Patrolling cops interrupt 1 a.m. burglary spree in Oak Park

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By Jean Lotus

Contributing Reporter

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.

Reader Comments

14 Comments - Add Your Comment

Comment Policy

Ron Mathis  

Posted: September 27th, 2011 12:46 PM

Regarding the notation made by 'Opie' that "Boys will be boys" is utterly amazing that anyone in 2011 would still believe that. That type of thinking has allowed males to get away with crimes of all kinds and blame others for their actions which in turn keeps them in a poverty mindset. They then don't take responsibility for their actions, it's someone else s fault, & thereby they give their power away. It's time for males to take responsibility for their actions & reap the repercussions.

TK  

Posted: September 27th, 2011 11:45 AM

@ Muriel Schnierow, While your heart may be in the right place, pre school ethics training will be largely ineffective if the families the kids come from don't reinforce the training in everyday life. You can come from a single parent, low income, nobody went to college family and succeed...but more than not, the definition of success will be determined by the family whether success is making money, graduating college, or simply not being killed. Kids usually take their cues from home.

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: September 27th, 2011 12:34 AM

Jim M., your observation should be noted. It seems the Over The Austin Gang decided they looked best in white.

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: September 27th, 2011 12:31 AM

OP Guy, you are correct. The best Police can do to deter crime is to get criminals to know you don't do it here. You can't get rid of criminal activity, you can only direct it to another area and you can't keep criminals out of society for theft and robbery. Oak Park needs more will trained Police Officers and that should be top priority for the board. You don't want all of those income producing tourists to start finding out criminal activity is something to consider when coming to Oak Park.

Jim M.  

Posted: September 26th, 2011 11:25 PM

The White V-Neck T-Shirt Gang strikes again.

OP Guy  

Posted: September 26th, 2011 9:37 PM

Oh, and well done OPPD! I completely agree that we need more patrol officers, but keep up the good work!

OP Guy  

Posted: September 26th, 2011 9:34 PM

Opie, "boys will be boys"? So you think this is like some sort of high school prank? More like "criminals will be criminals"! The mindset that people deserve to be the victims of crime because they left tools in their trunk, is the same mindset that allows communities go down the tube. Turn a blind eye to petty crime, and you'll start to see the more serious offenses mount up. Crack down on ALL crime, regardless of how small, and these losers will get the point.

Opie from Oak Park  

Posted: September 26th, 2011 7:40 PM

Boys will be boys. Let's not go too hard on these boys. Besides, anyone foolish enough to leave tools in their car overnight in eastern Oak Park deserves to have them stolen. We don't live in Mayberry and my name ain't Opie.

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: September 26th, 2011 7:00 PM

Reynolds said, "An Officer on routine patrol was being diligent." Of course the Officer was, that's the business of what a Patrol Officer does. I certainly don't think this was an isolated case of a Police Officer doing his/her job. This is another example of why it would be financially a good investment to increase the number of Patrol Officers on the department.

muriel schnierow from River Forest  

Posted: September 26th, 2011 4:56 PM

PS i am not suggesting there is an easy answer to guns,gangs, and insufficient parenting but we have to get into" deprived" communities with pre school ethics training.

muriel schnierow from River Forest  

Posted: September 26th, 2011 4:25 PM

The Oak Park -River Forest Police are outstanding.i would like to know how many of these criminals have been paroled. the State wants to save money by emptying the jails. Will they be able to recognize psychopaths and chronic criminals ? Do you want to help me stop that? call if you do.Also please pressure the govt to bring back the CCC and let them rebuild the infrastructure.

ayleen from oak park, il  

Posted: September 26th, 2011 4:09 PM

thank you !

David Kindler from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: September 26th, 2011 3:39 PM

Big respect for Oak Park's finest. It's a tough job and despite the challenges, they get it done and still show lots of care and concern for residents.

john murtagh from oak park  

Posted: September 26th, 2011 3:35 PM

Great work. I really have great respect for the level of night patrol in OP. That's when the bad guys are out and so are our police.

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