A burglary crew that reportedly forced its way into the North Riverside Park Mall, 7501 Cermak Road, late on Dec. 7 and stole nearly $5,000 in merchandise from Kids Footlocker returned several hours later, early on Dec. 8, but were chased out of the mall by security personnel and eluded police during a chase down Harlem Avenue at speeds reaching 90 mph.

Police responded to Kids Footlocker on Dec. 7 at about 11:25 p.m. after the store’s night manager called to report seeing the security gate pulled up. The store closed at 8 p.m. and the gate was down as of 11 p.m., according to the police report.

Missing from the store were eight pairs of Air Jordan Retro 11 shoes, 12 pairs of Ugg boots and 31 items of clothing totaling $4,980.

Security camera video showed three people – one of them carrying bolt cutters – approach the store at 11:20 p.m. One lifts open the gate before all run throughout the store, grabbing items and leaving at 11:21 p.m. The trio returns at 11:22 p.m., grabs more merchandise and leaves at 11:23 p.m.

Exterior cameras at the mall showed a silver vehicle driving through the lot and parking near Entrance 2, the entrance closest to Kids Foot Locker, prior to the break-in.

North Riverside police responded again to the mall at about 5:50 a.m. on Dec. 8 when the silver vehicle returned and three people fitting the description from the first incident were seen by security inside the shopping center.

The three fled the mall when they were confronted by security personnel and entered a silver Infiniti sedan with dealer plates that sped away east on 25th Street and then north on Harlem Avenue.

North Riverside police pursued the vehicle on Harlem Avenue with the sedan’s speed hitting 90 mph as it approached Roosevelt Road. Police terminated the pursuit when the sedan drove into oncoming traffic north of Roosevelt Road as it approached I-290.

Police later learned the same vehicle was wanted by Chicago police in connection with the burglary of a liquor store in the 1800 block of West Montrose Avenue at 3:45 a.m. on Dec. 8.

In that incident four offenders broke out a glass door to gain entry and steal merchandise. 

Garage burglary arrest

Anthony W. Marzec, 58, of Brookfield faces one felony burglary charge after being arrested in Berwyn on Dec. 9 for allegedly breaking into a garage in the 9300 block of Monroe Avenue, Brookfield, and stealing multiple items in November.

On Nov. 23, a Brookfield resident called police after finding more than $3,000 worth of items missing from his garage, including power tools, batteries and chargers, and two mountain bikes.

The morning prior to the burglary being reported, a Brookfield police officer had observed Marzec walking with a bicycle and a lawn mower that turned out to match descriptions of items taken in the burglary. That incident was captured on the officer’s body camera.

Police also reported recovering security camera video of Marzec in the vicinity of the garage during the early morning hours of Nov. 22. 

After following up on several leads trying to locate Marzec, police observed him riding a bicycle eastbound on Cermak Road at Gunderson Avenue in Berwyn and took him into custody.

Vehicle break-ins

North Riverside police responded to the 2500 block of Westover Avenue at about 11:50 p.m. on Dec. 8 after a man called to report someone had entered his vehicle, which he said was locked, and ransacked the interior.

The victim told police that the burglary happened sometime after 9:30 p.m. when he parked the car at that location. The only thing missing from the vehicle was loose change and a few dollar bills.

Police at about 12:40 a.m. on Dec. 9 received another report of a vehicle break-in in the 2500 block of Westover Avenue. That vehicle had been unlocked and parked on the street since 9:30 p.m. the prior night. It was ransacked, but nothing appeared to be missing.

At 8:23 a.m. on Dec. 8 police were called to an identified address on 26th Street after a resident reported someone had broken into her unlocked vehicle, which was parked behind an apartment building.

A door, the trunk and the gas cap were open, the glove box was ransacked and the panel to access the diagnostic car code reader had been peeled off. The offender may have been trying to steal the vehicle, police said.

A resident of Park Avenue in North Riverside reported to police that during the overnight hours of Dec. 9-10 someone entered his unlocked vehicle, which was parked outside of his home, and removed loose change. The glove box had also been ransacked.

Catalytic converters stolen

Catalytic converters were removed from four more vehicles in Brookfield in the past week, continuing a trend that began several months ago in Brookfield and neighboring communities.

Thieves struck two vehicles, one in the 4500 block of Maple Avenue and one in the 4600 block of Maple Avenue, within minutes of one another on early on Dec. 8. A woman called police at 3:47 a.m. after the sound of power tools being used outside woke her up. She looked out the window to see a Mitsubishi SUV on a lift and two figures in black hoodies standing near the vehicle.

At 3:51 a.m. a resident of the 4600 block of Maple Avenue called police after being awakened by a “grinding noise” outside. Looking outside the man observed two people wearing hoodies, one holding a power grinder, near a Mitsubishi SUV parked nearby.

In what is likely a related incident, a resident of the 8800 block of Plainfield Road reported on the morning of Dec. 8 that the catalytic converter was cut from the undercarriage of her Mitsubishi Outlander overnight.

A resident of the 9100 block of Fairview Avenue, Brookfield, called police to report that someone had removed the catalytic converter from a 2011 Mitsubishi Outlander, which had been parked on the street overnight on Dec. 12-13.

The man told police he believed the theft occurred at about 4 a.m. when he was awakened by what he thought at the time was a passing train.

DUI crash

Brookfield police charged a 45-year-old Stickney woman with driving under the influence of alcohol and cited her for traffic offenses after she reportedly drove her Chevy Spark through a red light to turn left onto Ogden Avenue at Eberly Avenue and struck a westbound black Chevy SUV driven by a 22-year-old LaGrange man head-on.

No one was injured in the crash, which took place at about 10:40 p.m. on Dec. 11, but the impact was enough for air bags to deploy. The woman driving the Chevy Spark reportedly admitted she’d been drinking before getting behind the wheel. Paramedics took the woman to the hospital where she reportedly consented to a blood draw before being released into police custody.

These items were obtained from police reports filed by the Riverside, North Riverside and Brookfield police departments, Dec. 6-12, 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