Oak Park and River Forest police reports-Sept. 15-21

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Creep on the el flashes, then cashes in

Around 7 a.m., Sept. 9, a Forest Park woman seated on the Blue Line train was accosted by a man she described as 25-35 years old who threatened, then exposed himself to her, then fled the train after stealing an unknown amount of cash from the victim. 

Open invitations

In the 600 block of East Avenue, during the night of Sept. 14-15, someone entered a garage via the open overhead door, then ransacked the unlocked 2014 Volkswagen Tiguan inside. Missing are a leather wallet containing cash, a $100 Target gift card, credit cards and a driver's license. The offender(s) also used a vehicle remote found in the VW's center console to open a Passat parked behind the garage; it, too, was found ransacked. 

The same night, in the 100 block of South Elmwood, someone ransacked an unlocked Prius and stole an iPod, a radar detector and a Coach leather wallet containing cash, ID and credit cards.

An unlocked Chevrolet parked in the 400 block of Lake Street, during the afternoon of Sept. 13, enabled someone to steal an electronic credit card swiper device, a plastic drawer containing cash, and a wallet that held ID, credit cards and keys. 

On Sept. 20 between 2:30 and 3 a.m. in the 100 block of North Scoville, a burglar cut the screen on the window of a house, then climbed through the window. Stolen were cash and an Apple laptop.

During the night of Sept. 19-20 in the 100 block of North Lombard Avenue, someone got inside a Hyundai Santa Fe thanks to an unlocked door. Stolen items included a laptop, an iPod, coins, CDs and the laptop's Targus bag.

Overnight Sept. 20-21 in the 1100 block of Highland, an open garage overhead door allowed easy access to a burglar, who made off with a $300 purple bicycle. 

 Someone pried open a storage locker in a garage common area in the 100 block of North Euclid and stole a bicycle, four wheels with Bridgestone snow tires, a floor jack, and a padlock. It happened the night of Sept. 12-13. The following night, in the same location, someone pried open another storage locker and got away with power tools, hand tools, a lawn chair and two fishing poles. 

Theft

A Camry worth $8,000 was stolen during the night of Sept. 14-15 while parked in the village lot in the first block of Washington Boulevard.

A cutting tool was used to remove the cable locking a man's bike to a rack in the 1000 block of South Lombard, the afternoon of Sept. 15. Same day, same method in the 200 block of South Marion Street at the YMCA bike rack; this time, it happened around 5:45 p.m. A man in a white jacket, tool in hand, was seen there getting out of a tan van, driven by a second person. The offender was last spotted riding the stolen bicycle westbound on Randolph away from the Y, trailed by the van.

In the 1100 block of Pleasant Street, someone stole the registration sticker off the back license plate of a Chevy Blazer sometime between 8 a.m. and noon, Sept. 15. 

A $700 spare tire was stolen from a 2014 Jeep Wrangler, Sept. 14 between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m., while the Jeep was parked in the 400 block of North Lombard.

A thief snatched a black-and-gold, sequined wallet from the unattended baby stroller in which it had been left in the 400 block of North Harlem Avenue between noon and 1 p.m. The wallet contained ID, a debit card and cash.

An unlocked and unattended bike worth $415 was stolen from a backyard in the 100 block of North Harvey on the afternoon of Sept. 16. A bike in a bike rack in the 1000 block of South Lombard was stolen the same day between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. 

A 200-pound commercial dishwasher worth $3,000, left unattended in the common garbage area behind Bar Louie in the 1100 block of Lake Street, was reported stolen, Sept. 16 between 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.

Someone stole the catalytic converter from under a Chevy Venture that had been parked in the alley of the 900 block of South Kenilworth, the morning of Sept. 19.

In the 200 block of South Austin, sometime between Sept. 4 and 20, someone stole a Jeep valued at $4,000.

Recovered

A Cutlass Ciera, reported stolen Sept. 20 from a lot in the 500 block of South Austin Boulevard, was recovered the following day in the 900 block of Moore in Danville. 

A Ford Expedition, reported stolen on Sept. 18, was recovered by Chicago police in the 300 block of North Mayfield. 

Vandalism

A house in the 900 block of North Austin Boulevard was vandalized, overnight Sept. 15-16, with three cable cords and a telephone cord cut. The cords were attached to the outside of the house.

Someone may have used a key to scratch the exterior of a black BMW parked in the first block of Superior Street, the afternoon of Sept. 19.

In the 500 block of South East Avenue, Sept. 19 around 9 p.m., someone shattered a house window. A thrown golf ball may have been used.

The morning of Sept. 20, someone broke the passenger-side vent window of a Jeep parked in the first block of Ontario Street.

These items, obtained from the Oak Park and River Forest police departments, came from reports filed Sept. 15-21 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 Amy Malina

Reader Comments

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Scott from Oak Park  

Posted: September 26th, 2014 3:59 PM

I've enjoyed our conversation today. I hope you all have a great weekend.

Josie from Oak Park  

Posted: September 26th, 2014 2:59 PM

Ok Scott enough toying with you. I agree we should feel safe and free to leave our possessions out without fear of having it stolen. In that respect I agree with you. But there is this thing called reality. Feed a rodent and it comes back. @LeRoy, why is JohnQ a genius and not me Homey?

LeRoy from Mayhood  

Posted: September 26th, 2014 2:44 PM

John Q = Genius You forgot to blame the crime on lack of opportunity in da community.

Scott from Oak Park  

Posted: September 26th, 2014 2:43 PM

Living next to a large city is not a valid excuse for theft. Living in a large city isn't an excuse for theft. If you want to avoid larger crimes you need to eliminate the smaller crimes first. "It is what it is" is the mantra of very lazy people.

Josie from Oak Park  

Posted: September 26th, 2014 2:43 PM

First of all Scott, wearing a sign asking to be robbed is your fault because you sake for it. Unfortunately the perp can't be charged because you gave them permission. It is best to suggest that both you and the perp are culpable. As for Another resident...my response is in a form of a question...do ostriches really put their head in the sand? If so, they don't see the world as it really is. What makes OP great (diversity) is also what makes it appealing to criminals.

John Q  

Posted: September 26th, 2014 2:37 PM

Scott, like I said I am from the hood and we think differently in these terms: if you hang out somewhere that people shoot all the time and you get shot, if you wear flashy clothes and jewelry in an area where you know robbery is likely, if you park you car somewhere where you know people like to steal cars...we call that stupid. Within 1-2 weeks we will see a shooting victim on tv and his family will claim he was a great American despite being out at an ungodly hour and being with thugs.

John Q  

Posted: September 26th, 2014 2:31 PM

Another resident: is this other place you lived as close to a large city, with one commuter line running through it, two mass transit train lines, several bus routes, a few minutes from a major financial district and intersected by a congested interstate system known for being traveled by heroin addicts and vendors alike? If not, the mindset of the other place is not very applicable. Community policing is great but is nothing w/o citizen input. Neighborhoods stop crime more than police..ask them

LaWhatever from Austin  

Posted: September 26th, 2014 2:25 PM

Next time you go by the wells popcorn place across from fitness formula i bet you will see some dud from the hood with his hand out. best way to stop it is to tell them they are not welcome in oak park and dont give them a cent. they are here because people are stupid enough to give them money. no money = no trash in the community

John Q  

Posted: September 26th, 2014 2:23 PM

Josie...yes we mostly agree but Winona Ryder was convicted of theft. Rich and privileged people do steal. It's just a fact. But on the other stuff...yeah we're on the same page. Scott, nobody listed robbery..we said theft from unlocked cars. Two completely different crimes. However I recall Mos Def saying.."now I like to have nice things just like you/ but I'm from Brooklyn, it's certain stuff you just don't do"..I'm from the hood and till this day I'm cognizant wherever I am of my surroundings

John Q  

Posted: September 26th, 2014 2:15 PM

Mose, I don't think they are out there after say 10/1030 or so...so that would explain the gap. I don't do aggressive panhandlers. I sort of transform into an aggressive "client" or whatever they think I am. I have a huge problem giving on YOUR terms what comes from my pocket.

Another resident  

Posted: September 26th, 2014 2:07 PM

Josie-It's important to remember that many of us have lived other places, where leaving your phone in your car is not as "dumb" as it is here, because the crime rate is lower and possessions are stolen less often. And I don't think that it's too much of a leap to suggest that effective community policing can improve the crime rate.

Scott from Oak Park  

Posted: September 26th, 2014 2:03 PM

If I am robbed on the green line it is not my fault. The blame lies on the person robbing me even if I am wearing a sign that says "please rob me." It's like blaming a rape victim for dressing provocatively. I understand the need for common sense but for a police department or newspaper to say "they had it coming" is unacceptable.

Mose from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: September 26th, 2014 1:54 PM

John, I don't doubt the accuracy of your knowledge of police assignments in DTOP but it hasn't been my experience to see any on foot patrol in the area after hours. Whether attending a late movie at the Lake or picking up a family member at the health club; I've been confronted by aggressive panhandlers and have noted on a number of occasions that there are number people who appear disoriented stumbling around in the parking lot. Calls placed to 911 about these situations did bring a response.

Josie from Oak Park  

Posted: September 26th, 2014 1:50 PM

@Scott, just for the record I am doing well in life. As a social experiment Scott, take out $500 from the ATM ride the greenline with it sitting in the seat next to you while using your smart phone, and blame the police for the robbery. Let us know hen you do it so we too can blame the PoPo for your Idiocy. @John Q I meant theft is based on have and have-nots. Not some of the more heinous crimes you mention. But I think we are in agreement overall. Oh, Scott I am wrong and bad at life. Thanks.

John Q  

Posted: September 26th, 2014 1:27 PM

BTW Scott, TWICE in my life I have been the victim of burglary/theft from a vehicle. Once when I did not lock my mom's car door as a kid while we were in church...and once as an adult when I left some clunky (but valuable) equipment out in the open just because I was being too lazy to carry it inside the house. I didn't blame the police. I fixed my behavior and thankfully I have not had an incident outside of these. Personal responsibility is not blame and its a shame we teach that.

John Q  

Posted: September 26th, 2014 1:21 PM

Mose, DTOP has officers assigned to just that area on foot. That's on top of the RBO and regular beat car. I don't know what more presence we can expect. Josie, I mostly agree except with this caveat: crime is not about being a "have not." Drug abuse, drug distribution, domestic violence, theft, sexual assault, child pornography...all of these crimes have several famous and well off offenders in these areas. I know what you meant but we forget that people from Oak Park steal and sell dope too.

John Q  

Posted: September 26th, 2014 1:13 PM

Scott, let me help you...people will continue to steal. What on earth can the police do to curb theft? Follow pedestrians around that "look" like they might steal something? They're not blaming people. They're pleading with residents to be responsible and accept that the vast majority of theft are from unsecured vehicles. As long as people can hit a daily jackpot in Oak Park, easily, it will never NOT be a good idea to steal here. It's not blame it's accountability.

LeRoy from Austin  

Posted: September 26th, 2014 12:52 PM

I agree on the crime front - worst of all worlds for crime. People are brainwashed to think that the people from my hood go to oak park to look at the architecture. they are really looking to steal bikes, ipads, purses, cosmetics, money whatever. it makes it easy because all of you are afraid to call the police because you will be portrayed as racist. i ever get a free meal at PADS

Scott from Oak Park  

Posted: September 26th, 2014 12:52 PM

Josie, you are wrong and bad at life. That is all.

Josie from Oak Park  

Posted: September 26th, 2014 12:28 PM

Blaming the police because you were dumb enough to leave an IPad in your car on the passenger seat while the door was unlocked, is plain stupid. Making it easy for a thief to stel your property is your fault. Also why should the police only be watching DTOP? Why should the less affluent but more affected Austin Ave. (east OP) residents be ignored? Crime occurs because the have-nots want what the have's have.

Mose from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: September 25th, 2014 9:14 PM

I'm not advocating a violent response to what looks to be an increase of unacceptable behavior. Police are trained and equipped to address the problem. A physical presence in DTOP could be more effective than having a patrol car driving around. Let the folks with bad intentions see that Oak Park will not tolerate inappropriate activities and the people who exiting the movie theater, health club, offices are not subjected to being hassled or followed to their cars. There's too much at stake.

New2OP  

Posted: September 25th, 2014 4:20 PM

To the person who commented how sketchy downtown gets "after hours". You are right. The problem is that OP rolls up the sidewalks at 9pm.

Had Enough from Oak Park  

Posted: September 25th, 2014 3:10 PM

It's about time we start taking our streets back from these thugs. The time for political correctness and hyper-sensitivity is over. I think OPPD should start cracking some skulls and instill some fear in the dirt-bags infesting our town. I'd gladly collapse the skull any unwelcomed vandal or vagrant on my property.

Another resident  

Posted: September 25th, 2014 2:56 PM

I agree with Scott. I really like living in OP, but there's no doubt that we pay home prices and taxes that one might expect to pay in safer communities, while experiencing the type of crime one might expect from a cheaper community...the worst of both worlds. When I could afford to move "up" to OP, I actually moved into a higher-crime community!

Mose  

Posted: September 25th, 2014 12:22 PM

Scott, I too see an issue with the way our police are deployed throughout the community. Chief Tanksley is a professional and likely knows how to effectively utilize his staff but it seems more attention needs to directed during after hours in the neighborhoods and business districts. There's a lot of questionable activity going on while most of us are sleeping. Check out DTOP late night. It's pretty dicey. Aggressive panhandling and troubled people under the influence wandering the streets.

Scott from Oak Park  

Posted: September 25th, 2014 10:12 AM

I don't understand why your newspaper and our police department keep blaming the victims of theft. The thieves are the issue and our officers need to do a better job of stopping it. That attitude is lazy and shortsighted.

OP Res 253  

Posted: September 24th, 2014 9:55 AM

I fail to understand how two storage lockers that required "prying open" represent an open invitation. I too am surprised how easy we often make it for criminals. I understand forgetting to close the garage door, or even lock the car. It happens. But leaving iPods, wallets with all your ID and Laptops outside in these vehicles is a bit boggling.

Baffled  

Posted: September 24th, 2014 7:35 AM

There are so many bone-headed idiots in OP making life difficult for others. PEOPLE, just lock your car doors, PLEASE, and do NOT leave inside your vehicle ever any wallet, cash, Ipod, laptop, keys to your house. When you do this and a thief discovers these things you encourage the thief to return and try to steal more. Too many stupid people running around here, but then, there will always be thieves and always be stupid people so.....rant over. Never mind.

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