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Police caught five burglars stealing power tools from a parked car during a routine early-morning police patrol in the 1100 block of Lyman on Sept. 23. The men were also linked to a string of other burglaries in the neighborhood and incidents in River Forest and Cicero, said Commander LaDon Reynolds of the Oak Park Police Department.
About 1 a.m., the patrol officer noticed an occupied, parked, silver Chevy Impala with its lights on and trunk ajar in the Humphrey-Lyman alley. Three men were observed running away from a parked Oldsmobile Intrigue behind the residence and getting into the Chevy's back seat.
"They tried to close the trunk of the Chevy" but could not, said Reynolds. The Chevy sped up the alley northbound, but the officer followed and curbed the car on Harvard. The officer interviewed the five men, all from Chicago, and observed power tools in the Chevy's still-open trunk. Police determined that the Oldsmobile had been burglarized and the owner of the tools identified them as his.
"An officer on routine patrol was being diligent," said Reynolds. Police recovered two drills, a circular saw, a reciprocating saw, a drill bit case and an iPod charger. Other evidence found in the cars was connected to a string of burglaries on same night in the 1000 blocks of Cuyler and Lyman.
"The investigative division was able to link five burglaries and three damage-to-property incidents," said Reynolds. "All in all, they did a really good job."
Police arrested Lawaun R. Bell, 20; Terrance C. Johnson, 19; Ellis J. Hatley, 18; Paul R. Townes, 21 and Dezmund E. Oliver, 18, all of Chicago. The men were transported to the station, processed and held for bond hearings.