By Bob Uphues
Hospital employee charged with identity theft
A Loyola University Medical Center employee faces felony identity theft charges after she allegedly accessed the personal patient information of a 50-year-old Riverside woman to open up fraudulent credit accounts and attempted to purchase items online.
The victim told police she started to suspect her identity had been stolen in August after being notified by a credit card company and a department store that someone had filled out a credit application in her name.
She later learned that several applications, mostly denied, had been made in her name. But in one instance, two online charges totaling nearly $800 were accepted by a clothing company in August.
Back in July, the victim had been at Loyola University Medical Center on two occasions. She interacted with two employees at the time, one of whom she noticed was on the Internet shopping for clothes. That employee, the victim told police, had access to her personal information.
In early September police and hospital officials attempted to identify a computer that might be linked to the transactions, since police were able to obtain an IP address and mailing information.
As a result of that investigation, police on Sept. 8 arrested Katrina Spears, 32, of Chicago. Spears denied accessing the victim's information and making fraudulent transactions, but the Cook County State's Attorney's Office approved a charge of felony identity theft against her.
DUI leads to drug, weapons charges
A 26-year-old Chicago man faces weapons and drug charges in addition to drunk driving after being stopped for speeding while eastbound in the 9200 block of Ogden Avenue, Brookfield, during the early morning hours of Sept. 2.
An officer reported clocking Jelius Mike Rivera's 2001 Chevy Tahoe going 60 mph in a 30-mph zone at 3:41 a.m. He also stated the SUV straddled two lanes and struck the curb in the 8800 block of Ogden Avenue.
Rivera reportedly appeared very intoxicated and failed field sobriety tests. After arresting Rivera, police searched his vehicle and reported finding a loaded .38-caliber handgun under the front seat, three plastic bags containing 7.5 grams of cannabis inside a plastic container and a scale in the glove box.
Police also reported finding two small plastic bags containing cocaine in Rivera's pants pocket and $680 in cash inside a jacket pocket.
Rivera was charged with aggravated unlawful use of a weapon and possession of a controlled substance, both felonies. He was also charged with the following misdemeanors: DUI, possession of cannabis, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of a firearm without an FOID card and possession of ammunition without an FOID card.
He is being held at Cook County Jail on $40,000 bond, awaiting a Sept. 11 court date.
Commercial property break-ins
Sometime during the Labor Day weekend, unknown offenders gained access to the Costco construction site in the 7400 block of 26th Street, North Riverside, and removed more than $3,000 worth of fire sprinkler heads and a Ryobi generator.
North Riverside police were called to Castle Buick, 7400 Cermak Road, the morning of Sept. 4, after an employee observed that during the Labor Day weekend, 14 side mirrors were stolen from a total of eight vehicles parked in the east lot of the dealership. The total loss was estimated at more than $3,000.
Report: Teen girl brought knife to school
Riverside police charged a 14-year-old North Riverside girl with felony unlawful use of a weapon after officers reported recovering a knife from her backpack at Riverside-Brookfield High School on Sept. 4.
According to police, the girl said she was carrying the knife for protection after she had been "jumped" and beaten outside her home on Sept. 2. Police said the girl had a black eye and "self-inflicted" gang symbols written on her body.
She reportedly told police she was not in a gang, but had scrawled the symbols on her body in support of a friend affiliated with gangs.
The girl subsequently told North Riverside police she was outside of her apartment building at 2 a.m. on Sept. 2 when an unknown female ran up to her and punched her in the face several times.
North Riverside police stated the girl was uncooperative with them and gave inconsistent versions of her story.
These items were obtained from police reports filed by the Riverside, North Riverside and Brookfield police departments, Aug. 31 to Sept. 8, 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.