Officer Tracks Down Juvenile Home Invasion Suspect

Park Forest, IL—(ENEWSPF)— Charges are pending against a juvenile arrested in connection with one home invasion and a second attempted home invasion.

A resident in the 200 block of Gold Street reported a home invasion on November 9.  The resident reported that he was inside his home when he heard the doorbell ring.  He related that he went to a bedroom and looked out the window and observed a male, black subject approximately 16 to 20 years old, 5’9" to 6 feet, wearing a red jacket and a light gray hooded sweatshirt.  He stated that he did not answer the door because he did not know the subject and assumed he was trying to sell something or offer a service. 

Approximately 2 to 3 minutes later, he heard a door open, and someone entered the residence. Believing it was his wife, he went to the door to greet her. 

As he walked through the residence, he observed the same subject from the front door inside the family room of his residence without his permission.  He stated that the subject had the hood from the hooded sweat shirt up over his head in an apparent attempt to conceal his identity.

The subject observed the resident and fled on foot.  The resident called 911.

Officer Butler responded to the call from Gold Street at approximately 4:45 p.m.  The suspect was last seen running eastbound toward Downtown Park Forest.  Chief Fleming also responded to the residence.  Commander Dunnagan and Officers Schulman, Houcek, and Kush responded to the area to search for the offender.

Officer Butler began to search the Hemlock, Lester, and Leims area for the offender.  While searching, he noticed a juvenile matching the description walking through a parking lot.  Officer Butler recognized the juvenile from calls for service in previous years.  When asked where he was coming from, the juvenile related that he was going to see some friends, but decided against that and instead decided to visit some other friends in the co-ops.

The juvenile was detained for the purpose of a show-up.  Chief Fleming arrived with the victim, but the victim could not positively identify the juvenile as the person he had observed in his house. 

Officer Butler went behind the businesses west of Downtown Park Forest to check the dumpsters for evidence.  He located a red jacket inside one of the dumpsters behind a business.  The jacket was the only clothing item in the dumpster and was on top of several flattened cardboard boxes.  Officer Kush and Commander Dunnagan responded to the location.  The jacket, a red letterman’s style with “Indians” written across the front, was recovered and taken to the victim’s residence, where it was positively identified as the jacket worn by the offender.  Officer Butler was later able to confirm that the juvenile he had detained wore a similar jacket earlier in the day.  Officer Butler returned to the co-op area to search for the juvenile.  While in that area, a call for service was dispatched for a house in the 0 – 100 block of Sauk Trail for a burglary in progress.  Officer Butler responded.

A resident reported hearing someone knock on his front door, and seconds later, hearing glass breaking at his back door.

Officer Butler parked his squad car in Apple court, and walked through the adjacent backyard to the rear of the residence on Sauk Trail.  It did not appear as though entry had been gained, according to the report, so Officer Butler went to the front of the residence to search for the offender(s) in that area.  Officer Butler observed a juvenile pacing back and forth in the front yard just west of the home where the report had come from.  Officer Butler recognized the subject as a juvenile who was a suspect in the residential burglary on Gold Street.

In a statement given to police, the juvenile allegedly said he "wanted to get some money."  He said he went into one house and ran out after a man saw him.  He said he threw his jacket in a dumpster and walked toward the co-ops.  He reported that, after being stopped the first time by Officer Butler, he tried to get into another house, but couldn’t get in.  According to his statement, he then went to the house on Sauk Trail, and broke a window on the back door.  He left before trying to go in.  It was then that Officer Butler walked up and arrested him.

The juvenile was processed.  Charges are pending review and petitioning by the Juvenile Division.