Shortly before midnight on Feb. 24, someone driving a black Acura SUV crashed into the Veterans Memorial Circle at Eight Corners in Brookfield and fled the scene. The 2002 Acura had been traveling northbound on Maple and the driver drove over the curb continuing through the grass until smashing into a concrete marker and the stone retaining wall for the fountain. Bricks and large cement blocks broke off and were scattered about the circle and onto the roadway. When police arrived, the car was stopped and the driver was nowhere to be found. Inside the car, police found a cellphone and detected the strong odor of alcohol.

After checking the registration, the police went to the Brookfield home where the car was registered. According to the police report, the responding officer saw a woman inside the house, but she didn’t want to talk to the officer, saying she was a lawyer and hated the police. She told the officer to return when he had a warrant. The officer told the woman he was attempting to get information about the car that was abandoned at the fountain. The woman then walked out of the house to talk to the officer and said her husband owned a black Acura SUV. She said she had no idea where her husband was.

The officer drove the woman to the fountain and she identified the Acura as being the car her husband drives. The officer gave the woman the cellphone they found in the vehicle. The woman couldn’t find an insurance card in the SUV. The officer asked the woman tell her husband to visit the Brookfield police station when he got home.

About 24 hours later, the woman and her husband arrived at the police station. The woman said she would be representing her husband as his attorney. The police read the Miranda warning to the husband who then waived his right to remain silent and agreed to speak to the police, who showed the husband video and still photos from a security camera at Leo’s Liquors. After viewing the footage, the woman, according to the police report, noted that her husband almost got hit by a car walking away from the accident.

The husband was charged with failure to give information after striking other property, a Class A misdemeanor, disobeying a stop sign, and improper lane usage. He was also given a local ordinance citation for damage to village property. He was released upon posting bond.

Big haul or desperate measures

On the afternoon of Feb. 19, a 49-year-old woman from Lyons was charged with felony retail theft and contributing to the delinquency of a minor after she and her 12-year-old daughter were caught allegedly shoplifting at the J.C. Penney store in the North Riverside Mall. The 12-year-old was stopped by a loss prevention officer after leaving the store with a shopping cart containing 36 items worth $1,412. North Riverside officers responding to the call then stopped the mother, who had left the store undetected before her daughter was stopped. She admitted she had concealed some items in her purse and police found another 27 items worth $959 on her person.

After being read her Miranda rights, she told police she had been having trouble finding a job since she was laid off from her last job as Certified Nursing Assistant at Cook County Hospital 12 years ago. She said, according to the police report, that she had been caught stealing before and that having a record has made it difficult for her to find a job. She also said she suffers from depression and has anxiety and suicidal thoughts. She told police she had used the strategy with her daughter five times previously and had been caught three of those times. She said she had planned to sell some to the items that she took. The 12-year-old was released to her brother.

Politically motivated vandalism?

The rear window of a 2004 Honda minivan was smashed in Brookfield on Friday night, Feb. 23. When the owner saw his car on Saturday morning, not only was the rear window smashed but the windshield had multiple cracks. No entry to the minivan appeared to have been made and everything inside appeared normal. The couple who owned the van said they had no issues with anyone and got along well with all their neighbors. The man speculated that someone many have damaged their minivan because there was an Obama sticker on the car’s bumper. No one was seen doing any damage to the minivan and there were no security cameras around. The couple was provided with a report number and told to contact their insurance company.  

These items were obtained from police reports filed by the Riverside, North Riverside and Brookfield police departments, Feb. 19 -26, 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 Skolnik