A man wearing a mask attempted to burglarize a Harlem Avenue apartment where a 13-year-old was sleeping, Riverside police reported, but fled without stealing anything when the child woke and saw him.

The incident occurred on Feb. 15 at 3:30 a.m. in the 2800 block of Harlem Avenue. Police reported no signs of forced entry and that either the door to the apartment was unlocked or the lock malfunctioned.

According to police, there was no physical contact between the offender and the child, who threw pots and pans at the offender as he left the apartment. The man was described as black, about 5-foot-6 to 5-foot-10 with a medium to large build and short, slightly wavy hair. He reportedly wore a half mask, which covered his lower jaw area.

Police searched the area for the offender without success and detectives continue to investigate the case, searching for surveillance video and checking to see if there have been any similar incidents in nearby towns.

Stolen SUV recovered in Chicago

Last week, Chicago police arrested two juveniles who were found in possession of a vehicle three days after it was stolen from the 4500 block of Madison Avenue, Brookfield. That theft, on Feb. 12, may also be related to three vehicle break-ins reported in the area that same day.

The vehicle, a blue Ford Explorer, was apparently stolen during the early morning hours of Feb. 12. 

About 3:15 a.m. that day, Stickney police reported the vehicle being involved in a car break-in there. An officer reported seeing four people running toward and getting into the Explorer from the scene of a vehicle burglary in the 4400 block of Maple Avenue in Stickney.

Police attempted to chase the Explorer but cut it short due to hazardous road conditions. On Feb. 15, Chicago police called Brookfield to report they’d recovered the Ford Explorer and had two juveniles in custody.

In addition to the theft of the Explorer on Feb. 12, police reported vehicle break-ins that morning in the 4300 and 4500 blocks of Madison Avenue and the 4100 block of Raymond Avenue.

Social media spat turns violent

A server at Olive Garden, 7513 Cermak Road in North Riverside, got a drink thrown in her face, a fat lip, and a black eye after she was attacked by three women inside the restaurant on Feb. 9 about 3 p.m.

The victim told police she’d had an argument on social media several years ago with one of the women and that she tried to avoid them as they dined. But as the victim walked up to the hostess’ stand to get more menus, the three women ran up to her, threw a drink in the victim’s face and began punching her before other employees intervened.

The victim signed battery complaints against two of women, who were sisters, police said.

Account closed

A man who was a customer at MB Financial Bank, 7222 Cermak Road in North Riverside, was banned from the property and his account closed after he allegedly urinated in the lobby while withdrawing money at the ATM on Jan. 29 about 8:30 p.m.

The bank contacted police on Feb. 4 after surveillance video and transaction data revealed who the culprit was, police said. Employees called the offender a familiar customer.

Police interviewed the offender, who admitted the deed, saying he urinated in front of the ATM because it was an emergency and because it was cold outside.

Identity theft

A Brookfield man called police on Feb. 12 to report that someone may have attempted to steal his identity via phone scam.

The victim told police he got a call on his cellphone from someone who stated the victim’s Social Security number had been used to rent a car in Texas. The caller asked the victim to verify his Social Security number. When the victim complied, the caller then said the rented car was found to have blood on it and that it was involved in a drug crime.

The caller hung up after the victim asked several questions about who the caller was and who he worked for. Police advised the victim to contact credit bureaus about the incident and to place a fraud alert on his credit report.

Police said the phone number used to call the victim had been reported online as being involved in numerous scams.

Drunk and disoriented

Police cited a 23-year-old Tinley Park man with criminal damage to property and disorderly conduct after he allegedly damaged the rear door of a home in the 4000 block of Vernon Avenue on Feb. 15 about 1:40 a.m.

The homeowners called police to report an unknown man trying to kick in their back door. Police arrived to find the offender, very intoxicated, who told them he believed he was trying to get into his own house.

It was later learned that the offender had been drinking at a Brookfield bar and had wandered away from his girlfriend after she refused to let him drive drunk.

These items were obtained from police reports filed by the Riverside, North Riverside and Brookfield police departments, Feb. 4-17, 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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