A 27-year-old Chicago woman faces charges of child endangerment and retail theft after she reportedly left her 1-month-old child alone in a shopping cart for 45 minutes while she and a friend stole clothing from A Children’s Place at the North Riverside Park Mall, 7501 Cermak Road on Oct. 16 at about 7:25 p.m.

The store’s manager had contacted mall security after noticing the infant unattended in a child seat inside a Sears shopping cart for at least 20 minutes. The store manager walked around the store with the child but was unable to find a parent.

Police reported that the infant appeared healthy and that there was an empty bottle in the car seat with him. About 22 minutes after police arrived on the scene, the child’s mother appeared and demanded her child, blaming a “friend” for leaving the infant alone.

Paramedics transported the infant to Loyola University Medical Center for evaluation and police contacted the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services.

Meanwhile, surveillance video reportedly showed that the mother and another person arrived at A Children’s Place at 7 p.m. The mom is seen pushing the Sear shopping cart containing her child into a corner of the store and leaves him unattended.

A few minutes later, police said, cameras captured the mom concealing two red jackets in her friend’s shopping cart and then exiting the store without paying. The store manager is seen on camera discovering the infant at 7:17 p.m., according to police, and the child’s mother doesn’t re-enter the store until 7:46 p.m.

Chicago man charged with Riverside burglary

Riverside police have now charged the man who masterminded a series of burglaries in Illinois, Wisconsin and Indiana this summer after charging his alleged accomplice, a 19-year-old Chicago woman, in August.

The Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office on Oct. 26 approved charging Darvis R. Dennis, 30, of Chicago, with three felonies: burglary, theft and possession of a stolen motor vehicle. 

Dennis and Izalis Morales are suspected of stealing a SUV from a Riverside driveway in July, breaking into a garage and multiple vehicles in the 100 blocks of Nuttall and Longcommon roads.

Dennis, 30, has been held at the Winnebago County Jail in Rockford since his arrest in Machesney Park on Aug. 10 along with Morales. The two were taken into custody by Winnebago County Sheriff’s Police and charged with burglaries there.

After the arrest, Riverside police obtained a search warrant for a storage unit in Chicago, where they recovered more than 250 items reported stolen from various locations in Cook, Will and DuPage counties, along with property stolen from places in Wisconsin and Indiana.

Dennis reportedly recruited Morales to rent the storage unit and sell the stolen property via an app called Letgo.

According to police, Dennis’ criminal history includes 28 arrests for a variety of offenses, including burglary, criminal damage to property, assault, theft and aggravated assault to a school employee.

Purse snatching foiled

A 37-year-old Cicero woman called North Riverside police on Oct. 20 just after noon to report that a man had attempted to steal her purse and threatened to shoot her if she did not give it up.

The victim told police she was approached by two men and a woman inside North Riverside Park Mall, 7501 Cermak Road. One of the men grabbed at the woman’s purse and told her that unless she gave him her purse, he would wait for her outside, shoot her and then claim the victim had harassed his pregnant girlfriend.

The victim refused to let go of her purse and the three people left the area. Police were unable to locate any suspects.

Truck break-in

A 63-year-old Indian Head Park man contacted Brookfield police at about 3:30 p.m. on Oct. 25 to report that sometime during the prior 24 hours someone had entered the cab of his 1997 Ford truck, which was parked in a lot in the 9100 block of Plainfield Road, and pried open a toolbox to steal several tools.

Among the tools reported missing were a Stil concrete saw along with two blades and a jackhammer. The value of the items was estimated at $2,350.

Political sign stolen

An officer responded to the 100 block of Akenside Road, Riverside, on Oct. 27 after a resident called to report that a surveillance camera caught someone stealing his lawn sign for Cook County commissioner candidate Abdelnasser Rashid at about 10:10 p.m. on Oct. 24.

Video reportedly showed a vehicle pull up to the property. A man is seen getting out of the vehicle, walking up to the sign and taking it before running back to the vehicle and driving away.

These items were obtained from police reports filed by the Riverside, North Riverside and Brookfield police departments, Oct. 16-28, 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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