Condo owners thwarted a Chicago man found in possession of burglary tools when they saw him and another man in the condominium building's parking lot trying to open car doors, reports said.
Joseph Robinson, 19, of Merrionette Park, was charged with two felony counts of burglary and attempted burglary.
Police searched for the second man without success.
Oak Lawn police responded to a report of two male subjects trying to open car doors in a parking lot of a condominium building in the 10300 block of South Austin Ave. around 9:03 p.m. Oct. 10.
When police arrived on the scene, they saw a man identified as Robinson walking away from the property and another man walking behind pointing at him, according to the report.
Officers stopped Robinson who was carrying a backpack, police said. The man following him identified himself as the caller and a resident of the condo building.
The caller told police he was inside his condo when he heard noises in the parking garage beneath his unit. He turned on his surveillance camera and observed two men wearing hoods trying to open car doors in the garage, police said.
The resident called 911 and continued watching. Police said he could see both men move toward the southwest corner of the garage on camera. The resident/caller then saw Robinson allegedly run to a white Lincoln parked in a corner near the hallway entrance in an attempt to hide out of the sight.
According to police, Robinson may have been startled by another building resident entering the hallway. The resident did not recognize Robinson and asked what he was doing there.
Robinson told the resident he was there to visit the mother, reports said. The resident told police she knew Robinson because she knew everyone who lived in the building, reports said.
Police said that Robinson entered the hallway of the building and walked upstairs. The caller was outside of his apartment and followed Robinson to the front door, who then left the building.
Officers search Robinson and found a red and black flat head screwdriver, a stiletto folding knife with a pearl handle, and two padlocks on his person. A further search of the backpack revealed latex gloves, a flashlight, and a folding hex key tool, reports said.
Robinson allegedly told officers he was there to visit a friend he had met at the Wolf Wildlife Refuge basketball court two days before.
He did not know the friend’s last name or which apartment he lived in, police said. Robinson was asked to call his friend and he said he couldn’t because his phone was turned off. He was unable to tell police what he and his friend had plans to do that evening, reports said.
The caller and resident could only describe the second man as shorter and stockier than Robinson, wearing a black hoodie, dark hat on backwards and dark basketball shorts, police said.
After the caller followed Robinson into the hallway, the second man emerged from the building’s north side and was last seen going into the middle hallway, where he may have possibly left through another part of the building.
The resident was able to identify the two padlocks found in Robinson’s possession which were kept unsecured on the private storage lockers, police said.
Both men were believed to have entered the garage through the overhead door as another resident was leaving in her car, police said.
Robinson was taken into custody and taken to the Oak Lawn police station. There, he allegedly told police he was waiting for his friend who had gone upstairs to get a pack of cigarettes from his “MI,” which means “baby mommy,” police said.
Felony charges for attempted burglary and possession of burglary tools were approved by the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office.
Police also discovered that Robinson had another unspecified conviction in Will County, but there was no information about probation, if any, reports said.
Robinson is currently being held in the Cook County Jail on $50,000 bail. His next court appearance is on Oct. 31.