Criminals continue to target Hinsdale

Arrests made in Oak Brook home burglary that might be connected to cases in the village

Another image of an armed vehicle burglar in Hinsdale caught on surveillance camera has led to increased police patrols and a call for residents to do their part to deter criminal activity.

Overnight burglaries were reported the morning of Nov. 17 to unlocked vehicles in the 800 block of South Thurlow Street and the 300 block of East Sixth Street, according to Hinsdale police.

Police Chief Brian King said home security video from the Sixth Street incident shows one of the offenders holding a firearm while accomplices rifle through the vehicle.

“This is an unsophisticated but prevalent regional crime in which the offenders pull on car door handles to locate vehicles that are unlocked with the key fobs inside,” King said, noting the goal is to steal the vehicle.

The presence of a gun greatly increases the danger factor, he remarked, and it’s becoming more commonplace.

“Unfortunately, the fact that these individuals are frequently armed has also become a prevalent part of the crime pattern,” King said. “This is not the first time we’ve had video of that nature in town.”

Hinsdale is one of several communities experiencing these crimes.

“It’s likely related to several others in the region in the last several weeks,” he stated, adding the offenders tend to frequent communities they know offer easy access to vehicles.

In response, King said his department is putting additional patrols in neighborhoods and on the side streets. He urged residents to help by making it difficult for would-be burglars to achieve their objective.

“We want to discourage this activity as much as possible by making sure residents are locking their cars each and every night and not leaving the fob inside the vehicle,” King said.

And he underscored that residents should never confront an offender.

“Please immediately contact 9-1-1,” King stressed.

He said there seems to be a pattern of overnight criminal activity occurring in town roughly every three or four weeks.

The most recent case of stolen vehicle in Hinsdale was Oct. 27, when an unlocked Bentley with a key fob inside was stolen from a driveway in the 200 block of East Eighth Street.

Alleged home burglars nabbed

Two Chicago men accused of burglarizing an Oak Brook residence, and suspected in several Hinsdale home burglaries, were arrested last week.

According to a statement from DuPage County State’s Attorney Bob Berlin’s office, Peter Miller, 33, of the 6700 block of North Olmsted Avenue, and Michael Miller, 25, of the 3400 block of North Elston Avenue have been charged with one count of residential burglary as part of ongoing investigation into more than two dozen forced-entry residential burglaries to single-family homes in Hinsdale and other communities.

At 6:38 p.m. Nov. 15, Oak Brook police received a call of a suspicious vehicle parked outside a village home. When officers arrived, the vehicle fled the area and led authorities on a high-speed chase on eastbound Interstate 290. An Illinois State Police helicopter tracked the vehicle to a location on 74th Street in Burbank, where the two suspects, along with two unidentified individuals, exited the vehicle. Peter Miller and Michael Miller were taken into custody by Burbank and Bridgeview police.

Berlin said making sure residents’ homes are safe is paramount.

“Residential burglary can have a devastating effect not only on the victim of the crime, but also on the entire community,” Berlin said. “A family’s home is their sanctuary, providing safety and security to all within. Any violation of the protection a home provides will not be tolerated and will be met with the full force and effect of the law.

He praised the collaborative efforts of more than a half dozen law enforcement agencies, including Hinsdale.

King said dusk seems to be the burglars’ prime time as they look for homes that appear vacant.

“The message remains the same: Make your house look lived in by leaving lights on,” he said. “If you’re going to be out of town, ask a trusted neighbor to pick up the newspaper and packages.”

Author Bio

Ken Knutson is associate editor of The Hinsdalean