By Jean Lotus
Stick shift ineptitude thwarts BMW theft
A burglar who didn't know how to drive a manual transmission left a 1998 BMW in the garage of a house in the 500 block of North Taylor Avenue during a burglary, Oct. 7, police said. Someone entered the house by prying open the dead bolt lock on the rear door during the day. The owners discovered the house ransacked. Missing were a Kindle notebook, $400, an HP laptop, two iPods, miscellaneous jewelry and a women's Triathlon bicycle. Also removed were the car keys to the BMW and a 2011 Subaru. Police said the perpetrator tried to move the BMW from the garage but was unsuccessful due to the stick shift. Loss was $3,950.
- A chiropractor's office in the 1500 block of North Harlem Avenue was broken into, Oct. 5-7. Someone pried open the office door, unlocked a file cabinet and removed contents of the office cash box. Loss was undetermined.
- Someone entered an apartment in the 200 block of Washington Boulevard during the day, Oct. 8, by pushing in an air-conditioning unit and crawling through the window. Once inside, two bedrooms were ransacked, a Playstation 3 video console was taken, and a carton of eggs was removed from the refrigerator and eggs were broken throughout the apartment. The front and rear doors were left wide open. Loss was estimated at $300.
- Someone broke into a house in the 300 block of South Lombard Avenue by kicking open the rear door during the morning of Oct. 8. The house was ransacked and owners were missing a Macbook Air laptop computer, an iPad, an iPod and a digital camera. Two bicycles were also removed from the garage. Loss was estimated at $2,630.
- Someone tried to kick open the rear door of a residence in the 100 block of South Kenilworth Avenue, the afternoon of Oct. 8, but failed to gain entry. Damage was estimated at $150.
- A resident of the 1100 block of Lyman Avenue surprised an unknown man who entered the house through an unlocked rear door, the morning of Oct. 10. The victim demanded, "What are you doing here?" and the man fled out the back door in an unknown direction.
- Someone entered a house in the 1100 block of South Kenilworth Avenue, the morning of Oct. 10, by prying open the front door deadbolt. A 32-inch Samsung television, four Blueray speakers, an iMac Apple computer, an HP laptop, an iPad and an iTouch were removed. Loss was estimated at $4,750.
- Police took two Oak Park men, both age 22, into custody early in the morning, Oct. 10, after a woman in the 100 block of South Elmwood Avenue heard sounds like someone opening her kitchen window around 1:45 a.m. She saw two men looking into her window and went outside to confront them. They fled on foot and police picked them up in the 600 block of South Boulevard. The victim discovered the screen to her window had been cut. The two were charged with criminal damage to property and disorderly conduct.
- A 26-year-old Chicago man was arrested in the 200 block of South Elmwood Avenue and charged with attempted burglary and possession of burglary tools, the morning of Oct. 11.
- Someone used golf balls to shatter the front door window of a house in the 100 block of Home Avenue during the day, Oct. 12. After gaining entry, a Tope Glitter kids toy set, worth $100, was taken.
Pigeon drop at Dominick's
Two women approached a woman in the Dominick's parking lot in the 200 block of Lake Street around 3 p.m., Oct. 10, and told her they had found a box containing $150,000 in U.S. savings bonds. They offered to split the loot three ways if the victim could donate money to help pay someone who could cash them. The victim gave up $175 from her purse and later took the women back to her home. They then drove back to Dominick's where the offenders left with her $175.
- Someone removed a 2012 Ford Fusion belonging to Hertz Vehicle from the 500 block of South East Avenue during the day, Oct. 11. Estimated loss was $10,000.
- A catalytic converter was removed from a 2003 Chevy Malibu 4 DR parked in a lot in the 500 block of North Humphrey Avenue, overnight Oct. 7-8. Loss was estimated at $200.
- A car owner told police he saw an unknown man reach into his parked car in the 100 block of South Humphrey Avenue around 8 a.m., Oct. 13, and remove an unknown object through the open window. The man then fled on foot.
- Police took a 19-year-old Chicago man into custody in the 300 block of Wesley Avenue around 1 p.m. after witnesses said they saw him going back and forth between buildings. He was reportedly in possession of a bicycle with a cut padlock attached, which was claimed by the owner in the 200 block of Washington Boulevard. Police recovered a pair of hedge-trimmers from the man's pocket. He was charged with theft.
- Police took a Chicago juvenile into custody in the 600 block of Garfield Street, Oct. 12, when he was found to be in possession of a blue Towne Electra 8 bicycle, removed from a garage nearby. He was referred to juvenile court and then released to his legal guardian.
A backpack was removed from the second floor of the Oak Park Public Library, the evening of Oct. 10, and found later, discarded in the shrubbery in Scoville Park, minus the victim's ID.
A purse was snatched from a woman walking in the alley behind the 6200 block of Roosevelt Road around 3:45 p.m., Oct. 9. The offender ran up behind the victim, removed her handbag from her shoulder and fled eastbound. Estimated loss was $130.
A juvenile Berwyn resident was arrested at the library around 2:30, Oct. 11, and charged with theft and unlawful possession of cannabis. He was processed and turned over to a parent.
A woman's Samsung Galaxy 3 cellphone was reported picked from her jacket pocket in the 100 block of Lake Street around 9:15 p.m., Oct. 11. The loss was $500.
Someone lifted a wallet from a backpack left on the employee lockers in the break room of the Jewel Food Store in the 7000 block of Roosevelt Road, during the evening of Oct. 12. Lost were a driver's license, credit cards and $52.
Someone entered a locked garage in the 800 block of North Austin Boulevard, overnight Oct. 7-8, by prying open a side service door. A black Craftsman belt cutter was removed. Loss was estimated $20.
Police took into custody two of three teens observed by a witness fleeing from an auto in the 200 block of North Austin Boulevard around 8:30 p.m., Oct. 8. Two boys from Chicago, ages 12 and 13, were arrested in the 300 block of North Waller Avenue in Chicago. One was found in possession of hand-warmers that had been removed from a vehicle in the 200 block of North Austin. They were charged with burglary of motor vehicle, processed and turned over to their mothers.
These items, obtained from the Oak Park and River Forest police departments, came from reports filed Sept. Oct. 6-12 and represent a portion of the incidents to which police responded. Anyone named in these reports has only been charged with a crime and cases have not yet been adjudicated. We report the race of a suspect only when a serious crime has been committed, the suspect is still at large, and police have provided us with a detailed physical description of the suspect as they seek the public's help in making an arrest.
—Compiled by Jean Lotus