Two years after submitting DNA evidence to the Illinois State Police Crime Lab, Riverside police were able to arrest two men in connection with the theft of a 2008 Cadillac Escalade stolen from the driveway of a home in the 200 block of Longcommon Road in February 2016.
Police arrested Steven T. Shea, 23, at his home in Berwyn on May 15 and charged him with felony possession of a stolen motor vehicle.
Also charged with the same offense was 24-year-old Brandon Hoynes, of Chicago. Hoynes was arrested at Stateville Correctional Center on May 15, the day he was paroled after serving part of a three-year sentence for an unrelated burglary conviction.
On Feb. 9, 2016, Hoynes and Shea allegedly drove to Riverside in a stolen Dodge Caravan, ditched it in the driveway of a home and then drove off with the Cadillac, which had been left unlocked, with the keys inside the vehicle.
Police recovered the Cadillac in March 2016 and recovered cigarette butts, which were processed for DNA evidence, as well as one spent .38 caliber handgun shell. Police believe shots may have been fired from the vehicle, and evidence has been turned over to Chicago police to assist in any unsolved drive-by shooting cases. The shell casing hasn't been linked to any incident as of last week.
More than two years after the DNA evidence was submitted to the state police, Riverside police were notified of a positive match, linking the evidence to Hoynes and Shea.
Police say both men are documented street gang members who were suspects in several unsolved garage burglaries in Riverside around February 2016.
Student in hot water over toy gun
On the same day a 17-year-old high school student allegedly shot and killed 10 people in Santa Fe, Texas, Riverside police charged a 16-year-old Brookfield boy with disorderly conduct for displaying a toy gun in his waistband to classmates at Riverside-Brookfield High School in an attempt to "look cool" on May 18 at about 9 a.m.
According to police, the toy gun still had an orange tip indicating it was not real, but the boy reportedly had removed orange striping from the butt and handle of the gun, making it appear real as it protruded from his waistband.
While the boy's friends knew the gun was a plastic toy, said police, others didn't and alerted school security, who detained him.
At about 10:45 a.m., police returned to the school after receiving a call of a student with a butterfly-type knife. As the student, an 18-year-old North Riverside resident, showed a friend how the knife opened and closed, other students saw the knife and reported to school personnel.
School security detained the student, who reportedly told police he didn't realize his actions would alarm other students. Police charged the 18 year old with disorderly conduct.
"It was determined that both students displayed the weapons, which was a major factor on why they were charged with disorderly conduct," said Police Chief Thomas Weitzel in a press release. "In today's world student, staff and parents should be aware that any weapon brought into a school setting will be treated as a potential criminal offense."
Stolen truck found in forest preserve
A Waukegan man called Brookfield police on May 17 at about 6:55 p.m. to report that his 2000 Chevy C15 truck, which he left unlocked and running in the strip mall parking lot at 9132 31st Ave. while he went into a nearby gas station to buy a soft drink, had been stolen.
While canvassing the area for witnesses, police learned that a Cook County Forest Preserve District officer located the truck, stuck in the mud of a large open field in the McCormick Woods at 31st Street and First Avenue.
The victim told police he'd left his truck unattended at about 6:45 p.m. Cook County Forest Preserve District police reported observing the truck in McCormick Woods at 6:25 p.m.
In addition, police observed straps attached to the front wheels, indicating an attempt to pull it from the mud, but they found no footprints in the mud. The steering column was damaged, but no keys were present. Police said the investigation was continuing.
Brookfield police reported two instances of garages being vandalized by someone spray painting or scrawling "gang type" graffiti on them. Both incidents were reported on May 20, one in the 3300 block of Prairie Avenue (red spray paint) and one in the 3300 block of Vernon Avenue (blue ink).
These items were obtained from police reports filed by the Riverside, North Riverside and Brookfield police departments, May 14-20, 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.
— Compiled by Bob Uphues