By Bob Uphues
A vehicle allegedly taken in a Nov. 15 carjacking in Maywood ended up in Riverside the following morning, backing into a car in a private parking lot before fleeing from police and triggering a pursuit where the stolen car reached speeds as high as 115 mph before police called it off.
A Riverside patrol officer responded to the 2600 block of Harlem Avenue at about 12:35 a.m. on Nov. 16 after someone called to report that a blue 2014 Chevy Impala had backed into a parked car in the rear lot of a townhome development.
Police located the Chevy on Byrd Road, turning east bound onto Berkeley Road and then southbound onto Harlem Avenue. Police began following the car, which did a U-turn on Harlem Avenue where the officer pulled it over.
The officer, informed that the vehicle had been stolen and that the people inside may be "armed and dangerous," exited his squad car with his weapon drawn and ordered the driver to turn off the vehicle and throw the keys out of the window.
Instead, the driver accelerated and sped away north on Harlem Avenue with the officer in pursuit. The Chevy reportedly crossed into oncoming lanes of traffic while fleeing police and entered eastbound I-290, where the squad car's radar reportedly clocked the Chevy at 115 mph.
The officer decided to terminate the pursuit at that time.
Citgo ATM targeted, again
Less than two weeks after an unsuccessful attempt to steal an ATM from a Riverside gas station minimart, a crew of burglars gave the caper another go last week – and failed again.
Police responded to Citgo, 539 Longcommon Road, on Nov. 13 at 12:35 a.m. for an active burglar alarm. While police arrived on the scene within three minutes, according to the report, the offenders were already gone.
The front glass door was shattered and the ATM was damaged but still bolted to the floor. Surveillance video obtained by police showed a silver Volkswagen SUV with Ohio plates drive into the gas station lot. Three men wearing masks and gloves exited the vehicle, and one of them threw a brick through the front door, shattering the glass.
The three then tried unsuccessfully to dislodge the ATM by ramming it with their shoulders and pushing it. After failing to steal the ATM the three men got back into the SUV and drove it eastbound on Riverside Drive, pausing outside the Berwyn Public Library to pick up someone who had served as a lookout near the library's sign.
Three masked men also reportedly tried to steal the same ATM during the early morning hours of Nov. 2. They used an SUV in that incident as well.
Area police have reported several similar smash-and-grab incidents in the past couple of months, including in Brookfield, Cicero, Forest Park and Oak Park.
"There is obviously a crew working specifically targeting ATM machines," said Riverside Police Chief Thomas Weitzel in a press release. "Riverside detectives are working collaboratively with other area police agencies to compare case reports, videos [and] suspect information in an attempt to apprehend the offenders, but also obtain a pattern."
Gun turns up years after going missing
A 66-year-old Darien resident contacted Brookfield police on the afternoon of Nov. 14 to report that he'd located a 9 mm Smith and Wesson 910 handgun that he'd reported lost/stolen in Brookfield about 15 years ago.
According to the police report, the man told police that while he was cleaning his residence, he found the gun in a dresser. The man has a valid Firearm Owner's ID card and a concealed carry license, so police removed the firearm from its lost/stolen gun database.
A 33-year-old North Riverside man contacted police to report that someone stole his wallet out of his vehicle, which was parked in the west lot at the North Riverside Village Commons, 2401 Desplaines Ave., on Nov. 14 at about 12:15 p.m.
The man told police he dropped off his child for preschool and a short after getting back into his car and driving away, he noticed his wallet missing. The man waited until the following day to report the theft.
As a result, police didn't know about the theft when they were called to the North Riverside Public Library, across the street at 2400 Desplaines Ave. on Nov. 14 at about 12:20 p.m. for a report of a man checking car door handles in the parking lot.
They located a 40-year-old Evanston man, who was identified by a witness of having gained entry to two vehicles in the Village Commons parking lot. Nothing was missing from the cars and the owners declined to file charges, so the man was sent on his way.
These items were obtained from police reports filed by the Riverside, North Riverside and Brookfield police departments, Nov. 11-17 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