By Bob Uphues
Riverside police have arrested a 17-year-old Chicago boy who they are calling the "ringleader" of a burglary crew suspected of more than half a dozen hold-ups in Chicago and its suburbs, including Riverside.
The juvenile reportedly was one of three people who robbed 7-Eleven, 2600 Harlem Ave., on Sept. 5 at 8:50 p.m. That crew, said police, parked their getaway car behind a strip mall across 26th Street and walked to the convenience store.
They entered the business twice, said police, casing it the first time and then returning a half hour later when the only person inside was a store clerk.
One of the offenders reportedly implied he was armed with a handgun, and the trio stole cash and cigarettes before exiting through the rear emergency exit and running back to their vehicle.
Burbank police informed Riverside on Sept. 8 that they had arrested the juvenile and charged him with robbery there. They then turned him over to Chicago police, who charged the juvenile with three counts of robbery for incidents that occurred in the city.
Police connected the Burbank robbery suspect to Riverside because the vehicle he used reportedly matched the one used in Riverside. The car, which had temporary plates, reportedly belonged to the alleged ringleader's girlfriend.
Riverside detectives interviewed the juvenile, who reportedly confessed to the 7-Eleven robbery but refused to provide information on his accomplices. Riverside police charged him with robbery on Sept. 9.
The boy remains in the custody of Cook County Juvenile Justice authorities. According to police, the boy led a burglary crew suspected of two armed robberies in Bedford Park as well as robberies in Palos Park, Hickory Hills, Northbrook and Chicago.
The crew reportedly also committed a robbery in Addison on the same day as the Riverside incident. Detectives continue to seek the apprehension of the two others involved in the Riverside robbery.
"This is a textbook case of officers responding immediately, collecting evidence and contacting detectives, who also immediately responded to the scene and did immediate follow up with other police agencies," said Riverside Police Chief Thomas Weitzel in a press release. "All that quick action allowed us to make an arrest within three days of the [Riverside] robbery."
Home invasion suspect indicted
A Cook County grand jury has indicted a man accused of a 2019 home invasion and kidnapping, charging him with 27 felony counts – 16 of them Class X offenses that each carry a prison sentence of between six and 30 years, if convicted.
On Sept. 2, the grand jury returned the indictment against 23-year-old Berwyn resident Joshua Noah at a hearing before Judge LeRoy K. Martin at the Leighton Criminal Court Building in Chicago.
Noah is charged with eight counts of home invasion, four counts of aggravated kidnapping, two counts of aggravated vehicular hijacking and two counts of armed robbery, which are all Class X felonies.
In addition, the grand jury charged Noah with three counts of residential burglary, six counts of aggravated unlawful restraint and two counts of aggravated battery causing great bodily harm.
Noah is on Cook County's electronic monitoring program after posting 10 percent of the $150,000 bond set on Aug. 6. He was scheduled for arraignment on Sept. 10.
Riverside police arrested Noah on Aug. 5 as he left a hearing for an unrelated offense at the Maybrook courthouse in Maywood. That case, which is still pending, involves the fatal shooting of a 30-year-old man at a Berwyn auto repair shop during an altercation over the progress of a repair job.
Riverside police say Noah was one of three men who forced their way inside a home in the 200 block of West Quincy Street early in the morning on Jan. 25, 2019. The home invasion reportedly was over an unpaid drug debt.
During the incident, one of the offenders pistol whipped the mother of a man in his 20s who also lived at the house. They then allegedly kidnapped and blindfolded the man, stole his mother's car, severely beat him and then dumped him in an alley on the Southwest Side of Chicago.
Police reportedly were able to use cellphone data to place Noah near the scene of the home invasion at the time it took place and also recovered physical evidence tying him to it.
The other offenders have not been apprehended yet.