Suburboddity: Crime comes to the commode
Updated: October 24, 2012 10:11PM
Suburboddity is tales of stupid criminals, strange crimes, odd news and otherwise silly stories from around the area.
RIVER FOREST, JULY 2 — Shortly before noon, a flush valve was stolen from a men’s room toilet at the McDonald’s, 624 Harlem Ave. At 1 p.m., another Harlem Avenue business a short distance away, in Oak Park, reported the loss of a flush valve and a chrome-plated 10-inch pipe, which will cost $500 to replace. A wave of similar thefts has flowed through the public bathrooms of America in recent weeks, as word spreads that under the chrome is valuable brass. Sometimes the water is turned off first, and sometimes not. Some police officials suspect sales to plumbers, some suspect the brass is being sold for scrap, and some think it could go either way. There have been scattered reports of flush valve thefts since 2007, when Florida cops arrested several suspects, and recovered scrap-metal receipts.
When savesies goes terribly wrong
NORRIDGE, JUNE 30 — A Norridge man, 47, annoyed that a woman had settled into a chair he’d staked out at the Norridge Park District pool, knocked her off of it. Police charged him with battery.
The heat is on
BUFFALO GROVE, JULY 5 — A resident of the 2400 block of Chambourd Drive opened the door to a magazine-subscription solicitor who didn’t try to sell her anything. On the hottest July 5 in history, he just asked for a drink of water. The resident refused and called the police.
Why men don’t ask for directions
GLENCOE, JULY 6 — Early in the morning, a woman, seemingly intoxicated, asked the Glencoe Police dispatcher how to get to Carpentersville. She said she had been a passenger in a car, seeking that village, for two hours, and the car was almost out of gas. The dispatcher told her the way, and then called patrol officers to look for her as she left. They found her, and then her friend, a Huntley man, 34, reportedly asleep behind the wheel of the car. Upon awakening, he was charged with DUI and having open alcohol in a car.
Two hearts that beat each other as one
OAK PARK, JULY 7 — A Chicago man and his Oak Park girlfriend were both arrested; he for battering her, she for dousing him with boiling water. It was unclear which came first.
Girls just want to have fun
BUFFALO GROVE, JULY 8 — A resident of the 900 block of Burgess Circle told police that in the early-morning hours, he picked up a young woman in a bar and brought her home. Sometime between 5 and 8 a.m., she stole his iPhone, tablet computer, wallet and three watches, then used his credit cards to make $441 in purchases.
Illinois state senator free on bail
WAUKEGAN, JULY 1 — State Sen. Suzi Schmidt, R-31st, pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor vandalism and trespassing charges stemming from a dispute with a neighbor family.
At an earlier hearing, a Lake County judge modified an anti-stalking, no-contact order, allowing her to move back into her home outside Lake Villa.
The neighbors had obtained the order to bar Schmidt from coming within 500 feet of their property, after she allegedly harassed them for more than a year with phone calls, emails and texts. She still has to keep away from them.
The family — who prosecutors said didn’t object to Schmidt returning home — had contended that Schmidt at one point told their 7-year-old son his mother was having an affair with Schmidt’s estranged husband.
Schmidt’s attorney described the neighbors’ claims as exaggerations and fabrications.
The purported harassment began Christmas Day 2010 — the same day Schmidt was heard on a 911 call asking police to disregard any calls from her husband, Robert, about a domestic problem. Schmidt locked her husband out of their house that day during a quarrel, authorities have said.
She was not arrested then because authorities determined no laws were broken, but she soon announced she would not run for re-election and would seek counseling.
Her husband, meanwhile, filed for divorce.
Fool me twice
GLENVIEW, JUNE 28 — A woman, penitently returning stolen merchandise to a store in The Glen, stole $480 worth of stuff on the way out.
Should have restored the lock
FRANKLIN PARK, JULY 2 — A 1960s Sears bicycle that had recently been restored was stolen from an unsecured garage on the 3000 block of Emerson Street.
Clifford the Big Red Dog has it bad
RIVER FOREST, JUNE 25 —$6,000 worth of flea and tick treatment was stolen from Petco, 7265 Lake St. Security tapes showed two middle-aged men and a middle-aged woman committing the crime. Other Petco stores have apparently been hit by the same crew.
Fighting fire with fire
BUFFALO GROVE, JUNE 26 — An angry Honda driver flicked a lit cigarette through the window of a Nissan, at the intersection of Buffalo Grove Road and Old Oak Drive. The Nissan driver hurled back a lighter, hitting the other driver in the mouth.
Somebody called the cops, but no one pressed charges.
Sometimes opportunity knocks, sometimes it kills the lights
NORTHFIELD, JULY 7 — After a 15-minute power outage, a patron of Dominicks Finer Foods, 1822 Willow Road, found her wallet missing. A store employee later found it, sans cash.
Don’t hire ex-cons; they can do without jobs
EVANSTON, JULY 13 — Several Second Ward residents expressed outrage with the possible arrival at Dempster and Dodge of Felony Franks, a hot dog emporium that uses jailhouse expressions to describe sandwiches, and ex-cons as employees.
World’s Fakiest Newspaper
DEERFIELD, JULY 14 — Already stung by false-bylined stories, the Chicago Tribune had new trouble from its outsourced-news contractor. Journatic was caught supplying a story to TribLocal, with a quote plagiarized from the Deerfield Review, which printed it. Another quote was made up. Journatic’s services were suspended.
BUFFALO GROVE, JUNE 26 — Four guys walking out of Wendy’s, 300 Half Day Road, knocked over some chairs for fun on their way out. Another young man told them off. So they knocked him over, too.