By Bob Uphues
A woman's body, recovered from Salt Creek in Lyons on the afternoon of Jan. 2, was not the Brookfield woman who has been missing since late September, Brookfield Police Chief Edward Petrak has confirmed.
Two Brookfield detectives responded to the wooded area near the 8600 block of Patricia Drive, where the body was observed in the water, reportedly by a kayaker.
"I sent two detectives once we heard, since we have a missing person," said Petrak, referring to 53-year-old Erica Thompson, who was last seen in Brookfield on Sept. 25, 2019. "Both of them confirmed it was not her."
As of Jan. 7, the woman had not been identified and no cause of death had been released by the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office or by police. Cook County Sheriff's Police reportedly are handling the investigation.
In an email, Matt Walberg, deputy press secretary for the Cook County Sheriff, said the case remains under investigation and that there were no updates at this time.
Riverside Fire Chief Matthew Buckley said that his department received a call from Lyons seeking assistance at about 3:20 p.m. on Jan. 2 and that two Riverside firefighters went into Salt Creek, which was about two to three feet deep, to recover the body. He said the body was clothed, but could offer no further information.
Video gambling machines targeted
Brookfield police responded to Ryan's Public House, 8942 Ogden Ave., on the morning of Jan. 3 after an employee reported that someone had broken into the video gambling area of the bar overnight.
An exterior door had been pried open and security cameras reportedly showed two men, wearing gloves and masks, enter the bar at about 2:15 a.m. and pry open the tops of four video gambling machines before unsuccessfully trying to pry open the ticket redemption ATM machine.
The offenders made off with approximately $1,800, according to the police report.
Residential burglary follows scam
Brookfield police responded to a residence in the 4100 block of Maple Avenue on the morning of Dec. 27 after a resident called to report an incident that happened the previous day.
The victim said two men came to the house the prior afternoon and offered to give a free estimate to repair the damaged concrete stairs in front of the home. While one man kept the victim occupied, the other man went around to the side door and asked the victim's spouse if he could test the water in the basement to see if it was hot enough.
The man was escorted down to the basement and left alone there. As soon as the second man left the basement, the other said he had to go back to the truck to print out the estimate. He never returned.
The victim then noticed that a closet door in the back room was open and a safe was missing. The safe reportedly held a coin collection, passports and citizenship documents.
Phone scam leads to ID theft
A 64-year-old North Riverside resident contacted police on Dec. 30 to report that he'd been the victim of identity theft related to a telephone scam.
The victim told police that on Dec. 2 he received a call from someone claiming to be from the wireless provider Sprint. The caller told the victim that his account was going to be "locked" due to fraudulent activity and asked him for personal information, including his Social Security number, which the victim provided.
When the victim received his monthly cellphone statement, it listed two Apple iPhone 11 purchases, which the victim had not made. Sprint told the victim that the phones had been shipped to a New York address and that he should file a police report.
Man jumped in parking lot
A 23-year-old North Riverside man called police to report that two men jumped him and tried to steal a box from him in the parking lot of an apartment building in the 9200 block of Cermak Road on Dec. 30 at about 3:20 a.m.
The victim did not report the incident to police until about 7 a.m., because he had an important work meeting at 4 a.m., according to the police report. The victim said he was carrying a box with shoes in it and was standing next to his car when he was attacked by two men, who appeared to want the shoebox.
The victim fought off the attackers, but cut his right hand doing so.
- North Riverside police charged a 35-year-old Broadview man with battery and drunken driving and cited him for other traffic offenses after he allegedly rear-ended another vehicle at 17th Avenue and 23rd Street, drove away and then punched the other driver in the face after the victim followed his vehicle to the intersection on 13th Avenue and 23rd Place on Dec. 31 at about 3:50 p.m.
The victim told police he was stopped at a red light when his car was rear-ended by a white Chevy that backed up, drove around his vehicle and then headed east on 23rd Street.
The victim followed the Chevy to 14th Street, where the driver got out, reportedly yelled at the victim for following him and then punched him in the face through the open driver's side window before getting back in the Chevy and driving away again. The Chevy pulled into a driveway in the 9000 block of 23rd Place, where the victim got out of his car and was able pin the offender to ground and shouted for someone to call police.
The alleged offender reportedly told police he'd been drinking at a bar in Lyons prior to driving and failed sobriety tests. He reportedly submitted to a blood draw.
- Riverside police charged a 25-year-old Mesa, Arizona, man with drunken driving and other offenses after he was reported to be speeding and driving erratically while driving northbound on Harlem Avenue at about 11:50 p.m. on Jan. 1.
Police reported that the man's 2005 Dodge van was going 61 mph while in a 35 mph zone and that the driver crossed the double yellow line into oncoming traffic, causing other vehicles to take evasive action.
The driver appeared intoxicated, police said, and failed field sobriety tests. Police also reported recovering an open container of alcohol inside the vehicle.
A resident of the 4000 block of Grove Avenue, Brookfield, called police on the morning of Jan. 2 to report that overnight someone had thrown a large rock through the side window of her home.
The victim told police that she was startled awake at about 11 p.m. the night before by a loud noise, but dismissed it and went back to sleep. In the morning, she observed that a basement window was smashed and she found a large rock resting on a couch below the window.
These items were obtained from police reports filed by the Riverside, North Riverside and Brookfield police departments, Dec. 27, 2019 to Jan. 5, 2020, 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.