Two people believed to be suspects in an April 14 vehicular hijacking in Oak Park and a second in Cicero the following day were apprehended on April 16 following a high-speed chase that began at the North Riverside Park Mall and ended on Chicago’s West Side.

A North Riverside police officer on patrol at the mall, 7501 Cermak Road, around 4:30 p.m. attempted to make a traffic stop on a dark-colored Acura exiting the lower-level parking deck. 

A computer check of the license plate indicated that the vehicle had been stolen in a bump-and-run incident in the 900 block of South Elmwood Avenue in Oak Park two days earlier.

The Acura sped away from police and then north on Harlem Avenue to the I-290 expressway, where it headed east. The pursuit ended when the Acura crashed in the vicinity of Gladys and Kilpatrick avenues in Chicago.

Four people exited the vehicle and fled on foot. Police apprehended two of them and recovered the vehicle. Both the suspects and the vehicle were turned over to Oak Park police.

Alleged drunk driver on the tracks

Esteban Garcia-Ortiz, 25, of Chicago, faces felony drunken driving charges, among others, after he reportedly drove his 2009 Nissan onto the Burlington Northern-Santa Fe Railroad tracks at Cowley Road on April 12 just before midnight.

It was the third time in the past two months that Riverside police have had to respond to calls of an impaired driver getting stuck on the tracks. No trains were approaching, and police were able to contact the railroad, which halted traffic for more than 40 minutes in order to tow the car off the tracks.

Police arrived to find the car facing westbound on the northern most set of tracks with the wheels lodged between the rails. Garcia-Ortiz reportedly told police he’d been drinking prior to driving. A portable breath test at the scene indicated his blood-alcohol content at .09, which is just above the legal limit of .08.

According to police, one open can of beer and several unopened cans were found inside the vehicle. Garcia-Ortiz also reportedly has never possessed a valid driver’s license.

In addition to felony DUI, he was also charged with illegal transportation of open alcohol as well as misdemeanor DUI, driving without a license, not having vehicle insurance and improper lane usage. 

Elderly man arrested for trespassing

Brookfield police charged an 87-year-old Cicero man with criminal trespassing, twice, last week after incidents two days apart at Citibank, 9009 Ogden Ave.

An officer responded to the bank for the first time on April 9 at about 3:05 p.m. after the Korean War veteran had reportedly threatened to “come back and shoot” a teller after being asked to leave due to a previous no trespassing warning he’d received in September 2017.

The man left the bank when asked to do so by police, but he reportedly returned at about 3:30 p.m. and police responded to the bank again. The man was unarmed and standing in the parking lot as officers arrived. He was arrested, charged with trespassing and given a May court date.

On April 11, police again were dispatched to the bank because the man had returned to the bank. He reportedly told police he’d gone to the bank to withdraw money to pay someone in order to collect a large sum of money he’d been told he won.

Police told the man that someone was trying to scam him and that he should report the attempt to Cicero police. They also charged him again for trespassing, due to the prior complaints.

The arresting officer forwarded the police report to a Brookfield police crisis case worker for possible follow up.

Vehicle break-ins

A resident of the 3900 block of Vernon Avenue, Brookfield, called police on the morning of April 13 to report that his vehicle, which was parked overnight on the street, had been burglarized.

Police reported no signs of forced entry, indicating the vehicle was unlocked. Missing from the vehicle were three pairs of collectible Air Jordan shoes valued at almost $3,000 in total.

A small amount of cash was also missing from the center console.

Brookfield police responded again to the 3900 block of Vernon Avenue on April 13 at about 12:10 p.m. after a resident called to report that someone had stolen a wallet out of her vehicle.

At roughly 6:45 p.m., someone called police to report finding a wallet in an alley behind the 4100 block of Arthur Avenue. An ATM receipt and other items allowed police to confirm that it was the one stolen from the vehicle on Vernon Avenue. The owner confirmed that $20 was missing from the wallet, but nothing else was taken.

Riverside police report that three vehicles were broken into during the overnight hours of April 10-11 in the 200 block of East Quincy Street.

A resident called police at about 5:40 a.m. on April 11 after noticing a door to her daughter’s vehicle ajar and seeing contents of the car thrown around.

While nothing was missing from that vehicle, police canvassed the area and noticed two other vehicles on the block had been targeted. Both vehicles had their glove boxes and center consoles ransacked.

There was nothing of value reported missing from at least one of the other vehicles. It was unclear if anything was missing from the third vehicle. All of the vehicles had been unlocked overnight.

These items were obtained from police reports filed by the Riverside, North Riverside and Brookfield police departments, April 9-15, 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

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