A man taking groceries to his apartment on the 1000 block of Pleasant was robbed at gunpoint around 10 p.m., Dec. 17. The man was approached in the courtyard of his building by a gunman wearing a facemask and hood, The man displayed the gun and said, “Give me your wallet, old man.” He turned over the wallet, containing $55.

The afternoon of Dec. 19, a woman on the 6200 block of Roosevelt was approached from behind by a man “who walked with a limp.” The man yanked the woman’s purse from her shoulder and took off with miscellaneous IDs, a payroll check and her cellphone.

A woman walking home from the grocery store on the 7400 block of Lake, River Forest, the afternoon of Dec. 18, was approached by two men, one of whom yanked her purse away, breaking the strap. The two then ran off with around $20 and the woman’s state ID card.


The afternoon of Dec. 15, a middle-age woman grabbed the front of another woman’s shopping cart in the Jewel, 7525 Lake, and told her that her earring had fallen under the cart. While the shopper leaned down and forward, someone pulled her wallet out of her purse, which was unzipped and hanging on her back. She lost credit cards, an undisclosed sum of cash, IDs, license and Social Security card.

A woman who left her purse hanging on the back of her chair inside Winberie’s restaurant, 151 N. Oak Park Ave., the afternoon of Dec. 16, returned to find her wallet missing. Employees reported seeing a man change tables to sit next to the woman’s seat. Besides $50, three credit cards, assorted gift cards, and IDs were stolen. One credit card was used at a nearby gas station a short time later. That evening the card was used to make an attempted purchase at a department store.

The afternoon of Dec. 18, across the street, two men and a woman who asked to be seated next to a certain table at Papaspiros restaurant, 733 Lake, are suspected in the theft of a woman’s purse. One of the three reportedly stood up behind the woman’s chair, commented, “What a nice Christmas tree,” and left with the others. It wasn’t the Christmas tree they appreciated, as the woman later realized her wallet, license, credit cards and $300 were missing from her purse.

The following night, a man about to board a Metra train around 7 p.m. at the Marion Street station “felt a slight pull” on his pocket, and realized his wallet, containing $15 cash, IDs and a debit card, had been picked.

Travis Williams, 46, of the 5400 block of W. Augusta, was stopped as a suspicious person, the morning of Dec. 19, while walking with a package under his arm on the 500 block of S. Ridgeland. The package was determined to have been removed from a residence on the block without permission.

Vehicular hijack

A woman stopped on the 300 block of Wisconsin, shortly after 11 p.m., Dec. 16, was approached by three young men, one of whom demanded her money. When she replied she didn’t have any, he demanded her car keys. He took her house key off the ring, and another man said, “Don’t call the police, we know where you live.” The trio then ran off.


An unlocked front door allowed thieves to enter an apartment on the 300 block of S. Maple during the day, Dec. 19. Two laptop computers, a digital camera, an MP3 player and a box of photographs, valued in total at $7,600 were stolen.

The rear door of a home on the 100 block of S. East was kicked in during the day, Dec. 19, and a laptop computer, cellphone and 20 DVDs, valued in total at $1,300, were stolen.

Someone broke the deadbolt of a garage on the 1000 block of N. Euclid, the night of Dec. 16. Once inside, the thief knocked over a bike, which struck a car, setting off its burglar alarm, and the thief fled without taking anything.

Overnight Dec. 17, brute force was used to break the side door of a garage on the 1100 block of North Woodbine and a snowblower, valued at $350, was stolen.

Overnight Dec. 14, the side door of a garage on the 1150 block of S. Lombard was damaged but not opened, and a window was broken in an apparent burglary attempt.

Sometime between Dec. 8 and 15, the side door of a garage on the 1100 block of S. Lombard was pried open. An unlocked car was ransacked and another car’s window was smashed.

Someone climbed a 5-foot fence, pried open the side-door deadbolt of a garage and stole a snowblower valued at $500 on the 300 block of Harrison, overnight Dec. 18.

Someone entered a garage on the 100 block of North Elmwood, overnight Dec. 19, likely by reaching through a missing glass pane and activating a door opener. A snowblower and a wood-chipper, valued in total at $400, were stolen.

Overnight Dec. 14, burglars broke the side window of a car on the 100 block of North Elmwood and stole a 37-inch LCD television.

The door lock of a van on the 400 block of S. Harvey was pulled, the night of Dec. 17, and two cordless drills, valued at $650, were stolen.

The window of a 2007 Toyota Corolla on the 400 block of South Home was broken overnight, Dec. 14.

A GPS device was stolen from a car on the 500 block of South Maple during the day, Dec. 15, by a thief who broke a side window.

Drug possession

Marc Van Ausdale, 24, of Marengo, was stopped for an alleged traffic violation on Austin at Madison around 8 p.m., Dec. 20. Police say a foil packet commonly used to hold drugs was “plainly visible” by Van Ausdale’s feet. He was charged with felony drug possession after a consensual search allegedly turned up a total of six packets containing a total of 1.2 grams of heroin.

Battery, etc

David B. Eskew, 56, of 350 E. Washington, Joliet, was charged with battery and public indecency after he allegedly assaulted a patient inside Oak Park Healthcare, 625 N. Harlem. Police say Eskew grabbed a female resident, forced her onto her bed and exposed himself.

Betty Bridgman, of the 200 block of N. Parkside, Chicago, allegedly left the CVS Pharmacy, 6748 Roosevelt, without paying for a package of baby wipes, the afternoon of Dec.18. When the store manager attempted to inspect her bag, she reportedly sprayed him with pepper spray. Police arrested her a short time later and charged her with retail theft, battery, driving on a suspended license and having no insurance. A name check also found she was wanted on an assault charge for allegedly attempting to spray another CVS Pharmacy manager with pepper spray during an attempted theft on Nov. 30.


A man passed a fake $100 bill at the drive-thru of the McDonald’s, 111 Madison, the morning of Dec. 17, got change for his purchase, and drove off.

These items were obtained from police reports filed by the Oak Park and River Forest police departments from Dec. 14 to Dec 22. Not all incidents that occurred are listed. Anyone named in reports has only been charged with a crime and cases have not yet been adjudicated.

-Compiled by Bill Dwyer

Crime Plus

Leaving a calling card

The manager of the River Forest Jewel store, 7525 Lake, chased two men who had stolen several bottles of vodka the night of Dec. 17. The pair got away, but one of them dropped his wallet, which contained a state ID with the name of a person previously arrested for retail theft.

Join the discussion on social media!