With the arrest of two men last weekend, Flossmoor police say they may have solved a string of burglaries from unlocked parked cars.
More than a dozen car burglaries were reported to Flossmoor police in the last two weeks. Seven burglaries were reported on Sept. 30 and six were reported on Oct. 8, Deputy Police Tod Kamleiter said.
At least one burglary was reported in Homewood.
Following the arrest of the two men, police have recovered several items stolen from the vehicles, including a handgun and laptop computer, Kamleiter said.
On Oct. 10, police charged the two men, both 22, with four counts of felony burglary to a motor vehicle.
Kyle Johnson, of the 18800 block of Morgan Street in Homewood, and Jamaree A. Graham, of the 10000 block of Peoria Avenue in Chicago, appeared in court in Markham Wednesday, a spokesman for the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office said. A judge set a $55,000 bond for both Johnson and Graham.
According to a Flossmoor police report, Graham was arrested following an attempted car break-in on the 2000 block of Cummings Lane at 4:35 a.m. on Oct. 7. A homeowner called police after the alarm on his vehicle went off. The man’s son said he saw someone running away from the car.
Police found a man, later identified as Graham, walking westbound on Cummings. He told police he had no identification. When police did a computer check of his name, they found he had been arrested for burglary in August. Police said Graham emptied his pockets and turned over a switchblade knife and a pair of brass knuckles. Both are illegal and police arrested Graham for unlawful use of a weapon.
Graham remained in police custody for the next two days, the report says. Speaking to police on the afternoon of Oct. 8, Graham said he’d been at Johnson’s house and, at about 2 a.m., they decided to “hit cars” – to check vehicle doors to see if they’re unlocked and then look for valuables inside, the report says.
They went first to the 18500 block of Gottschalk Avenue in Homewood where they allegedly broke into one car, the report says. Kamleiter said Homewood police reported that a Walmart gift card was stolen from that vehicle. It was recovered following Graham’s arrest.
They then drove to the area of Flossmoor just west of Dixie Highway. According to police, Graham said he checked car doors while Johnson acted as a lookout. When the car alarm on Cummings went off, they both ran away, police said.
After his arrest on Oct. 8, Johnson also reportedly told police that he’d been with Graham during the burglaries. He said they’d taken items from car burglaries to two addresses in Glenwood, the report said.
Kamleiter said police checked both addresses – friends of Johnson and Graham live there – and recovered a number of items, including the handgun, taken from Flossmoor, and the laptop, reported stolen from Homewood. Kamleiter said the friends were apparently not aware that the stolen merchandise was in their homes.
Kamleiter said homeowners need to be more careful with their property, and should always lock their cars.
“Every one of these vehicles was unlocked,” he said. “We’ve been stressing for a long time that it’s important to keep your car doors locked. This shows what can happen.”