By Bob Uphues
A 25-year-old Riverside man called police on June 25 at 9 p.m. to complain that someone was trying to prevent him from entering the apartment building where he lives.
The caller, who is black, said he walked into the building's vestibule when another man, who is white, tried to bar him from getting any further.
The white male appeared intoxicated, the caller said, and said to him, "What are you doing here, n-----? You can't be here." The caller said he was able get by the other man, run to his apartment and lock the door behind him before calling police.
The other man, the caller said, was his next-door neighbor. Police said the alleged offender admitted getting into a verbal altercation in the lobby but denied hurling a racial slur.
Police told the man that his neighbor had every right to be in the building, and the man said he would apologize later.
Internet grant scam
A Brookfield woman went to police on June 27 to report she was out $1,720 after falling for an internet scam.
The victim told police that on June 19 she came across something called ClaimMyGrants.com, which claimed to be associated with the U.S. Treasury Department. The woman clicked on a link that asked for her phone number, which she entered.
On June 20, the woman received a call from a man who had a foreign-sounding accent. The man told her that she was eligible for a $9,000 grant; however, she first had to pay taxes and fees to receive it. He instructed her to purchase Walmart and Google Play gift cards and then text him the card numbers and PINs.
The woman did as instructed, but never received any grant money.
A resident of the 2200 block of Forest Avenue, North Riverside, called police on June 24 at about 12:10 p.m. to report that someone had broken into his garage and stole a Kawasaki 1800-psi power washer.
Police reported observing possible pry marks near the door lock.
Police warn of housing scam
Riverside police last week issued an alert to residents about an online housing scam. According to police, a Riverside resident filed a fraud complaint after a couple knocked on her door and asked about an ad they'd seen online about the home renting for $900 a month.
The ad included information about the property that was not easily obtainable, said police, and instructed prospective renters to ignore the "for sale" sign. The house, however, was not for rent and the ad was meant to entice people to send rent checks to a post office box, where the scammers would obtain the checks and cash them.
Police continue to try to track down the people responsible for the ad.
Car stolen from dealership
North Riverside police responded to Zeigler Ford, 2100 Harlem Ave., on the afternoon of June 25 after the company's used car manager called to report that a silver 2016 Ford Escape was unaccounted for.
The last time the car was inventoried, reportedly was more than 30 days earlier, when it was in the service department. It had not been used as a loaner and was not being serviced elsewhere.
As a result, the vehicle, which did not have license plates, is being considered stolen.
Riverside police cited three 16-year-old Riverside boys for disorderly conduct after they allegedly outfitted a black SUV with a PVC tube rigged with red and blue flashing LED lights plugged into a power port inside the car.
The vehicle, with lights flashing, rolled up to some girls who were walking along Barrypoint Road on June 21 at about 10:30 p.m., and one of the boys reportedly said, "Hey, put your hands up," before laughing and driving off. A similar incident reportedly happened a week prior in Riverside Lawn.
On June 27 at about 10 p.m., police located a vehicle matching that description parked in the lot at Indian Gardens. Three boys were inside the vehicle, which contained the LED light rig, according to police. They reportedly told police they were just "goofing around."
Riverside police cited two Riverside boys, one 15 years old and one 16, for disorderly conduct after finding several fliers bearing a photo of a Riverside police SUV and calling for "death to all pigs" posted around the area.
The fliers were taped to a door at Riverside-Brookfield High School and found at the Riverside train station and in Kiwanis Park in Brookfield. Police obtained surveillance video and were able to identify the boys.
These items were obtained from police reports filed by the Riverside, North Riverside and Brookfield police departments, June 17-30, 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