The school year got off to a jumpy start at Riverside-Brookfield High School on Aug. 15, with emergency personnel arriving just after noon to investigate the presence of a suspicious package that was left by an older man on a bench outside the school.

The package was described as a clear plastic box with a teddy bear inside that looked like it was made out of roses. School security noticed the package at about 11 a.m. and called police after checking surveillance cameras, which showed a man walking up to the front of the school and leaving the package there.

It aroused suspicion, according to police, because at about 10:30 a.m. that day, a school administrator had received a text message stating, “a boom today at the school.” While police and firefighters began securing the area, police received word that a Riverside firefighter knew who had placed the package there.

Earlier that day the firefighter was driving with his father past RBHS, when his dad asked him if he wanted the teddy bear to give to his wife. The firefighter said he didn’t, so his dad placed the package on the bench, hoping some boy would take it and give it to his girlfriend.

The firefighter didn’t think anything of it, but when he heard the call out for a suspicious package at the high school, he immediately thought of the teddy bear and notified his supervisor.


Car bought fraudulently

A local car dealer is out a used white 2017 Dodge Charger after a man obtained a car loan to purchase it using someone else’s identity last week.

The manager of Castle Buick, 7400 Cermak Road in North Riverside, called police on the morning of Aug. 14 to report the fraudulent purchase. He said that on Aug. 13 a man took the car for a test drive and agreed to buy it, providing an Illinois driver’s license to identify himself and putting down $500 in cash as a down payment.

Credit checks of the identity provided on the driver’s license went through without a problem. The man was approved for a car loan and drove the Charger away.

The following morning, the man whose name appeared on the driver’s license called to say he received a credit alert that someone bought a car in his name, but that it wasn’t him. Police said the photo of the license provided to the car dealership didn’t match the one in state records.


Felony DUI

Bolingbrook resident Kenneth K. Steverson, 36, faces felony drunken driving charges after North Riverside police reported finding him passed out behind the wheel of his tan Cadillac, with his foot on the brake and the vehicle in gear, in the 2200 block of First Avenue on Aug. 17 at about 9:30 p.m.

Police said Steverson’s vehicle was stopped in the center lane, about five car lengths south of Cermak Road. He was leaned back, holding a plastic cup without a lid in his hand, and appeared to be unconscious. A bottle of whiskey was on the passenger seat.

Officers were able to wake him up and get the car out of gear. Steverson’s blood-alcohol content reportedly was .185, which is more than twice the legal limit of .08. He also reportedly was driving on a revoked license and had an active warrant for his arrest out of Will County.

In addition to driving under the influence of alcohol, Steverson was charged with aggravated driving while revoked and ticketed for traffic offenses. 


Vehicle break-in

North Riverside police responded to the 2300 block of 10th Avenue on the morning of Aug. 16 after a resident called to report that two vehicles parked in the driveway had been broken into overnight.

Both vehicles were unlocked, according to the police report. A makeup bag and an Apple Square card reader were taken from one vehicle. The makeup bag was later found in the alley next to the victim’s garage. 

However, several power tools were removed from a pickup truck in the driveway. All of the tools were later found by a neighbor in a garbage can behind a residence in the 2300 block of 11th Avenue.


Identity theft

A Brookfield man went to police on Aug. 19 to report that he gave his Social Security number to someone with a foreign accent who called him claiming to be from the Social Security Administration who called on the phone, saying they needed the information to clear up a warrant for the Brookfield man’s arrest.

When the caller also started asking the victim for his bank account information, he got suspicious and began asking questions, at which time the caller hung up. Police advised the victim to contact credit bureaus to flag his accounts.


These items were obtained from police reports filed by the Riverside, North Riverside and Brookfield police departments, Aug. 12-19 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