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For a Chicago man, facing a burglary charge after he was found with a watch stolen on Christmas in Flossmoor, it was hardly a silent night.

Nor was it merry and bright.

Darien Hardmon

Darien Hardmon, 20, of the 7200 block of Langley Avenue, was charged with residential burglary, a felony, after a Michael Kors watch in his possession was reported stolen from a house in the 2300 block of Flossmoor Road, Deputy Chief Tod Kamleiter said Tuesday. The burglary was reported while Hardmon was at the Flossmoor police station being processed for possession of cannabis, Kamleiter said.

Hardmon may be linked to two other burglaries that took place in Flossmoor last week, Kamleiter said. Evidence is being examined that could implicate him in the previous burglaries.

On Dec. 25, acting on a tip from an alert homeowner, officers stopped Hardmon as he walked in the vicinity of Flossmoor Road and Travers Lane at 8:52 p.m. The resident reported a suspicious young man who knocked on her door, looked around, walked back to the roadway and then came back on the doorstep to knock one more time.

When officers arrived, they saw Hardmon walking northbound on Travers. They asked who he was and what he was doing.

According to a police report, the young man identified himself as Johntha Roberts Hardmon. He said he was from Iowa, was visiting relatives in Chicago and was lost. He told officers that he had no driver’s license or any other identification.

Officers said Hardmon was carrying a small bag of cannabis. They also found the Michael Kors watch, which was in his pocket.

Hardmon told the officers that his mother had dropped him off at a Christmas party at his grandparents’ house in the 1200 block of Oakmont Avenue in Flossmoor. He reportedly told police the watch was a gift from his grandfather, that he was walking to the Homewood train station and had knocked on a door on Flossmoor Road for directions.

The officers pointed out in the police report that Oakmont is west of the Metra tracks and the spot where Hardmon was stopped is east of them. Hardmon would have walked under the Flossmoor Metra station to get from one side of town to the other.

The officers took Hardmon to the station to process him for possession of cannabis, a local ordinance violation. At the station, officers called his grandparents, who said his name was Darien Hardmon, not the name he had given to officers. His grandmother said he was supposed to come for Christmas dinner but never showed up. His grandfather said he knew nothing of a Michael Kors watch, the report states.

His grandparents also said Hardmon had lived with them for three years, up until his sophomore year in high school.

Meanwhile, a homeowner in the 2300 block of Flossmoor Road called police to report that when he returned home shortly after 10 p.m., he discovered the break-in. He told police that two Apple MacBooks were stolen along with a backpack and a Michael Kors watch, valued at about $250. Police said the door to the house had been forced open.

Shortly after investigating that burglary, the officers noticed a vehicle – a red Chrysler 300 with temporary plates and oversized rims – parked in the 1100 block of Travers. Police said it matched a vehicle  seen in the vicinity of last week’s burglaries. They found a backpack in the car that contained two Apple notebook computers and had the car towed.

Hardmon is being held without bond in Cook County Jail. Kamleiter said he may also face charges related to out-of-state warrants.

Two residential burglaries were reported Dec. 21, Flossmoor police said. They took place between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. in the 2300 block of Golfview Lane and the 1800 block of Heather Hill Court. In both instances, doors had been forced open, Kamleiter said.

After the burglaries, Flossmoor police sent out an email alert to residents, which included details of the crimes and asked residents to report any suspicious activity. The H-F Chronicle also ran a story on the burglaries.

Kamleiter said Hardmon’s arrest is due to a combination of good police work and citizen involvement.

“The resident who called us said she had seen our email,” Kamleiter said. “When citizens provide this kind of information, it helps us do our job and keep the community safe.”

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