By Bob Uphues
A 29-year-old Chicago woman robbed of $320 in cash in the east parking lot of the North Riverside Park Mall, 7501 Cermak Road, at about 3:55 p.m. on Jan. 12 may have been targeted by the offenders, according to police.
According to the police report, the victim exited the mall and was walking to her vehicle when she was approached by two men and one woman. One of the men reportedly presented the victim with a wallet and asked where he could return it, because it didn't belong to him.
When the victim told him to return it to mall security, the man forcefully placed the victim's hands behind her back while the woman removed the cash from her pockets. The man then pushed the woman to the ground and the three offenders fled on foot.
Police reported that the victim withdrew cash from an ATM inside the mall at about 3:30 p.m.
The offender who approached the victim and then restrained her was described as a black male with a short goatee, about 6-foot-2 and 50 years old, wearing glasses and brown winter jacket and blue jeans.
The other black male offender was described as shorter than the other and also about 50 years old, wearing a brown jacket and blue jeans. The female offender was described as black, about 50 years old with hair combed straight back and wearing a black jacket.
Brookfield police responded to Tischler Finer Foods, 9118 Broadway Ave., at 3:35 p.m. on Jan. 19 after the manager called to report an attempted robbery.
An employee reportedly told police that a man walked to her register and whispered, "Is it clear?" When she questioned what he meant, the man reportedly displayed a small cardboard sign that read, "Give me all your money in your drawer, no alarms, no games."
As the cashier asked another employee for help, the manager walked over and the offender walked away quickly and left the store.
The offender was described as a white male, about 6-feet tall and between 50 and 60 years old. He had a medium build, a gray beard and was wearing a black puffy jacket, knit hat and gloves. He also reportedly smelled of alcohol and had "heavy bags" under his eyes.
A police officer at about 4:30 p.m. interviewed a man generally matching that description at the Prairie Avenue train platform, but determined he was not involved in the attempted robbery.
Vehicle break-in spree
Local police reported a spree of vehicle break-ins last week, with offenders hitting all three villages, generally seeking out unlocked vehicles, ransacking the interiors and taking whatever of value was left inside.
In North Riverside, no less than 14 vehicles were broken into over the course of two nights.
Three vehicles in the 2300 and 2400 blocks of Lathrop Avenue were ransacked during the overnight hours of Jan. 12-13. All of them appeared to have been left unlocked.
In one of the incidents, the offender stole a deposit bag containing $3,000 in cash that was left in plain view on the back seat of the vehicle. The bag belonged to the victim's place of employment.
North Riverside police reported that overnight on Jan. 16-17, another 11 vehicles were burglarized, all of them unlocked. The locations of the incidents included the 2300 and 2400 blocks of Hainsworth Avenue, the 2200 and 2400 blocks of Forest Avenue, the 2400 block of Hainsworth Avenue, the 2300 block of Burr Oak Avenue and the 2300 block of Northgate Avenue.
Among the items taken were loose change, a laptop computer, credit cards, a garage door opener, an air compressor and a Nerf gun.
Brookfield police reported five vehicle break-ins overnight on Jan. 13-14 in the south Hollywood section of the village, specifically the 3800 block of Arden Avenue, the 3800 block of McCormick Avenue and the 8400 block of Greenview Avenue. All were ransacked, with loose change taken from them.
An apparently unrelated vehicle burglary was reported overnight on Jan. 19-20 in the 4200 block of Blanchan Avenue. In that incident, the offender smashed out the vehicle's driver's side window and ransacked the interior.
Meanwhile, Riverside police reported that five unlocked vehicles had been burglarized overnight on Jan. 16-17 on the village's north end.
The blocks where burglars struck included the 700 block of Selborne Road, the 300 block of Eastgrove Road and the 400 block of Uvedale Road.
These items were obtained from police reports filed by the Riverside, North Riverside and Brookfield police departments, Jan. 12-19, 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