By Bob Uphues
One person was arrested but three remain at large following a manhunt that involved several police agencies, including a Chicago police helicopter, in response to a report of a stolen vehicle in North Riverside last week.
North Riverside police charged a 24-year-old Chicago man with criminal trespass to a motor vehicle after Oak Park police found him hiding between two houses in the 700 block of South Euclid Avenue in that village on July 20 at about 8:55 p.m.
The incident unfolded about 45 minutes prior in the parking lot of the North Riverside Park Mall, 7501 Cermak Road, when a 23-year-old man called 911 to report that he had just confronted four men, one of whom had allegedly threatened him with a handgun, in possession a white Buick Regal that had been stolen earlier this month in Cicero.
The 911 caller told police he was driving north on Harlem Avenue near 13th Street when he saw a Buick Regal in the parking lot of a gas station. The vehicle looked like the stolen vehicle, which belonged to a friend.
The man called his friend, who confirmed the license plate number, which matched the one on the Buick. He turned around and followed the car south on Harlem Avenue to the mall, where it pulled into a parking space.
Instead of calling police immediately, the 911 caller pulled his car up behind the Buick Regal, blocking it in. Two men exited the Buick and walked toward the other vehicle, whose driver exited. One of the two offenders pulled up his shirt, displaying a black handgun, prompting the man to get back into his car and lock the doors.
The other offender then reportedly got back into the Buick and began backing into the victim's vehicle, ramming it, while the other offender stood outside the driver's side door, banging on it with the handgun before getting back into the Buick and fleeing.
While the Buick sped north on Harlem Avenue, the victim called 911 and police contacted OnStar, which provided police with the GPS coordinates of the vehicle and began powering down the vehicle as it turned east onto I-290.
Police located the vehicle traveling slowly along the shoulder of the expressway. As police approached, the four men got out of the car and ran across the westbound lanes of traffic into a wooded area along the expressway.
Oak Park officers apprehended one of the alleged offenders, and police continued to search for another 45 minutes for the other three without success.
Riverside minimart burglarized
Someone smashed the glass front door to the minimart at Citgo, 539 Longcommon Road in Riverside, and made off with liquor and cigarettes sometime between 4:40 and 5:05 a.m. on July 18, according to Riverside police.
According to police, no cash was stolen from the store. The offender reportedly gained entry by kicking out the bottom glass pane of the door and then jumped over the counter to steal bottles of Hennessy and Remy Martin cognac and all of the store's cartons of Newport cigarettes.
Riverside police cited a 23-year-old Riverside man for disorderly conduct and trespassing on the morning of July 20 after he was found asleep, without shoes, on the rear porch of a home – not his own -- in the 100 block of North Cowley Road.
According to police, the homeowner called when he saw the man sleeping on a couch on the porch. Dirt from a pair of potted plants that had been knocked over had spilled onto the ground.
The man told police he didn't remember much about the previous night other than that he'd been drinking at a bar in North Riverside.
As for the man's shoes, he reportedly left them on the back porch of a residence in the 200 block of Addison Road, where they were found by a homeowner who called to report that someone had broken a glass vase and damaged two potted plants and a drying rack.
Landscaping equipment stolen
An employee of a landscaping company called Brookfield police on July 22 at about 1:05 p.m. to report that someone stole an orange and tan Stihl leaf backpack-style leaf blower from his work truck while he was doing work in the backyard of a property in the 9100 block of 29th Street.
A Berwyn woman faces felony counts of forgery, possession of altered credit cards and possession of a fake driver's license after she reportedly tried to open a credit account at Best Buy, 2358 Harlem Ave. in North Riverside.
Police took Cielithia Cunningham into custody at the store after the store manager called police on July 16 at about 4:35 p.m. Inside Cunningham's purse, said police, were three credit cards bearing another person's name, in addition to the fake license and a counterfeit $100 bill.
Later, police reported that video had captured Cunningham making three transactions totaling almost $3,500 using one of the credit cards at Nordstrom in Chicago.
Riverside police charged a 52-year-old Berwyn man with drunken driving and unlawful use of a weapon after they allegedly found him in possession of a loaded Glock 42 handgun during a traffic stop in the 2600 block of Harlem Avenue on July 14 at about 1:40 a.m.
A police officer reportedly observed a vehicle 'driving all over the roadway and bouncing off the curbs" while eastbound on 26th Street approaching Harlem Avenue. During the ensuing traffic stop, the driver reportedly blamed his erratic driving on his 1999 Chevy, but police say he failed sobriety tests.
Police took possession of the handgun during the arrest. It is illegal to be in possession of a firearm while intoxicated, according to Illinois law.
Camera catches bike theft
Riverside police say they have made their first arrest with the help of a closed-circuit television camera set up in downtown Riverside as the first phase of a program to place surveillance cameras at key areas of the village.
A 16-year-old boy from Riverside and a 15-year-old boy from North Riverside were each charged with one count of misdemeanor theft for allegedly taking a bike from the rack outside the Riverside Public Library, 1 Burling Road on the afternoon of July 15.
The victim reported the theft at that time, but police could not locate any offenders or the bike, Detectives decided to check the camera system, even though it is still being set up and not fully functional.
A camera reportedly captured the 16 year old taking the bike and riding it away from the library, across the railroad tracks. Police reportedly recognized the boy from prior contacts.
On the following day at 3:30 p.m., an officer spotted the alleged offender on the stolen bike near the location of the theft and arrested him. The 15 year old was charged, said police, because he used the bike knowing it had been stolen.
- A resident of Lafayette Road in Riverside contacted police on July 19 to report that sometime during the prior week, someone had stolen a bright red Metropolitan tandem bicycle with loose wheels and a broken chain from behind his garage, where it had been left unsecured.
- Riverside police responded to a Forbes Road residence on July 17 after a resident called to report that her daughter's teal and white bicycle had been stolen sometime between 5 and 10:15 p.m. The bike reportedly had been inside the locked garage, but police did not report any signs of forced entry.
These items were obtained from police reports filed by the Riverside, North Riverside and Brookfield police departments, July 14-22, 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