Crashed Mercury filled with stolen loot

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Police investigating a car accident at Oak Park Avenue and Erie Street on Dec. 30 found evidence from a spate of local burglaries, with estimated losses totaling more than $10,000. Darrell Hull, 17, of the 1700 block of N. Lotus, and two Chicago juveniles were driving a stolen Mercury Milan when they crashed at 11:40 a.m. Two of the passengers exited the vehicle and fled on foot, but were seen by witnesses and caught by police.

An officer recognized the vehicle as having been stolen on Dec. 5 from a residence on the 100 block of South Boulevard. In the back of the vehicle were electronics, computers and other items that police suspected were proceeds of burglary. The juveniles and Hull were charged with being involved in six other local burglaries: 100 S. Humphrey on Dec. 5, 1100 S. Elmwood on Dec. 14, 1100 S. East on Dec. 15, 1100 Pleasant on Dec. 20, 900 Wisconsin on Dec. 22 and 1100 Clarence on Dec. 29.

"We had a spike in residential burglaries in December and some arrests," said Oak Park Police Commander LaDon Reynolds. "There was some good work being done by our police officers." One juvenile was released to parents; the other was transported to the juvenile detention center. Hull has a Jan. 7 court date at the Maybrook courthouse.

Cash dropped at Dunkin' Donuts

A man inadvertently dropped a wad of $500 in cash on the floor at the Dunkin' Donuts on Harlem and North avenues at 7:30 a.m. on Dec. 28. Clerks saw a woman pick up the money and exit the store, entering a waiting vehicle. Two days later, on Dec. 30, clerks recognized the woman, a regular customer, when she returned to the store, and called police. Police arrested Agnes Capello, 66, of the 2100 block of North 72nd Court, Elmwood Park, who was captured on videotape picking up the money.

Jogger punched in face

Four male Chicago juveniles were charged with attempted robbery and mob action after one of them punched a 60-year-old jogger in the face on Dec. 28 at 5:26 p.m. on East Avenue and Lemoyne Street. The jogger attempted to return the blow and chased the juvenile northward on East, where the juvenile joined a group of three other boys and fled. Police found the youth on North Avenue and arrested them, charging the assailant with aggravated battery. Some of the four were released to their parents, with the others taken to juvenile court.

Real friends don't steal $1,000

An 18-year-old girl from Norridge was robbed of $1,000 cash around midnight on Dec. 29, on the 100 block of Frank Lloyd Wright Lane. Police arrested Deyero Lanigan, 23, of the 5200 block of W. Crystal in Chicago, nearby. "The offender befriended the victim on the train," said Commander LaDon Reynolds. Lanigan was charged with robbery.

Aggravated robbery

A man approached a woman from behind at 11 p.m., Dec. 29, in the 700 block of N. Taylor and demanded money. He grabbed from her hand a leather laptop carrier which contained no laptop but a cell phone and credit cards. He fled on foot southbound. The loss is estimated at $218.

Restaurant crimes

Someone lifted a wallet from the purse of a patron in Cosi café on the 1100 block of Lake Street at lunchtime on Dec. 27.

Megan Patten, 21, of Bar Harbor, Maine, was arrested for leaving Szechwan Beijing on the 1100 block of South Boulevard without paying for a meal on Dec. 30.

Residential burglary

Copper piping and fittings, worth $2,500, were stolen from the basement of a residence in the 100 block of S. Austin, overnight on Dec. 28.

Snowblowers stolen

A red "MTD" snowblower was stolen from a garage on the 700 block of Clinton, the afternoon of Dec. 28 by means of an open overhead door.

A red and black Sears Craftsman snowblower was stolen from a garage on the 100 block of S. Scoville, overnight Jan. 3. Estimated value was $1,300.

New Year's Eve — with a bullet

A window was damaged by a bullet on the 700 block of Washington overnight on Dec. 31.

Trains idling

River Forest police wrote two tickets to Union Pacific railroad for parking idling trains on the East-West train line at Keystone and Central on Dec. 19 and 24. In one instance, a train was idling for more than five hours. Fines for idling trains can reach $750 per violation.

These items were obtained from police reports filed by the Oak Park and River Forest police departments from Dec. 23, 2010 to Jan. 3, 2011. 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.

— Jean Lotus

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