Riverside police continue to search for the driver of a white 2003 Dodge Caravan that crossed the center line on 31st Street just west of First Avenue and struck a 2016 GMC head-on, injuring a Cicero couple driving home after taking in Brookfield Zoo’s Holiday Magic display on Dec. 9.
The 63-year-old driver of the GMC and his 69-year-old wife were taken to Loyola University Medical Center where they were treated for minor injuries, according to police.
But, the driver of the Caravan, reportedly a man wearing a white puffy jacket, bailed out of his vehicle, which was missing a wheel due to the impact of the crash, after it came to a stop near Golfview Avenue.
Police believe the man had suffered some type of injury, because they found blood on the airbag and steering wheel inside the Caravan. They also reported finding a gym shoe wedged under the brake and an open bottle of beer on the passenger side floor.
A witness told police the man had run from the vehicle north on Golfview Avenue, but a Brookfield Zoo surveillance camera captured video of a man wearing a white coat running westbound on 31st Street.
Police searched the area for the man, without success, and notified local hospitals to call them if anyone came into their emergency room with injuries consistent with being in a vehicle crash.
Several factors have hampered the police investigation into who the offender might be or where to find him. First, the license plates on the Caravan aren’t registered to the minivan and the vehicle identification number registers to another person. While police did find identification inside the vehicle, searches at last known addresses for that man in Lyons, Brookfield and Elgin have come up empty.
Police say they are soliciting the public’s help in locating the offender and are asking people to contact Detective James Lazansky at 708-447-2127 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
A resident of the 3200 block of Maple Avenue, Brookfield, contacted police on Dec. 8 to report an apparent attempted break-in to her residence during the early morning hours of that day.
The victim said that at about 1 a.m., she heard her fence gate squeak. When she looked outside, she reportedly saw a man wearing all black standing outside near the gate. He left the area when she turned on the porch light.
When she left to go to work later that morning, she reportedly observed a window screen lying on the ground and a handprint on the window where the screen came from. The screen covering another window also appeared to be damaged.
The victim also told police that she had not reported that on two occasions, one in October and one on Dec. 1, packages had been stolen from her porch.
North Riverside police responded to the parking lot at Charter Fitness, 1770 Harlem Ave., on Dec. 1 at about 7 p.m. after a 20-year-old Evergreen Park man called to report that someone had burglarized his vehicle.
The driver had locked the vehicle before going into the fitness center at about 5 p.m., and police observed damage to the driver’s side door lock. A key could no longer be used to enter the vehicle, police said.
The offender ransacked the inside of the vehicle and removed the owner’s work bag, which contained a checkbook and some loose change.
A 31-year-old Cicero woman called police on Dec. 2 to report that between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m., someone had entered her unlocked vehicle, which was parked in the lot near EZ Pawn, 7361 25th St. in North Riverside, and removed a White Sox jacket, White Sox jersey and red high-heel shoes.
A resident of the 100 block of Akenside Road, Riverside, contacted police last week to report that between 10 a.m. on Dec. 3 and 8 a.m. on Dec. 4 someone entered his unlocked vehicle and removed his wallet, which contained IDs, $20 in cash and credit and debit cards.
The debit card was used to make a $55 purchase on Dec. 4 at 8 p.m. at a Berwyn gas station and another was used to make a $47 purchase a half hour later inside the gas station’s minimart. Subsequent attempts to use that card at two other gas stations were declined.
These items were obtained from police reports filed by the Riverside, North Riverside and Brookfield police departments, Dec. 1-Dec. 10, 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