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Neighbor Catches Burglar Breaking Into VFW Hall

Police said a good samaritan called them earlier this month when he heard commotion outside the Veterans of Foreign Wars building at 17147 S. Oak Park Ave., in Tinley Park. Sure enough, a burglar was inside.

A man who tried burglarizing the local Veterans of Foreign Wars post earlier this month was scared off by a neighbor who warned him, "I called the police." 

Officers said they combed the adjacent woods and creek in search of the suspect to no avail. He reportedly shattered a window on the northeast side of the VFW Post 2791 building around 3 a.m. on March 17. That's when a neighbor in the 17100 block of Oak Park Avenue heard the commotion, police said.  

"He was sleeping and heard what appeared to be somebody moving garbage cans on the side of the VFW hall," the report said, of the neighbor's account. " … A few moments later, he heard glass shattering." 

When the neighbor looked out, he saw a figure inside the bar area of the business. He also saw the shattered window, police said.  

"(The witness) told me that he shouted, 'Hey! I called the police!'" a officer wrote.

The suspect then ran eastbound through the wooded area that backs up to the hall, the report said. Officers requested search help from , but were told he was unavailable. 

They were able to bring a thermal imaging camera to the scene, which helped them clear the creek bed and tree line, they said. Officers said nothing was reported missing from the hall. 

Surveillance footage shows a man approaching the building from the north around 3:04 a.m., according to the report. He was wearing similar clothing to what the witness described —a dark colored hooded sweatshirt and a knit cap—and is shown repositioning the building's surveillance cameras. 

He is not seen entering the business but police were working Monday to obtain more footage. The case remained under investigation. 

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Carrie Frillman March 27, 2012 at 07:45 PM
I'm really glad the neighbor caught this guy in the act. What other ways do you think businesses and organizations can prevent break ins?
Sheldon Cooper March 28, 2012 at 03:15 AM
I think it would have been better to NOT tell him the police had been called. It might have increased the chances of catching him. (Or, worse yet!!!! What if you told him the cops had been called and he turn out to be some nut who would then try to attack YOU!!!!!!??)
Carrie Frillman March 28, 2012 at 03:22 AM
I thought about that, too, Sheldon. It's hard to say, I guess.

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