A 21-year-old North Riverside man faces two charges of reckless conduct after he fired a handgun in the backyard of his home in the 2300 block of 18th Avenue and a bullet fragment wounded his friend, a 20-year-old Lyons man on Aug. 25 at about 12:30 p.m.

The gunshot victim was transported by paramedics to Loyola University Medical Center where he was treated and released.

Initially, the North Riverside man reportedly told police he dropped the gun onto a glass table, causing it to fire, but subsequent investigation revealed that the two men and a 20-year-old Lyons woman were socializing at a backyard table, allegedly smoking cannabis.

During that time, the North Riverside man reportedly removed the gun from his waistband and played around with it, inserting and releasing the magazine from the 9 mm Smith and Wesson pistol several times.

 According to the police report, the man may actually have fired the gun at a spider on the ground, and a bullet fragment ricocheted, striking the Lyons man in the chest.


Two charged in North Riverside burglary

North Riverside police charged a 16-year-old boy from North Riverside and a 14-year-old boy from Hines with burglary after they allegedly broke into Smoker’s Den, 7929 Cermak Road, three times on the night of Aug. 23-24 and stole at least $1,800 in merchandise.

According to the police report, the boys smashed the front glass window of the business at 10:13 p.m. on Aug. 23, grabbed merchandise from the store, put it into a red backpack and then ran away to the west.

They reportedly returned at about 10:30 p.m. and took more merchandise and then came back a third time at about 12:40 a.m. on Aug. 24, at which time the store’s burglar alarm went off, prompting the business owner to call police.

Police quickly located the two alleged offenders in the area. Both were carrying backpacks, reportedly containing merchandise from the store. According to the report, police were denied permission to search the North Riverside boy’s home for additional proceeds from the store.

Each boy was charged with three counts of burglary, one count of theft and one count of criminal damage to property. The case is being handled by Cook County Juvenile Justice.


Vehicle break-ins

A resident of the 200 block of Lawton Road, Riverside, called police on the morning of Aug. 25 to report that during the overnight hours someone had entered her vehicle, which was parked next to the garage, and took her wallet, containing IDs and credit cards.

The victim also learned someone tried to use credit cards at a gas station on Ogden Avenue and attempted to buy gift cards from Walmart online.

A resident of the 200 block of Herrick Road, Riverside, went to police on the morning of Aug. 25 to report that someone had entered his unlocked vehicle, which was parked in the driveway, overnight and removed a backpack containing a laptop computer, wireless headphones and a loaded Ruger LCP .38-caliber handgun.

Riverside police responded to the Loyola Medical office building at 3722 Harlem Ave. at about 11:05 a.m. on Aug. 25 after a man reported that while he was inside the building, someone had removed $15 in cash and a pair of sunglasses from his unlocked pickup truck.

Surveillance video reportedly captured the break-in. Lyons police reported that the same suspect was seen on checking car doors about a half hour earlier.

A teacher at St. Paul Lutheran School, 9035 Grant Ave. in Brookfield, went to police on Aug. 30 to report that three days earlier someone had stolen two laptop computers and a coin purse from the trunk of her vehicle, which had been left open as the teacher hauled materials into the school building.

According to the police report, a silver sedan had parked several feet west of the teacher’s vehicle as she began to unload items, but it was gone when she finished.


Catalytic converters stolen

A resident of the 2300 block of 2nd Avenue, North Riverside, called police on the morning of Aug. 26 to report that sometime in the prior two days someone had sawed off the catalytic converter from his vehicle.

On that same morning, police responded to the 2200 block of 3rd Avenue, where a woman reported that her vehicle was also missing its catalytic converter, which had been sawn off within the past couple of days. The vehicle had been parked on the street.

Both vehicles were Honda CRVs, according to police. 


These items were obtained from police reports filed by the Riverside, North Riverside and Brookfield police departments, Aug. 24-30, 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