Police capture River Forest home invasion suspect

Man wanted for more than 6 months nabbed in Lombard laundromat


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By Jean Lotus

Staff Reporter

A man wanted by River Forest police for more than six months for an armed home invasion was captured without incident in a Lombard laundromat on May 7 by a team of officers from River Forest and Forest Park in the West Suburban Enhanced Drug and Gang Enforcement (WEDGE) task force.

Richard Ellis, 52, of the 1100 block of South Finley Road in Lombard had been sought since a September 26, 2012 home invasion in the 1400 block of Thatcher Avenue in River Forest.

During that event, witnesses told police that two men had entered the home, one armed with a handgun. The offenders allegedly proceeded to hold the victim and three children at gunpoint while the home was searched for valuables, according to a River Forest Police press release.

Police located one suspect, Richard D. Woods, 25, of Lombard, outside near the crime scene. Woods was taken into custody. A representative of the Cook County State's Attorney's Office later approved Class X felony home invasion charge against Woods.

Further investigation revealed that Ellis, who lived at the same address in Lombard as Woods, was also allegedly involved in the case. Ellis' DNA reportedly was found on evidence linking him to the crime.

"On May 7, after seeking Ellis for several months, we developed intelligence that Ellis was present at a Lombard laundromat on 800 block of South Westmore-Meyers Road," said James O'Shea in a statement. Police took Ellis into custody without incident, O'Shea said.

On May 7, an assistant Cook County state's attorney approved Class X felony home invasion charges against Ellis. If convicted, the two men face between six and 30 years in prison.

Ellis appeared at a bond hearing on May 8 at the Maybrook Courthouse where bond was set at $250,000. He had a preliminary hearing scheduled for May 9 at the Maybrook Courthouse.

"This crime does not appear to have been a random act," O'Shea's press release said. "It is not part of any existing or similar crime patterns in the area."

Anyone with information regarding this incident or any other criminal activity is encouraged to contact the River Forest Police Detective Unit at 708-366-7125 or via crime@vrf.us.

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joe from south oak park  

Posted: May 22nd, 2013 9:52 AM

Here is an example of the problem. http://www.news-gazette.com/news/local/2013-05-21/plea-robbery-brings-probation.html Although this event didn't occur in cook county it is indicative of the kinds of sentences that are being plea bargained. If the police had evidence that this guy had a handgun with the serial number filed off and was in possession during a robbery both are very serious offenses. They both need to be prosecuted by the county and not dropped for probation.

joe from south oak park  

Posted: May 20th, 2013 9:15 PM

Unfortunately Cook County is very soft on crimes like this. I wouldn't be surprised if he gets 7 to 10 years but is out on parole in 2 to 3 years. In my opinion this lax sentencing is the big part of the issue when i comes to this kind of crime. This guy needs to go away for 10 to 15 years minimum before he can think about parole and serve that time out of state where he won't be visited by family very often. Also any gang affiliations that he might have won't mean anything out of state.

Violet Aura  

Posted: May 10th, 2013 2:35 PM

<> What sort of relationship did they have with him? I think this is a very important point in the story.


Posted: May 10th, 2013 12:35 AM

6-30 years? That's a huge margin. He had a gun on a woman and 3 kids in their own home... Throw this low life in prison and throw away the key. This thing does not deserve to see the light of day.

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