Two North Riverside boys have been charged with aggravated arson, a felony, after allegedly starting a fire on the porch of a duplex on Kimbark Road in Riverside just prior to 5 p.m. on Sept. 4. 

According to police, someone witnessed the boys light the pad of a porch chair on fire and called 911. The fire then traveled to the porch decking before a neighbor was able to alert an occupant of the duplex, who was able to throw a bucket of water on the fire to extinguish it, said Fire Chief Matthew Buckley.

The witness told police that the two boys, ages 12 and 13, fled on bicycles toward the center of town, and an officer located them a short time later. In addition to arson, the 12-year-old boy was charged with stealing a bicycle.

Police said the two boys went to the Riverside duplex to meet a friend, and set the fire after repeatedly knocking on the door and ringing the doorbell. According to police, a 70-year-old woman, a 69-year-old man and two young children were in the building at the time. No one was injured.

Police and fire officials confirmed that earlier on Sept. 4, the same two boys had set some paper on fire next to some bushes on Maplewood Road in Riverside. However, the two quickly put out the fire after a passing motorist observed the boys and yelled at them, Buckley said.

“I am very thankful that there were no serious injuries, considering that there were two senior citizens living in that building and also two smaller children on the second floor,’ said Police Chief Thomas Weitzel in a press release. “The fact that these juveniles committed arson earlier in the day on Maplewood Road in addition to the one on Kimbark Road shows their reckless behavior could have resulted in a tragedy.”

Job scam

A 26-year-old North Riverside man said he was out more than $1,500, stiffed after doing five days of work and getting stuck with bank charges after depositing checks from his “employer” that ended up bouncing.

The victim told police he’d answered an online ad for a personal driver that promised to pay $300 a day. The victim got the “job” on Aug. 14 and told police he would pick up a woman at a Residence Inn in Lombard and drive her about seven hours each day for five days. The woman wrote the victim a check at the end of each day.

On Aug. 17 the first check bounced, and when the victim confronted the woman, she said she would transfer funds and wrote him a new check.

In the end, all of the checks written to the victim bounced because the bank account they were written against was not real, police said. The victim tried unsuccessfully to contact the woman, and went to police to report the matter on Aug. 28.

Residential burglary

Brookfield police reported what appeared to be three attempted home break-ins on the village’s south end last week, but nothing appeared to have been taken from any of the residences.

Police responded to a residence in the 4600 block of Deyo Avenue on Aug. 28 after the homeowner called to report that someone forced open the rear door to the home. The homeowner, who last saw the door secure around 6:50 a.m., found the door open and damaged when she came home about 5:10 p.m.

The home was not ransacked and nothing appeared to be missing.

On Aug. 31 about 11:45 p.m., a resident of the 4100 block of Prairie Avenue called to police to report what she believed to be a burglary in progress. The victim said she ran to hide in her bedroom after an unknown person kicked in the back door.

Police arrived to find the back gate open and a side door open and damaged. Police could not locate any suspects inside the home or in the vicinity. Nothing inside the home appeared to have been tampered with.

Then on the morning of Sept. 1, a resident of the 4300 block of Maple Avenue called police to report damage to her front door. No one gained entry to the home. The damage occurred sometime after 8 a.m. on Aug. 31, the homeowner told police.

A resident of the 8000 block of 26th Street in North Riverside contacted police on Aug. 29 to report that a Canondale Quick 2 men’s bicycle valued at about $1,000 was stolen from his garage sometime after 8:30 p.m. on Aug. 23.

Police said there were no signs of forced entry to the garage.

DUI hit and run

Riverside police charged a 31-year-old Brookfield woman with driving under influence of alcohol and leaving the scene of an accident after she reportedly drove her 2009 Honda into a vehicle parked in the municipal lot next to the police station, 31 Riverside Road on Sept. 2 at about 6:55 p.m.

Police caught up with the Honda at First Avenue and Plainfield Road in Lyons and arrested her after she reportedly failed field sobriety tests. A witness told police that the driver, who appeared intoxicated, was walking near the Swinging Bridge before getting into her vehicle in the parking lot and backing it into another parked car.  

These items were obtained from police reports filed by the Riverside, North Riverside and Brookfield police departments, Aug. 28-Sept. 4, 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