Rental scammers nabbed

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Two men were arrested and charged with felony attempted theft by deception on Feb. 10, for trying to collect $800 for rent and a $2,000 security deposit on a vacant house in Oak Park they did not own or manage, according to Oak Park police.

Emmanuel C. Rice, 23, of the 100 block of Main Street in Chicago Heights, and James D. Gavin, 26, of the 3700 block of West 86th Street in Chicago, are being held pending a bond hearing.

The two allegedly tried to scam a 24-year-old Chicago woman, who became suspicious after she was told by Gavin and Rice that she needed to pay her rent and security deposit in cash. She also was told to change the locks at the house once she moved in and to not be concerned if a real estate agent showed up and told her to move, according to police.

The woman said one of the suspects said his brother was a real estate agent with a house for rent in Oak Park on the 800 block of Mapleton Avenue. The house had already been sold, however, and the closing was scheduled, police report. 

Apparently, the legitimate listing agent's key lock box had been forcibly removed, and the suspects are believed to have used a pry tool to gain entry to the house. The rear door lock also was changed, according to the police report.

The victim contacted police and an undercover officer posing as a family member accompanied the woman to sign the lease and exchange the cash. Rice and Gavin were taken into custody during the sting operation.



Sometime between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. between Feb. 6 and Feb. 8, a theft occurred on the 200 block of N. Oak Park Avenue. The thief entered several rooms of the building and took a phone charger, credit card and $230 in cash.

A theft occurred at Brooks Middle School on the 300 block of S. Kenilworth on Feb. 11 between 4:40 p.m. and 6 p.m., according to police. The thief absconded with a folder from the school that contained personal checks from a locked closet with an estimated value of $1,379.

A license plate was stolen from a blue 2002 Jeep on the 900 block of Madison Street on Feb. 11, between the hours of 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. Estimated loss was $6.


Traffic arrest 

Johnny R. Kubiak, 32, was pulled over on Feb. 12 at 2:53 p.m. on the 600 block of Austin Boulevard for failure to wear a seatbelt. Police reportedly took Kubiak into custody after police discovered four foil packets of heroin in his sock. He was charged with failure to wear a seatbelt and possession of a controlled substance.

— Compiled by Tim Inklebarger

Reader Comments

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Comment Policy

Winter Q Dweller from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: February 25th, 2015 4:31 PM

I don't believe any of you have jobs, and if you do, are you being paid to post comments?

Winter Skye  

Posted: February 20th, 2015 11:57 AM

@Just Another 'Bot: LMAO!!! I can't tell if you're being serious or sarcastic but I did laugh so thank you for that. Island Dweller believed your every word...Notice how s/he just swallows whatever load is presented?;)

Winter Skye  

Posted: February 20th, 2015 11:55 AM

@John Q. Huh??!!! I have NO idea what you are on about. Yes, I think it's safe to say that people who feel like they have found what they are meant to do are not scamming people. Why is that offensive to you? By the way, in case you are suggesting that there is some sort of snobbish intent in my remark, not at all. I am sympathetic to those who are flailing and trying to find out how to spend their time. Even if one is not working, they could still be doing things that support their dreams.

John Q  

Posted: February 18th, 2015 4:00 PM goodness just give it a rest. If he loved his job he'd be sympathetic they haven't found their niche in life?!?! Right there you did what you accused Island of. Who are you to say they haven't found their niche? People who have found their niche don't commit crimes? I'd prefer to be a "bot" than think like you.

Island Dweller   

Posted: February 18th, 2015 3:59 PM

Just another 'bot, you're right. I should just give it up. I obviously took the easy road of working hard for a living. Just think, if I had only robbed people and stole for a living, I could be enlightened too, and possibly have a much more meaningful life, but I guess I'm just keep being indoctrinated by the man, and conform to the shackles of society.

Island Dweller  

Posted: February 18th, 2015 3:54 PM

Lol, I love my job, and I got the job I love by working my behind off despite not being privileged. Yeah, it's ALOT easier to sit about, hang on the corner, and take what others have, than it is to work from nothing to something. I never said working hard is the "meaning of life", but making an honest days pay is a lot less likely to land you in jail and screw up your future. So yeah, I don't share your sympathy because I didn't CHOOSE to sit around like these 2 clowns.

Just another 'bot.  

Posted: February 18th, 2015 2:07 PM

Give it up, Island Dweller. Winter is so much more counterculture than you are, and that makes her a more enlightnened person. You've been conditioned by the man. You're a 'bot. Winter knows so many things that you never will. Things that would blow your narrow, establishment mind, man!

Winter Skye  

Posted: February 18th, 2015 12:42 PM

@Island: Then you hate your job and are resentful that some are taking the "easy way out." I read comments like yours all the time and people who are obsessed with this sort of thing always seem to me to feel as if they've been duped by their conditioning. If you loved your job so much, you'd express sympathy that they cannot find their niche in life. Instead of you talk about "working hard," as if that is the meaning of life. I have never thought that was the way to become happy.

Island Dweller "BOT"  

Posted: February 17th, 2015 8:45 PM

"Moral superiority", "bot"? Oh, thanks Winter Skye for putting me right. Now I can stop being conformist and starting being an individual? Lol. Pluueeaassee! These losers are losers because they gave up early and gave into finding a quick way to make money at other's expense. YOU don't know where I'm from or how hard I've worked for what I have, so save your sanctimonious B.S. from someone else. I have no sympathy for these morons, because I made the "decision" to WORK as oppose to ROB.

Winter Skye  

Posted: February 17th, 2015 7:56 PM

@Island Dweller: Pitching a tent at the thought of your moral superiority, bro? "Work hard in school?" You are SUCH a 'bot! I bet you think all the thoughts you are spoonfed by the media and believe it totally. A complete conformist. I don't mind someone commenting on the crime but when people use this as an opportunity to show how smug and self-satisfied they are, I don't buy it.

Island Dweller   

Posted: February 17th, 2015 3:45 PM

If Rice and Gavin had worked hard at school, they could have possibly had legitimate jobs as Realtors, and would be making a lot more money selling homes in Oak Park than the $2,800 they tried to scam. Telling the victim to not worry if the Realtor tells her to move, and also to change the locks? These obviously ARE as dumb as they look. They'll no doubt have more street smarts to navigate the jail cell.

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