Oak Lawn Police are investigating a rash of burglaries that have occurred in the village, including one home where a sword was found wedged in a safe where guns were stored.
Five burglaries have happened since Jan. 1 where either the front or rear door of the home has been forced in, according to an Everbridge alert sent to residents last week.
The areas where the breakins occurred are 89th Street and Menard Avenue; 88th Street and Mayfield Avenue; 99th Street and Marion Avenue; 107th Street and Keeler Avenue; and 103rd Street and Keeler Avenue.
Police said that sometimes the burglars will knock on doors to see if anyone is in the home. If the door is answered, they make up a name pretending they are looking for someone.
At 1:33 p.m. Jan. 30, police responded to a security alarm triggered in a residence in the 10300 block of South Keeler Ave. Due to the heavy police response at Oak Lawn’s two public middle schools, Hometown Police were called in to assist.
The Hometown police officer was the first to arrive on the scene. Police said the front door had been forced in and officers checked the inside of the house.
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While searching the home, police encountered a locked bedroom door. Officers broke down the door to ensure that nobody was hiding inside.
Further investigation revealed that the area around the front door lock had reportedly been hit with a hammer. Police said it did not appear that anything in the house had been disturbed.
The homeowner arrived on the scene and confirmed that nothing had been taken. There are no witnesses or suspects.
It still has not been determined if the 911 call about the intruder in the middle school was a ruse to keep police busy while the burglary was in progress.
In another case, a homeowner discovered that his home in the 4200 block of West 107th Street had been robbed sometime before 2:56 p.m. Jan. 28.
Police said the homeowner came home and was in his living room when he noticed that his rear door had been pried open.
The burglar went through various bedrooms, helping themselves to jewelry, cash and video games.
A set of shoe impressions in the snow led into the backyard and over the chain link fence, into a yard in the 10700 block of South Tripp Court, then jumped another fence in a yard in the 10700 block of South Keeler Avenue.
Neighbors told police they did not see anyone suspicious.
Earlier in the day, around 12:07 p.m., police responded to a report of a suspicious vehicle in the 4300 block of West 108th Place that could possibly be related to the 107th Street burglary.
According to reports, the caller reported three male blacks in their early 20s with dreads parked in brown PT Cruiser in front of his house.
One of the men got out and started walking toward the house, but when he saw the caller’s daughter in the window, he ran back into the car. The PT Cruiser took off southbound on Kostner Avenue.
The caller advised that the car drove up and down 108th place until it stopped in front of his house.
A man waited a few hours before reporting a burglary that occurred in his home in the 5900 block of West 88th Street sometime before 7:30 p.m. Jan. 24.
Police said the homeowner came home and discovered that his rear door had been kicked in and wet shoe impressions throughout his home.
Asked why he didn’t report the burglary immediately, the man said he cleared the house first before bringing his children inside. He put away his groceries and sat down to eat.
The man advised that he has been burgled before, including a home invasion last July.
Police discovered a sword wedged into the door of safe where the homeowner stores his guns. Other rooms had been rifled through. The attic door was pulled down, but the only thing police found up there was insulation.
The burglars walked off with a guitar and jewelry. The homeowner thinks that his ex-wife may be involved.
Oak Lawn Police ask residents to call 911 to report suspicious persons or vehicles in their neighborhood.