A man seen prowling down neighbors’ driveways was charged with felony burglary when police found him hiding in a garage, reports said.
Oak Lawn police were called to the 10300 block of South Tripp Avenue around 2:50 p.m. Sept. 16 in response to a “suspicious person.”
According to the report, the caller said she saw a man identified as Pete Johns, 34, walking down her driveway and looking around. She thought he looked “suspicious.”
Police said she went to her side door and asked if could help him. Johns said something about a car for sale. She told him there was no car for sale and watched Johns as he walked down the driveways between her neighbors’ houses. She then called 911, reports said.
After speaking to the witness, police went looking in the neighborhood for a man wearing a baseball cap, white T-shirt and plaid shorts.
The officer said he heard the service to the garage slam shut. As police approached the garage, the large overhead door went up and Johns walked out.
Johns allegedly told police that a man was chasing him so he went into the garage to hide. The homeowner said he didn’t know Johns, who did not have his permission to be in his garage, reports said.
Police said the homeowner showed them two power drills that have been removed from a shelf and placed near a service door.
Johns was placed under arrest. As he was sitting on the driveway, police said the caller came by and positively identified him.
At the Oak Lawn police station, police said Johns signed a waiver and agreed to talk to them. He repeated his story of a man chasing him and hiding in the homeowner’s garage. Johns denied touching the power drills, reports said.
Johns allegedly told police that because he never stole anything, he could only be charged with criminal trespassing.
When the officer explained to Johns that police were contacting the Cook County prosecutor for a possibly felony charge, police said Johns ended the interview by saying, “I don’t want to talk to you anymore.”
A felony was approved for one count of burglary. Johns appeared at a bond hearing on Sept. 17.
His next court appearance is on Oct. 16 at the Bridgeview Courthouse.