By Bob Uphues
Someone posing by telephone as a "Microsoft Windows" employee scammed a 75-year-old Brookfield woman out of $1,250 before she realized she may have been conned and went to police.
The victim contacted police on Oct. 23, stating she'd gotten a phone call a few days earlier from someone named "Alex Brown" who claimed to be a Microsoft Windows employee.
According to the police report, the caller told the victim that her Windows service license was about to expire, but that she could renew it and add more programs that would make her computer run faster.
All he needed, the caller said, was five $100 Apple iTunes gift cards. The victim bought the gift cards and gave the serial numbers to the caller, who then said the gift cards didn't work and asked for 10 $50 gift cards.
The victim did as directed and also transferred another $250 to the caller via an online transaction. When he asked for $500 more, the victim contacted police.
Police called the number provided the victim, and a man on the other end identified himself as Alex Brown. When the police identified themselves, the man hung up the phone and wouldn't answer subsequent calls.
It was the second such computer repair scam reported by a Brookfield resident recently. On Oct. 18, a 57-year-old Brookfield man reportedly paid $700 to someone who claimed his computer had been infected by a virus.
A pop-up window opened while he was working on his Apple laptop, and the man couldn't make it go away. So he called a phone number on the pop-up and gave up his password, so the person on the other end of the phone could access his computer remotely.
That person then demanded $700 to pay for the getting rid of the virus.
Cops: Man stole charity cash
Riverside police charged a 32-year-old Oak Park man with theft after he allegedly stole a box containing donations for leukemia and lymphoma patients from the counter of the Amstar gas station at 3346 Harlem Ave. on Oct. 24 at 8:20 p.m.
A gas station employee called police on Oct. 27 after reviewing the store's surveillance camera video. The culprit turned out to be a regular customer. Police said he had gone into the store to buy some items. Berwyn police arrested him on Oct. 28 after recognizing him from a wanted poster Riverside had issued after the incident.
When he saw the donations box, he decided to take it, according to police, because he was homeless and hungry. The amount of money taken reportedly was about $85, which was used to buy food and alcohol, police said.
A resident of the 200 block of Akenside Road, Riverside, called police to report that during the overnight hours of Oct. 24-25, someone entered his vehicle and stole his golf bag and clubs, sunglasses and a duffel bag containing clothes.
The victim stated his vehicle had been broken into a month ago, but he hadn't reported the incident. Taken at that time were a checkbook and a set of car keys.
BBs and paint balls
A 26-year-old Summit woman called police on Oct. 28 after finding two large holes in a shattered but intact driver's side window of her vehicle, which was parked on the street in the 3900 block of Maple Avenue between 6 and 8 p.m.
An employee at Dunkin Donuts, 9208 Ogden Ave., Brookfield, called police on Oct. 28 to report that while she was working her shift someone fired a BB through the rear passenger side door of her vehicle, which was parked in the lot between 2 and 9:30 p.m.
A resident of the 4300 block of Maple Avenue called police on Oct. 29 to report that sometime after 9 p.m. on Oct. 28 someone had shattered a window on her vehicle, which was parked on the street.
A police officer observed what appeared to be a BB-sized hole in the window.
Police responded to a residence in the 3400 block of Grand Boulevard, Brookfield, on Oct. 28 at about 10:50 a.m. after a woman called to report hearing a loud "popping" noise and hearing something hit her home.
Police observed what appeared to be the residue of paintballs on the doorway of the home and on the driver's side of a van parked out front. A maroon van was seen driving in southbound at the time, according to the police report. The incident remains under investigation.
These items were obtained from police reports filed by the Riverside, North Riverside and Brookfield police departments, Oct. 23-29, 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