Car break-ins continuing problem in Brookfield

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Brookfield, which experienced a rash of vehicle break-ins just after Jan. 1, was hit with another wave of car burglaries and attempted burglaries last week. And just like last week, the perpetrators appear to have narrowly escaped capture.

At approximately 6:40 p.m. on Jan. 12, a resident of the 4500 block of Blanchan Avenue called police to report two males in dark hooded sweatshirts attempting to break into a gray Honda hatchback parked on the street. One of the two struck the hatchback window with a Village of Brookfield street sign in an unsuccessful attempt to break it. When that failed, the two reportedly entered an unlocked 1995 Chevy Suburban parked nearby. A witness scared the two away, and by the time police arrived, they were gone.

In addition to those two instances, Brookfield police reported eight vehicle break-ins in the overnight hours of Jan. 12-13 in the 4500 block of Elm Avenue and another in the overnight hours of Jan. 13-14 in the 3900 block of Elm Avenue.

Items targeted by the offenders included power tools, car stereo components and CDs. In the 3900 Elm Avenue incident, the offender entered an unlocked 2003 Chevy SUV and removed a Sirius satellite radio receiver mounted on the windshield.

Criminal damage

 Brookfield resident Bruce A. Hofsteader, 24, was charged with criminal damage to property and reckless conduct, after he allegedly broke the picture window of a home in the 4100 block of Maple Avenue, Brookfield, by shooting it with a BB gun.

The incident occurred at 5:46 p.m. on Jan. 13. One witness reported seeing a black pickup truck fleeing the scene, while another observed the driver of the vehicle, later identified as Hofsteader, pull slowly in front of the house and then drive away.

Hofsteader originally denied having knowledge of the incident, but later reportedly signed a statement admitting his role. Hofsteader allegedly threw the BB gun out the truck window in an alley, but police were unable to recover the weapon, according to the report.

Theft of services

 Riverside police charged Orland Park resident Nicole M. Campas, 27, with theft of services after she allegedly refused to pay a cab driver for a ride from downtown Chicago. According to the report, Campas allegedly told the driver of the cab to go to several locations, but refused to pay him or get out of the cab. After stopping at the 7-Eleven store at Harlem Avenue and 26th Street, the cab driver notified his dispatcher, who called Riverside police.

When police arrived, Campas allegedly told police she had no money to pay the $40 bill and wouldn't allow the cab driver to drive her home to get any money.

Burglary

 Two residents of an apartment building in the 3600 block of Forest Avenue, Brookfield, reported to police that sometime between Jan. 7 and Jan. 10, someone entered their apartments and stole jewelry from their apartments.

 A resident of the 8800 block of Gerritsen Avenue, Brookfield, reported to police that sometime during work hours on Jan. 10, someone entered his apartment, possibly through a bedroom window, and stole $2,465 in cash, a box of checks and a box containing personal papers.

These items were obtained from police reports filed by the Riverside and Brookfield police departments from Jan. 8 through Jan. 15 and which represents a portion of the incidents to which police responded. Unless otherwise indicated, anyone named in these reports has only been charged with a crime. The cases have not yet been adjudicated.

?"Compiled by Bob Uphues

Riverside, whose police brass lobbied hard last year for tougher drunk driving laws after the 2004 death of former Riverside officer Michael Gordon at the hands of an unlicensed, uninsured drunk driver, registered its first drunk driving arrest under the new "Michael Gordon law" on Jan. 8.

Under the new law, any unlicensed, uninsured driver arrested for DUI is automatically charged with a Class 4 felony. The driver's vehicle is also subject to seizure and forfeiture under the law.

On Jan. 8 at 4 a.m., Riverside police arrested Chicago resident Jesus Corral, 26, after an officer reported seeing Corral's vehicle stopped in a traffic lane at Selborne and Lindberg roads. Upon speaking with the driver, the officer reported he appeared intoxicated and arrested him for DUI.

At the station, police learned that Corral has several different driver's licenses in several false names and dates of birth, and that all of them had been suspended or revoked for prior DUIs. In all, Corral reportedly had seven DUI arrests going back to 1998.

In addition, Corral was wanted on three outstanding DUI warrants from DuPage County, Niles and Elgin.

In addition to two felony counts of DUI, Corral was cited for improper parking on a roadway, driving on a revoked license and driving an uninsured vehicle. Bond was set at $100,000.

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