By Bob Uphues
Police identified the man suspected of robbing a Riverside 7-Eleven store last month because, they say, he dropped an ID card at the scene of another robbery in Berwyn.
On July 3, Riverside detectives arrested 39-year-old Brandon Waters, of Chicago. He had been taken into custody by Berwyn police, who tracked him down using information gleaned from the ID card, which was left at the scene of a robbery there.
In addition to reportedly confessing to the Riverside robbery, Waters also was identified by the clerk who was on duty at the 7-Eleven, 2600 Harlem Ave., on June 19 at about 4:05 a.m. when Waters allegedly entered the store, pulled out a gun and demanded cash and cigarettes.
The Cook County State's Attorney approved charging Waters with armed robbery, which is a Class X felony punishable by between six and 30 years in prison, if convicted. In addition to the charge connected to the Riverside incident, the state's attorney also approved charging Waters with armed robbery for the Berwyn incident.
Waters is also under investigation for robberies in Chicago, Westchester and other suburbs, according to Riverside police. He reportedly has an extensive criminal history that includes prior chares for aggravated robbery, aggravated assault and battery and escaping from police custody, among others.
Cops: Alleged burglar crashed into cars on purpose
A 31-year-old Berwyn man who allegedly intentionally crashed a truck into four vehicles stopped on Cermak Road at a red light at First Avenue on the evening of July 2 had just been released that day from Cook County Jail after being charged with breaking into Zeigler Ford, 2100 Harlem Ave. in North Riverside, late on June 30.
Police said no one was hurt in the crash, which happened at 7:20 p.m., but that the Berwyn man made statements that led them to believe he crashed on purpose. They also called in a social worker to evaluate the man. The social worker reportedly found the man needed a mental health evaluation and had him hospitalized.
The man was charged with a variety of traffic offenses for the crash, including reckless driving, leaving the scene of a crash – he reportedly was found by police walking eastbound, away from the crash scene, along the center median of Cermak Road – and others.
Less than 48 hours earlier, at about 11:30 p.m. on June 30, police arrested him for allegedly breaking into the Zeigler Ford showroom by smashing the glass door with a large piece of wood, entering several offices, rummaging through sets of keys and then getting inside a white Ford Mustang before an officer responding to an active burglar alarm at the dealership ordered him out of the car and arrested him.
The Cook County State's Attorney approved charging him with one count of burglary for that offense.
Man struck, killed by freight train
Riverside police are reporting that a 30-year-old Riverside man who was killed when he walked in front of an eastbound freight train just east of the Burlington Northern-Santa Fe Railroad bridge over the Des Plaines River on the morning of July 5 did so intentionally.
"Preliminary investigative information revealed that the conductor of the train saw the person step in front of the train onto the tracks," said Police Chief Thomas Weitzel in a press release. "The train was not able to be stopped."
The freight train was heading eastbound towards Riverside's downtown at about 30 mph when it struck the man just after 9:30 a.m., according to the police report. The investigation interrupted train traffic for more than three hours.
North Riverside police responded to a residence in the 2400 block of Forest Avenue on the morning of June 30 after a homeowner called to report that someone had broken into his garage and stole several items during the overnight hours.
The victim told police that the garage door had been dead-bolted, and police reported observing possible signs of forced entry. Among the items taken were three hand drills, a hand saw and other tools valued at about $600.
Gotta wear a mask
North Riverside police charged a 35-year-old Rosemont man with battery and criminal damage to property after he allegedly shoved an employee and smashed a portable credit card machine at Jewel-Osco, 7201 24th St., after the employee told him he couldn't be in the store without a face covering due to COVID-19.
The man reportedly refused to wear a mask and left the store after the outburst. Police arrested him in the parking lot where he denied pushing anyone or damaging anything.
These items were obtained from police reports filed by the Riverside, North Riverside and Brookfield police departments, June 29-July 5, 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