Riverside experienced a rash of vehicles break-ins in the past week, with police reporting at least 15 incidents where someone either entered vehicles or tried to.

All occurred during the overnight hours of either Dec. 30-31 or Jan. 2-3 in the southeast area of the village.

In one of the Riverside incidents, the attempt to gain entry wasn’t successful, but footprints left in the snow outside the vehicle indicated someone had tried.

Incidents were reported in the first block of South Delaplaine Road, the 200 block of East Quincy Street, the 200 block of East Burlington Street, the 200 block of Gage Road and the 200 block of Lawton Road. 

In many of the cases, footprints in the snow showed that someone walked down the blocks trying door handles to find unlocked vehicles.

While some vehicles were rummaged through but nothing was taken, items were stolen from others, including a cellphone, jackets, tools, headphones, N95-type face masks, loose change, a sweater, a bicycle light and a spare vehicle key.

Police were able to recover some surveillance video showing the alleged offender walking through front and rear yards. They intend to release images from that footage soon in hopes of identifying a suspect.

Two vehicle burglaries were also reported as happening during the overnight hours of Dec. 28-29 on the south end of Brookfield.

A resident of the 4100 block of Madison Avenue reported that someone had entered his unlocked vehicle, which was parked next to the alley, and removed a pair of iPods, an iPad, three portable radios, jumper cables and small tools.

A resident of the 4300 block of DuBois Boulevard reported that someone had taken a pair of 12-inch Rockford Fosgate subwoofer speakers from the trunk of his unlocked vehicle.

DUI to start the year

A 61-year-old Riverside man faces drunken driving charges and other traffic citations after he was arrested at 3:50 a.m. on Jan. 1 for allegedly driving in the wrong lane of traffic while northbound on South Delaplaine Road and then blowing through a stop sign at Lawton Road. 

Police reported that the vehicle continued driving in the wrong lane of traffic while westbound on East Burlington Street and pulled to wrong curb when stopped by police at Herbert Road.

According to police, the driver’s blood-alcohol content was .143, which is nearly twice the legal limit of .08.

Vehicle stolen from mall

North Riverside police responded to North Riverside Park Mall, 7501 Cermak Road, on Dec. 30 at about 4:15 p.m. after a 39-year-old Cicero woman working as a Door Dash delivery driver called to report that her gray Honda Accord had been stolen from in front of the food court entrance.

The victim told police she parked her car to make a delivery to someone at the mall entrance. She was out of the vehicle, which she left running with the keys inside, for just moments to make the delivery. When she turned around, the car was gone.

Driver hits 117 mph to elude cops

Someone at the wheel of a Dodge Challenger displaying the license plates of a 2016 Jeep that police reported stolen out of Olympia Fields in November hit the gas and led police on a brief chase from the North Riverside Mall parking lot eastbound on Cermak Road before an officer broke it off.

The office responded to the mall at about 9:30 p.m. on Dec. 27 after getting a report of vehicles driving recklessly. The officer observed the Dodge, with heavily damaged passenger side doors driving in the parking lot and learned its license plates were from the stolen Jeep.

Police tried to stop the car, but the driver sped away, reaching 117 mph as it crossed Harlem Avenue into Berwyn.

Not very neighborly

A Brookfield woman went to police on Jan. 2 after returning home to find a hand-written letter addressed to the “occupant” and having no return address in her mailbox. According to the woman, who is married to another woman, the letter stated “Jesus is returning soon, be patient. Fear and obey.”

The letter also referenced a scripture passage, stated as a type of warning and suggesting one of the two women “shall be taken and the other left.” Concerned because she is married to another woman and not knowing whether to treat the letter as a threat, the woman went to police to document the incident.

These items were obtained from police reports filed by the Riverside, North Riverside and Brookfield police departments, Dec. 28, 2020 to Jan. 3, 2021, 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