By Bob Uphues
Beware, Grinches out in force
If you're having trouble getting into the holiday spirit this season, it's no wonder. There are plenty of people working overtime to put a damper on it. From thieves cruising parking lots looking to steal items from cars to vandals damaging house decorations, it almost makes a Who wish for much colder weather to keep these critters indoors.
For example, two homeowners in Riverside on Dec.7 reported to police that someone had stolen packages delivered to their front doors.
At 5:50 p.m. a resident of the 500 block of Uvedale Road called police to report that someone took a package from outside her front door, ripped it open and scattered the items down the street. All of the items inside the box were recovered, according to police, but the packing slip, which contained personal information, was missing.
At 6:10 p.m. in the 300 block of Downing Road, a resident called police to report that someone had removed a package from his front porch, ripped it open and scattered items nearby. Many of the items that had been sent were recovered elsewhere in the area, although some cash and a hat appeared to be missing.
A resident of the 4500 block of Grove Avenue, Brookfield, reported on Dec. 6 that someone had stolen 21 Christmas tree ornaments from a box inside an unsecured storage closet locker in the basement of his apartment building. The victim said he put the ornaments inside their original boxes and stored them in the locker back in January. He told police he planned on buying a lock for his storage space.
Sometime between 11 p.m. on Dec. 3 and 5 p.m. on Dec. 4, someone cut the wires to the Christmas lights strung along the front porch of a residence in the 3500 block of Park Avenue, Brookfield. The police officer responding to the call reported observing that the cord of lights was cut in several places.
Meanwhile, over in the 3800 block of Grove Avenue, a resident reported that between 10 p.m. on Dec. 8 and 6 p.m. on Dec. 9, someone cut the power cord to the inflatable Christmas decorations outside the house. A police officer observed that two cords had been cut with a sharp instrument.
A 39-year-old Melrose Park man reported to police on Dec. 9 that between 4 and 6:45 p.m. someone punched out the lock on the driver's side door of his 2002 Dodge Ram truck, which was parked in the west lot at Sears in the North Riverside Park Mall, 7501 Cermak Road, and removed a Nintendo DS videogame system and the stereo/climate control panel from the vehicle.
That same night at 7:42 p.m., an 18-year-old Berwyn man reported to police that he parked his 1992 Honda Civic in the upper-level parking deck at the North Riverside Park Mall, 7501 Cermak Road. When he returned to his vehicle at 7:10 p.m., he discovered that someone had damaged a passenger door lock, entered the vehicle and removed his Sony AM/FM/CD stereo.
Riverside home burglarized
A resident of the 700 block of Selborne Road, Riverside, came home about 3 p.m. on Dec. 6 to find that someone had forced open the rear door of her home and removed several credit cards and some jewelry from a bedroom.
Two of the credit cards had been used to make three purchases — two at area Home Depot stores and one at a gas station in North Riverside — before the cards could be canceled.
Police discovered footprints outside the home and are reviewing video surveillance footage to collect evidence from the businesses where the cards were used.
DUI for drug use
Riverside police on Dec. 4 charged a 30-year-old Maple Park man with driving under the influence of drugs and several traffic offenses after he reportedly drove his 2000 Nissan into the rear of another vehicle, which was stopped at a red light at Harlem and Ogden Avenue just after noon.
As police interviewed the driver, he reportedly told them he had taken heroin before driving. The man said he travels often to Chicago's West Side from his home near DeKalb to buy heroin. The driver reportedly passed out while driving as he approached the Harlem/Ogden intersection.
No one was injured in the crash, according to police.
These items were obtained from police reports filed by the Riverside, North Riverside and Brookfield police departments, Dec. 3-9, 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.