North Riverside police continue to hunt for a man who robbed a 57-year-old woman at gunpoint outside her 6th Avenue home on Jan. 17 at about 6:40 p.m.

The victim told police she had just arrived home after grocery shopping at Jewel in North Riverside and was walking up to her home when a man wearing a dark hooded jacket walked out of the gangway.

The man pointed a gun at her, prompting the woman to extend her purse toward him. The man grabbed the purse and then ran westbound on 24th Street. The woman told police she was so scared she didn’t look at the offender’s face for fear he’d shoot her if she did.

Police reported that there were two failed attempts to use credit cards stolen in the robbery to buy items at Target in Hillside and a successful purchase using one of them at a sandwich shop in Hillside.

Police were able to obtain surveillance video from Target documenting the attempted purchases there. They also obtained surveillance video from the parking lot near Jewel, which appears to show the woman was targeted and followed home from that location.

The vehicle involved was believed to be a Ford Fusion, possibly dark blue. 

Driving with the hood up

Riverside police charged a 24-year-old Lyons man with drunken driving after a public works snow plow driver radioed police about a heavily damaged vehicle driving west from downtown Riverside at about 3:10 a.m. on Jan. 19.

The 2002 Honda stopped on Forest Avenue and the driver got out to look at the damage. When the snowplow driver asked if he needed help, the owner of the damaged vehicle asked if he could follow the snow plow.

The damaged vehicle continued to First Avenue and then turned north before striking the curb, causing the hood of the vehicle to fly up, hitting the windshield. The vehicle continued to drive north before pulling over near 31st Street.

When a Riverside police officer arrived on the scene, he reported that the hood of vehicle was still up, blocking the windshield. The officer reported that the driver appeared intoxicated and failed field sobriety tests.

Police also contacted neighboring towns to see if they had any recent hit-and-run crashes reported. According to police, the driver was abusive and uncooperative. He remained in custody until 10 a.m. due to his level of intoxication.

Scam attampts continue

A North Riverside woman is out several hundred dollars after falling for an email scam that offered to send her a check for $1,400 in exchange for gift cards and money transfer totaling about $400.

On Dec. 31, 2018, the victim received an email from someone claiming to represent a “secret shopper” program and announcing that the victim would be receiving a package in the mail with instructions on how to redeem it.

The package contained a check for $1,400 and it instructed her to deposit the check in her bank account. The woman didn’t have a bank account, so she opened a new account and deposited the check on Jan. 3 and then withdrew funds to buy gift cards and wiring money to a New Jersey address.

On Jan. 7, the victim’s bank called to report that the original check had bounced and that she was being held accountable for the withdrawn money.

 A North Riverside woman contacted police on Jan. 11 and had her bank accounts locked down after allowing online access to her computer to a person who appeared to be attempting to defraud her of $4,000.

According to the police report, the woman said a man claiming to be employed by Microsoft had called her and got permission from her to gain remote access to her computer. The man then said he would pay the woman $500 for her time and gained access to her bank accounts, claiming to have mistakenly deposited $4,500.

He asked the woman to reimburse him for the $4,000 overage by purchasing gift cards and giving him the redemption codes. The woman called police.

It does not appear that the woman was defrauded of any money during the incident.

 A 29-year-old Brookfield woman is on the hook for $3,200 after she was the victim of an internet scam. The woman called police on Jan. 18 to report she’d applied for a secretarial job online and received an email from a man who hired her. The man told her he was out of town but would send her a $3,750 check to buy office supplies.

He also instructed her to deposit the check and then use the money to buy $3,200 in gift cards and send him the redemption codes. Several days after depositing the check, the bank informed her it was fraudulent.

The gift cards by that time had been redeemed and the bank told the woman she needed to replace the money taken out of the bad check.

These items were obtained from police reports filed by the Riverside, North Riverside and Brookfield police departments, Jan. 7-21. 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