender first asked him for a cigarette and then asked him what was in the bag he was holding. When the victim told the offender it was none of his business, the offender began punching him in the face, knocking him to the ground.

The offender grabbed the bag containing the methadone and left the area on foot. The victim said he delayed reporting the incident, because he’d passed out from his injuries after returning home.

Riverside burglary suspect arrested

Melrose Park resident Christian A. Benavides-Acevedo, 18, faces felony burglary charges after he allegedly broke into a car parked inside a garage in the 300 block of Shenstone Road, Riverside, during the early morning hours of Aug. 10.

Police responded to an activated burglar alarm and an officer arriving at the scene reported observing a man in all black riding away from the scene on a bicycle. The suspect, later identified as Benavides-Acevedo, was apprehended after hopping off the bicycle and leading police on a brief foot chase in the 400 block of Shenstone Road.

A witness was able to identify Benavides-Acevedo as the person who was inside the garage, according to police. In addition, police say the Trek 800 bicycle Benavides-Acevedo was riding did not belong to him. However, the investigation continues into whose bicycle it is.

Police reported recovering an iPhone, a pair of Prada sunglasses, two sets of keys, electronic devices and credit cards taken from the Shenstone Road vehicle.

In addition to burglary, Benavides-Acevedo was charged with criminal trespassing and criminal damage to a vehicle. Benavides-Acevedo has a record that includes 14 prior arrests, police said, for offenses including burglary, robbery, unlawful use of a weapon, battery and aggravated battery.

However, according to police, a judge set Benavides-Acevedo’s bond at $1,000, meaning he needed to post $100 to remain free while awaiting trial.

Store manager pepper-sprayed

The manager of the Victoria’s Secret/Pink store in the North Riverside Park Mall, 7501 Cermak Road, was treated by paramedics on Aug. 9 after she was pepper-sprayed in the face allegedly by a woman she believed was shoplifting items from the store.

At about 2:55 p.m. while working the register, the manager observed two women she recognized from previous retail theft incidents. She approached the two as they filled shopping bags with items, yelling “call the police” to fellow employees.

One of the women dropped a bag of merchandise as the manager confronted her at the store entrance, but the other reportedly pepper-sprayed the manager as she left the store, picked up the bag of merchandise and said, “Why’s you call the police?”

The offenders made off with about 30 items, police said, valued at about $1,500.  

Brookfield vehicle break-ins

A resident of the 3300 block of Sunnyside Avenue, Brookfield, contacted police on Aug. 9 to report that during the overnight hours someone had entered her unlocked vehicle and removed a wallet, which was next to the driver’s seat.

Police also reported that a second unlocked vehicle on the same block had been burglarized. The offender rifled through the glove box and took some loose change and about $3 in cash.

Rocks thrown at school window

Brookfield police responded to S.E. Gross Middle School, 3524 Maple Ave., on the morning of Aug. 10 after an employee called to report that someone had thrown a rock through the window above door 3A, adjacent to the playground.

An employee on Aug. 9 had noticed a small hole in the window, but did not report it to police. The next day, when maintenance staff went to cover up the hole, a new hole was discovered.

DUI two-fer

A Riverside police officer arrested two different drivers for driving under the influence during the same traffic stop on Aug. 8 at 8:50 p.m. on Harlem Avenue.

The officer reported seeing a 2001 Pontiac southbound in the 3400 block of Harlem Avenue on three tires, with a bare rim throwing sparks onto the roadway. A 2004 Mitsubishi was tailing the Pontiac and that driver was beeping the car’s horn and, according to police, driving recklessly in an attempt to stop the other car.

The driver of the Mitsubishi, a 31-year-old River Grove woman, told police that the Pontiac had struck her vehicle in Berwyn and was attempting to stop the driver of the Pontiac, a 20-year-old Cicero man, from fleeing.

Both of the drivers appeared to be extremely intoxicated, according to police, and both were charged with DUI and other traffic offenses.

Cars keyed in Brookfield

The Brookfield owners of four cars reported that someone had gouged deep scratches into their vehicle during overnight hours last week, and none can think of anything that would have prompted such an action.

The incidents were reported overnight on Aug. 6-7 in the 3900 block of Oak Avenue, on Aug. 8-9 in the 4100 block of Raymond Avenue and on Aug. 12-13 in the 3400 block of Oak Avenue.

All of the vehicles were parked on the street.

ATM tampered with

North Riverside police responded to MB Financial Bank, 7222 Cermak Road, on Aug. 10 at about 3:20 p.m. after employees reported that someone had tampered with the ATM in the bank’s lobby.

Surveillance video showed two people entered the lobby at about 7 a.m. One acted as a lookout while the other attempted to place a skimmer on the machine.

These items were obtained from police reports filed by the Riverside, North Riverside and Brookfield police departments, Aug. 7-Aug. 15, 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