By Jean Lotus
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.