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By Ben Meyerson
Four Chicago girls who mugged an Oak Park woman for her digital camera the night of Dec. 23 and drove off in a stolen minivan were arrested minutes later by Oak Park police on the 800 block of South Harlem in Forest Park.
Two girls got out of a silver 2004 Honda Odyssey minivan around 7:30 and pepper sprayed the victim in the face. They then took her camera and got into the van with two other girls and drove away.
About 35 minutes later, Oak Park police pulled over a van on Harlem that was reported stolen out of Chicago and matched the description of the van involved in the robbery. That van held the four Chicago girls, who were identified by the victim and arrested, according to police.
All four were charged with robbery, aggravated battery, unlawful uses of a weapon, possession of a stolen motor vehicle, and criminal trespass to a motor vehicle. The girl who drove the van was also charged for not having a driver's license.
The minivan, which had been reported stolen in Chicago in another robbery, was recovered and turned over to Chicago police.
These girls may have been behind other local crimes too, said Oak Park police Commander LaDon Reynolds said.
"Good work by the patrol officers," said Reynolds. "We've had other incidents where the offenders match the description of these offenders and we're gathering evidence in those cases."
Criminal damage to property
Someone broke two front living room windows on a home on the 500 block of South East Avenue in Oak Park the evening of Dec. 20 by throwing snowballs through them.
Someone broke a double-pane glass window overnight between Dec. 22 and Dec. 23 at Centennial House, 7575 Lake St. in River Forest, by throwing something through it.
A home on the 1100 block of Pleasant Street in Oak Park was broken into sometime during the day on Dec. 20. Someone broke the back door window and stole a 32-inch Sony flat-screen TV.
Someone broke into an apartment building on the 6100 block of North Avenue in Oak Park sometime between Dec. 17 and Dec. 21, shattering a window and climbing through it. Twelve cast-iron radiator units, valued at $10,000, were stolen.
Someone broke into a home on the 900 block of Wisconsin Avenue sometime during the day on Dec. 22 by breaking a back door window and reaching through to unlock it. Once inside, they ransacked the home and took a flat-screen TV, a garage door opener and cash.
Someone broke into a home on the 900 block of Linden Avenue in Oak Park the morning of Dec. 26 through an unlocked basement door, and took an Xbox with five video games, two Apple iPods, an iPod dock, and a 32-inch Vizio TV.
Burglary to cars
Someone broke into a locked car parked at West Suburban Hospital, 3 Erie Ct. in Oak Park, the afternoon of Dec. 23 and ripped out its in-dash media console, valued at $1,500.
Someone stole miscellaneous tools valued at $1,000, including a DeWalt cordless power drill, from a locked AT&T truck parked on the 1000 block of Mapleton in Oak Park the night of Dec. 22.
Someone stole a Blackberry Curve smart phone from an unlocked car parked on the 1000 block of Fair Oaks Avenue in Oak Park the night of Dec. 22.
Someone tried to break into Puree's Pizza, 1023 Lake St. in Oak Park, sometime between Dec. 24 and Dec. 26 by using a pry tool. They didn't get in, but they caused $500 in damage to the door and its lock.
Theft from person
A 30- to 40-year-old man snatched a man's Apple iPhone 3G S the night of Dec. 21 while he was on a CTA Blue Line train at the Oak Park Avenue stop. The offender got off the train and ran away eastbound.
A man in his late 30s took a victim's wallet out of his pants the afternoon of Dec. 23 while he was shopping at Fair Share Foods, 6226 Roosevelt in Oak Park. A man in his late 20s grabbed the victim's pants leg while the other man snatched the victim's wallet from his back pocket.
Someone stole a boy's black T-Mobile cell phone from a locked locker at Percy Julian Junior High, 416 S. Ridgeland Ave. in Oak Park, sometime during the school day on Dec. 17.
Someone cut the catalytic converter off a Toyota Rav4 parked on the 300 block of North Avenue in Oak Park during the day on Dec. 21.
A 35- to 40-year-old man who appeared to be homeless stole a barista's cell phone and cash from a tip jar the evening of Dec. 23 at Yova Coffee Shop, 818 S. Oak Park Ave., when the barista turned away to make an order for the man.
Kevin T. Bridges of Glendale Heights, 47, was arrested for retail theft the afternoon of Dec. 21 at Jewel, 7525 Lake St. in River Forest. He allegedly took four 150-ounce bottles of Tide detergent.
Someone stole four cell phones from a locked display case sometime during the day Dec. 24 at Cash America, 6303 North Ave. in Oak Park.
Three men approached an Oak Park man on the 400 block of North Austin Boulevard the evening of Dec. 21. One punched the Oak Park man in the face, and the other two pushed him to the ground and demanded money. The Oak Park man then gave them his wallet, which contained cash, a credit card and a driver's license, which they took and ran away northbound on Austin.
Joseph M. Flowers of Oak Park, 48, was arrested for DUI on the 700 block of North Ridgeland Avenue the night of Dec. 23.
Antonio D. Ruiz-Lopez of Cicero, 27, was arrested for aggravated DUI early the morning of Dec. 24 on the 1100 block of North Austin Boulevard in Oak Park after he was involved in a crash.
These items were obtained from police reports filed by the Oak Park and River Forest police departments from Dec. 20 to Dec. 27. Not all incidents that occurred are listed. Anyone named in reports has only been charged with a crime and cases have not yet been adjudicated.