Oak Park copper thief captured

Downspouts targeted in pair of recent thefts

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By Megan Dooley

Staff Reporter

A man suspected of stealing copper downspouts from two different Oak Park homes was arrested Monday and charged with two counts of felony theft.

Tyree Gregory, 56, of the 1100 block of S. Homan Ave. in Chicago, was also wanted on two outstanding warrants from the DuPage County Sheriff's Department, for criminal trespass to property and for driving with a suspended license.

The first theft occurred on April 13 at a residence located on the 200 block of S. Ridgeland Ave. A suspect was observed removing some six feet of a copper gutter from the residence, and fleeing the scene in a car described as a Honda Accord.

On April 17, a home on the 300 block of Forest Ave. was also targeted for its copper downspouts. A witness observed a suspect remove the copper downspouts and head southbound in the west alley of Forest and Superior. Another witness spotted a man a short time later, entering a car described as a tan Toyota, at the corner of Forest and Superior.

Oak Park police Commander LaDonn Reynolds said police were able to make the arrest based on information provided by the witnesses, including the descriptions and a license plate number. "We were able to track that information down and develop him as a suspect," he said of Gregory.

There have been a number of incidents reported recently about copper thefts in Oak Park. Police also reported a string of incidents in which outdoor air conditioning units were targeted for their copper parts. Those incidents occurred between April 11 and 16.

Reynolds said there are scrap metal yards in the area that will purchase the copper.

Reader Comments

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gutterhelmet from jacksonville  

Posted: May 19th, 2011 1:21 AM

What can be done to prevent people from stealing gutters? This is crazy! Check out http://www.gutterhelmet.com/blog/gutter-theft-is-on-the-rise/ for more.

Kurt from Oak Park  

Posted: April 20th, 2011 9:02 AM

@Greg... I don't think so. The scrap metal yards are just as happy to make an unethical quick buck as the guy ripping down the downspouts. Basically you're saying we can get rid of the thieves if we can just get rid of the thieves.

Steve Bankes from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: April 19th, 2011 4:56 PM

Could someone please ask him if he knows who took the letters from Unity Temple? Perhaps he belongs to the same professional networking group as they person that pried off those letters.

Greg from River Forest.Ill  

Posted: April 19th, 2011 4:20 PM

The key to stopping these thieves is in the last sentence of the article. Target the scrap buyers. Thieves won't steal anything the can't easily sell.

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