The driver of a stolen red 2004 Lincoln Navigator who led police on a high-speed chase before crashing the vehicle into a North Riverside forest preserve was able to elude capture despite a search during which police deployed both a drone and a police dog during the early morning hours of Sept. 25.

A Riverside police officer on patrol at 1:35 a.m. on 26th Street near Westover Avenue reported observing the Lincoln Navigator traveling westbound at 60 mph in a 35 mph zone. A check of the vehicle’s registration showed it had been stolen out of Cicero on Aug. 21, when its owner had left it running with the keys inside.

The police officer made a U-turn and followed the vehicle to the BP gas station parking lot at 26th Street and Desplaines Avenue, pulling behind the Lincoln Navigator, which then took off at a high rate of speed westbound on 26th Street.

The pursuit terminated when speeds reached 85 mph and approached the stoplight at First Avenue, but the officer continued to follow without lights flashing. When the officer reached the intersection of 26th Street/Forestview Drive/9th Avenue, where the roadway sharply bends northwest, he reported observing the Lincoln Navigator crashed into the woods.

Other officers arrived to establish a perimeter, but the search was called off at about 3 a.m. without locating a suspect. Police did retrieve evidence from the vehicle after getting permission to search it from the vehicle’s owner.

Slew of car break-ins in North Riverside

Police in North Riverside reported that home security video indicated one person may have broken into nearly 20 vehicles during the overnight hours of Sept. 23-24 and Sept. 24-25 principally along 7th and 8th avenues.

The offender targeted unlocked vehicles parked on the street or in driveways and rifled through glove boxes and center consoles, stealing anything of value from sunglasses to loose change to credit cards to two totes containing Civil War memorabilia valued at $5,000.

The Civil War memorabilia was taken from a vehicle parked in the 2500 block of 2nd Avenue during the overnight hours of Sept. 23-24. The remaining 16 vehicles were burglarized overnight on Sept. 24-25 in the 2300 block of 7th Avenue, the 2400 and 2500 blocks of 8th Avenue, the 8900 block of Forestview Drive and the 2400 block of Forestview Drive.

One victim on 8th Avenue called police at about 4:25 a.m. on Sept. 25 after hearing the overhead door of his garage going up. He reportedly confronted a heavyset man, who fled the scene. The man had taken a key ring holding about 50 keys and the garage door opener from a vehicle in the driveway.

The keys were found nearby, but the door opener was not recovered. Police briefly detained a man, who reportedly matched the description given by the victim, in the 2200 block of 2nd Avenue. The victim was unable to positively identify that person as the offender, police said.

Garage burglary suspects arrested

Riverside police on Sept. 20 and 22 arrested an 18-year-old man and a 19-year-old man, both of Berwyn, who they say were caught on home security cameras and a village security camera riding a bicycle stolen from a garage in the 200 block of Gage Road around 2:05 a.m. on Sept. 15.

The victim subsequently told police that he found the stolen bike being offered for sale on an app called Offer Up. Police were able to identify the suspects from the security video and set up a sting by posing as a buyer. They arrested the 18 year old on Sept. 20 as he rode up on the stolen bike and took the 19 year old into custody at his home two days later.  

Brookfield residence burglarized

A resident of the 4500 block of Sunnyside Avenue called police at about 12:30 a.m. on Sept. 25 after arriving home from work to find that someone had forced entry, ransacked the residence and stole several items.

The burglary happened sometime after noon on Sept. 24, according to the police report, and entry was gained through the front door, which appeared to have been pried open. Various belongings and clothing were found tossed in hallways and stairways.

Among the items reported missing were shoes, two videogame controllers, a jewelry box containing miscellaneous jewelry, a gold ring and three bottles of cologne.

Auto theft in North Riverside

A resident of the 2200 block of 17th Avenue, North Riverside, called police on Sept. 21 to report that her 2013 Chevy Equinox was stolen between 7 a.m. and 8:40 p.m. that day.

According to the police report, the victim said she may have left the keys inside the vehicle.

These items were obtained from police reports filed by the Riverside, North Riverside and Brookfield police departments, Sept. 20-26 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