An 18-year-old Chicago woman was charged with felony possession of a stolen motor vehicle and possession of burglary tools after being arrested for misdemeanor retail theft at North Riverside Park Mall, 7501 Cermak Road on Nov. 4.

Priscilla Sosa remains in custody at Cook County Jail awaiting a Nov. 9 preliminary hearing at the Maybrook courthouse.

Sosa was taken into custody initially on Nov. 4 at about 6:40 p.m. for an alleged retail theft at J.C. Penney. A short time later, a North Riverside police officer on patrol at the mall spotted a Hyundai Tucson with both rear windows broken out and covered with plastic unoccupied in the west parking lot near Round One.

Surveillance camera video reportedly showed Sosa park the vehicle at 5:16 p.m. and walk into the mall. During an interview following her arrest for retail theft, Sosa reportedly told police she knew the car was stolen and bought it from someone for $80 at a McDonald’s parking lot. The person who sold her the car also gave her a screwdriver to start the ignition, which had been tampered with to steal it somewhere in Chicago on Nov. 3.

Sosa reportedly possessed the screwdriver at the time of her arrest at the mall.

A day earlier, on Nov. 3, North Riverside police charged four teenage boys, all juveniles, with possession of a stolen motor vehicle and resisting arrest after allegedly driving to the North Riverside Park Mall in a Kia Optima that had been stolen from a location in Oak Park.

When a patrol officer initially saw the vehicle parked in the east lot at about 6:30 p.m., it was unoccupied, but it was parked in a handicapped space without a placard, with its engine running and a side window broken out. The Kia’s steering column was also peeled back and the ignition damaged.

North Riverside police have reported a number of Kia and Hyundai model vehicles stolen in the village in recent weeks by people who break rear windows to gain entry and then peel back the steering column to start the engine.

A witness described seeing four teenage boys exiting the vehicle a short time earlier. Four teens matching that description were then seen walking back toward the Kia when police ordered them to stop.

All four were detained after allegedly attempting to run away. One of the teens reportedly had a screwdriver in his pocket. After they were booked, two of the teens were transported to the Cook County Juvenile Detention Center, one was transferred into the custody of Chicago police to be interviewed in connection with an open homicide case and one was released to the custody of his mother.

Auto theft in Brookfield

Brookfield police say that a 2014 Jeep stolen from Freddy’s Auto Body, 9408 Ogden Ave. at about 12:20 p.m. on Nov. 4 had been left in a service bay unattended for less than five minutes when it was driven away.

An employee told police she heard the sound of something breaking and went to investigate when she observed a chain that goes across the service bay broken and a customer’s Jeep being driven away westbound on Ogden Avenue.

The employee said the vehicle had just been moved to the service bay and had been parked there for less than five minutes with the key fob in the center console. Surveillance video showed a gold Lincoln MKX back up to a gate west of the business, Two people are seen exiting the Lincoln and walking into the west door leading to the service bay.

A short time later, one person comes back out and gets into the Lincoln which then leaves westbound on Ogden Avenue followed by the Jeep.

Fire guts garage, damages two others

Brookfield fire and police officials say the cause of a garage fire that ignited during the early morning hours of Nov. 5 was undetermined but that it did not appear to be suspicious in origin.

Emergency personnel responded to the alley behind the 9100 blocks of Sherman and Grant Avenues at about 2:50 a.m., finding one garage fully engulfed in flames and fire spreading to nearby structures.

According to the police report of the incident, the west wall of another garage in the 9100 block of Sherman Avenue was badly damaged and that flames had extended into that structure. Fire also damaged the garage at the rear of a property in the 9100 block of Grant Avenue.

No one was injured. Fire personnel wrapped up operations at about 4:40 a.m.

Unlawful use of a weapon

Riverside police charged a 26-year-old Berwyn man with misdemeanor unlawful use of a weapon after an officer on patrol reported seeing a black Hyundai parked illegally, facing northbound in the 2700 block of Harlem Avenue on Nov. 4 at about 12:50 a.m.

The driver, who was alone in the vehicle, was asleep at the wheel with his foot on the brake and the car in gear. Police positioned a squad car in front of the Hyundai to prevent it from moving forward and woke up the driver, who told police he’d fallen asleep waiting for a freight train to clear. 

He was taken into custody for driving on a suspended license. Police also recovered a loaded 9 mm handgun from the glove compartment of the car. The driver possessed a valid Firearm Owner’s ID card but no concealed-carry permit, police said.

Woman hit by car hospitalized

A woman described by police as “elderly” was taken to MacNeal Hospital in Berwyn on Nov. 4 at about 1 p.m. after she was struck by a medical transport van on its way to pick up a patient while southbound on Harlem Avenue at 29th Street.

The driver of the van said he saw the woman and tried to stop on the slick rainy road surface but could not do so before striking the woman. A witness told police the woman was “walking very fast across the street” and that the vehicle hitting her was “unavoidable.”

There was no mention of the driver being ticketed in the police report.

Man reportedly threatened with gun

North Riverside police responded to the intersection of Harlem Avenue and Cermak Road on the morning of Oct. 31 after a man called to report being threatened by a man with a gun while waiting at the bus stop outside Chick-fil-A, 7201 Cermak Road.

The victim told police he was approached by a man wearing all black who told him to “get on the ground” before reaching into a bag and displaying a gun. The victim said he ran away and called police. The offender was not present when police arrived, according to the report.

DUI crash

North Riverside police charged a 22-year-old Bellwood man with driving under the influence of drugs and other traffic offenses after he reportedly blacked out while driving westbound on Cermak Road and crashed his Cadillac into a tree and pole on the Cook County Forest Preserves property on the northwest corner of Cermak Road and Desplaines Avenue on Nov. 6 just before 3 p.m.

The vehicle sustained heavy damage, police said. The driver reportedly admitted to having smoked cannabis in the hour prior to getting behind the wheel. Police transported the driver to the hospital for DUI testing. Police did not address in the report whether a female passenger in the vehicle had been injured in the crash.

In addition to DUI, police charged the driver with criminal damage to property and cited him for other infractions.

These items were obtained from police reports filed by the Riverside, North Riverside and Brookfield police departments, Oct. 31-Nov. 6, 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