By Bob Uphues
A burglary crew reportedly stole three cars from a service garage at Zeigler Ford, 2100 Harlem Ave. in North Riverside, at about 8:10 p.m. on Jan. 5, and then used one of the vehicles to ram open a gate along the north fence line of the lot, allowing the other vehicles to flee the scene.
One of the vehicles, a 2017 Ford Fusion, was recovered unoccupied and undamaged by Chicago police in the 1800 block of South Washtenaw Avenue on the following day. Several items were reported missing from that vehicle, however, including a child's car seat.
Police said that security cameras reportedly showed four people wearing black hooded sweatshirts enter the service garage at 8:01 p.m. after breaking the glass window of the garage door. One minute later, three vehicles are seen exiting the garage door and heading toward the west end of the lot.
By the time police arrived on the scene at about 8:08 p.m., two of the stolen vehicles, the Ford Fusion and a Ford Escape, were gone. The third, a white Ford Focus, had apparently been used to ram the gated fence and was found abandoned on top of a section of fence, which was lodged underneath it.
Best Buy burglarized
Police are still trying to determine just what was stolen during a break in at Best Buy, 2358 Harlem Ave. in North Riverside, during the early morning hours of Jan. 11.
Officers responded to the store to investigate an active burglar alarm, which was tripped at 3:51 a.m. Offenders had left the building by the time police arrived at 3:55 a.m., and police observed that the door to the rear installation garage had been pried open. Police said there were wet shoeprints on the carpet.
The offenders also tried to pry open the door leading to the main store, but were unable to gain entry, according to police. Because the rear garage typically contains many products and tools, it was unclear what exactly was missing at that time.
Driving on the grass
Riverside police charged a 39-year-old Cicero woman with drunken driving and cited her for several traffic offenses after she allegedly drove her white 2018 Dodge Durango eastbound through the stop sign at Washington Avenue and Golf Road and then over the curb at Golf Road, across the entire lawn in front of Riverside-Brookfield High School before reentering Ridgewood Road near First Avenue on Jan. 11 at about 1:25 a.m.
A tow truck driver reportedly witnessed the incident and called police, who stopped the truck near East Quincy Street and South Cowley Road. No one was injured and no trees were damaged, according to police, but the tires left ruts in the grass.
The driver reportedly failed field sobriety tests and refused to submit to a breath test.
Brookfield police responded to a residence in the 4100 block of Arthur Avenue on the morning of Jan. 8 after a 41-year-old LaGrange resident called to report that his van, which was parked on the street, was burglarized during the overnight hours.
The victim told police he'd left the van parked on the street the previous night at about 9 p.m. When he was dropped off the next morning to retrieve it, the victim noticed a front passenger window was shattered and both the driver and passenger side doors open.
Missing from the vehicle were a Rand McNally GPS unit, a bag filled with various tools and nearly $5,800 in cash, which had been left in the center console.
Car spins out into zoo fence
An 18-year-old Brookfield resident was cited for driving too fast for conditions, leaving the scene of an accident and operating an uninsured vehicle after he reportedly lost control of a 2002 Pontiac while driving eastbound on 31st Street and crashed it into a tree and a fence on Brookfield Zoo property at about 10:40 p.m. on Jan. 11.
According to the police report, neither drugs nor alcohol factored into the crash. The driver reportedly told police he was going about 37-40 mph on a night when it was snowing and the streets were slick.
The car spun out and left the roadway before hitting the tree and fence south of 31st Street. The driver told police he crawled out of the shattered rear window of the car and fled the scene, because he was scared and didn't know what to do.
These items were obtained from police reports filed by the Riverside, North Riverside and Brookfield police departments, Jan. 5 to Jan. 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.