By Devin Rose
River Forest police are looking for two men who were involved in an armed home invasion at a Thatcher Avenue house with a third man last week, in which a family was robbed at gunpoint.
The call came in at 10:20 p.m. on Sept. 26 about a home invasion in the 1400 block of Thatcher, said Deputy Police Chief Craig Rutz. Two men wearing devil masks forced their way in with a handgun while a woman and three children were at home and demanded money and jewelry. The family was held at gunpoint for about 20 minutes and the offenders collected cash and jewelry valued at over $10,000 before they fled southbound on Thatcher to Greenfield Street. The crime does not appear to be random.
Rutz said there was no direct connection between the victims and the offenders, but he could not clarify further because the matter is still under investigation. The incident is not part of any existing crime patterns in the area, and he said there is no danger to the public at this time.
Police set up a perimeter and caught one of the men just east of the scene in the 1400 block of Keystone Avenue. Rutz did not know if the gun had been recovered.
The arrested man is 25-year-old Richard D. Woods, of Lombard, according to a release from the police department. A representative of the Cook County State's Attorney's Office approved a Class X felony home invasion charge against him.
Rutz said the incident was one of only a handful of armed home invasions he has seen in his 30 years in River Forest.
In general, Rutz said home invasions usually occur because offenders get information that the victim has something they want in the home. It's not a common crime, he said, like street robberies or burglaries.
"It doesn't happen out of the blue," said Rutz, who noted that a 2005 Mercury Montego, towed from the area, is connected to one of the men. Drugs were also found on Woods.
Police are urging anyone with information to contact the department at 708-366-7125.