By Bob Uphues
A resident of the 2900 block of Prairie Avenue who may have mistakenly left the overhead door or service door to their garage open on the afternoon of Dec. 16 discovered that both the garage and a vehicle parked inside had been burglarized sometime between noon and 2:35 p.m.
The victim parked in the garage and took some items inside the house. A couple of hours later, the victim returned to find the vehicle's tailgate and glovebox open. Items were strewn about the interior of the vehicle and several items were missing from the garage, including a Toro S200 snow blower, a Honda lawnmower, a HomeLite leaf blower, a chain saw, a chop saw and a Huffy 12-inch Spiderman bicycle.
The total loss was valued at about $900.
- A witness told police that he saw a suspicious person in the area between noon and 1 p.m. The person was wearing a safety vest and asked the witness if he was in need of any weed removal services. The witness thought it strange someone would be soliciting weed removal jobs in December.
Brookfield police responded to a residence in the 3200 block of Prairie Avenue on the afternoon of Dec. 17 after a homeowner called to report that someone had apparently forced open the back door to the house.
According to the police report, the break-in took place between 12:45 and 3:25 p.m. Police observed that the door had been either kicked or shouldered open. There was damage to the door frame and the lock, part of which was found on the stairs.
After walking through the home with police, the homeowner said that it didn't appear anything was missing or damaged inside.
Car break-ins at restaurant lot
North Riverside police responded to the parking lot of Mother's Day restaurant, 8815 Cermak Road at about 1:35 p.m. on Dec. 15 after someone called to report that two vehicles parked there had been burglarized.
A 33-year-old Elmhurst man and a 34-year-old Toledo, Ohio, man told police that they'd parked their vehicles in the lot around 1 p.m. After eating lunch, they returned to their vehicles, which were both in the southwest corner of the parking lot, and discovered that a window had been smashed out.
An empty backpack had been stolen from the Elmhurst man's vehicle, while a backpack containing a MacBook Pro laptop computer valued at $1,200 was taken from the Toledo man's car.
Security cameras reportedly captured video of the burglaries. A black Jeep Grand Cherokee pulls into the lot at about 1:10 p.m. and two men and one woman exit the vehicle. One man serves as a lookout while the other two walk around the lot, looking into vehicles.
One of the men then goes inside the restaurant and takes a takeout menu, while the other two punch out windows of the two vehicles and grab the backpacks before getting back in the Jeep and driving away.
Smart watch recovered
A 24-year-old Cicero woman contacted Brookfield police on Dec. 16 at about 8 p.m. to report that her I-Watch Series 5 smart watch was stolen at the Walmart in Hodgkins, but that the device was pinging inside an apartment building in the 4500 block of Sunnyside Avenue.
An officer responded to the location, and the victim told police she was activating a noise feature that would lead police to the watch. An officer located the watch on the grass in the parkway, where the thief apparently ditched it after the owner sent a text message to the device saying she knew thief's location. Police returned the watch to the owner.
North Riverside police charged a 32-year-old Huntley man with driving under the influence of alcohol after he reportedly drove his red Chrysler 300 over a curb and onto a grass island while trying to leave the parking lot of Miller's Ale House, 7515 Cermak Road, on Dec. 15 at about 10:55 p.m.
When police asked the man how much he had to drink, he reportedly said "a lot" and struggled to maintain his balance. Prior to leaving, the man reportedly had been disruptive inside the restaurant, throwing up gang signs at other bar patrons before being asked to leave.
In addition to DUI, police cited the man with having no proof of vehicle insurance.
The Grinch strikes
Brookfield police responded to a home in the 9500 block of Jackson Avenue on Dec. 16 at about 6:30 p.m. after a resident called to report that someone had cut four wires to her Christmas lights on the east side of the building.
These items were obtained from police reports filed by the Riverside, North Riverside and Brookfield police departments, Dec. 15-20, 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.