A North Riverside man robbed of $3,850 in an alley behind a building in the 9000 block of Cermak Road on the afternoon of Jan. 3 told police he believed he was followed to that location by someone who saw him withdraw the money from a nearby bank less than an hour earlier.

The victim wasn’t seriously hurt when he was shoved to the ground by a man who approached him from behind, grabbed a bag filled with money and ran away east through the alley. The offender did not appear to be armed with a weapon, according to the police report.

A witness told police that she observed the victim park his car in the 2200 block of 13th Avenue and walk into the alley. Shortly afterward, she saw an unknown man run into the alley behind the victim. 

That same man was seen running out of the alley and getting into a gray Volkswagen Beetle parked in front of a home in the 9000 block of 22nd Place. The vehicle was last seen driving south on 13th Avenue. There did not appear to be anyone else inside the vehicle, according to the witness.

The victim told police he went to BMO Harris Bank, 9101 Cermak Road, at about 12:40 p.m. to withdraw $3,900 to pay bills. He told police he didn’t notice anything suspicious as he left the bank, but said someone must have followed him from the bank to the alley, where he was attacked at about 1:15 p.m.

Catalytic converter theft spree

Brookfield police are cautioning car owners, particularly owners of models like the Honda CR-V and Toyota Prius, to park overnight in garages or take other precautions after the latest rash of catalytic converter thefts last week.

Between Jan. 3 and Jan. 8 thieves targeted at least 10 vehicles – all of them Hondas from 2009 or earlier and nearly all CR-Vs – sawing off the catalytic converters from the undercarriages of vehicles parked on the street or in driveways in front of residences during the overnight hours.

The biggest spree occurred overnight on Jan. 4-5, with catalytic converters stolen from vehicles in the 4100, 4200 and 4500 blocks of Madison Avenue; the 4100 and 4300 blocks of DuBois Boulevard; the 4400 block of Deyo Avenue; and the 9400 block of Congress Park Avenue. Thieves targeted another vehicle overnight on Jan. 3-4 in the 9100 block of Lincoln Avenue and overnight on Jan. 7-8 in the 3900 block of Forest Avenue.

A resident of the 2200 block of 5th Avenue, North Riverside, went to police last week to report that during the overnight hours of Jan. 4-5 someone removed the catalytic converter from the undercarriage of her 2002 Honda CR-V, which was parked on the street.

Bullet holes in door

North Riverside police responded to a residence in the 2300 block of 4th Avenue on Jan. 6 after a homeowner called to report what appeared to be two bullet holes in the front door.

The homeowners recalled a time in mid-December when they heard a loud popping noise while having dinner, and checked the furnace, believing the noise came from the basement.

On Jan. 6, however, one of the homeowners noticed sunlight shining through a hole in the wooden front door. Police reported observing two holes measuring about three-quarters of an inch each.

One of the holes went all the way through the door and wood shards were observed on the carpet behind the door. Police also discovered a spent projectile, believed to be a .177-caliber round, on the carpet near the door. A metal shard was found inside the second hole, which did not penetrate the door.

Commercial burglary

North Riverside police responded to Urban Air, 7401 25th St., on the afternoon of Jan. 3 after a manager called to report that a safe in an office had been broken into sometime after the business closed on Jan. 2.

Employees closed the business at about 8:45 p.m. on Jan. 2. When they arrived back to open on Jan. 3 at about 8:30 a.m., a rear door used as an employee exit was slightly ajar and the door was not locked.

When an armored car service arrived at the business at about 3:30 p.m. to pick up cash kept in the safe, they reported that the safe had been opened and that no money was inside.

A manager told police that similar incidents occurred twice before in December but that they weren’t reported due to the business wanting to conduct its own investigation. Police recovered a vape pen found next to the safe, which employees said had not been there the previous day.

These items were obtained from police reports filed by the Riverside, North Riverside and Brookfield police departments, Jan. 2-9, 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