Archive for the ‘Crime’ Category


Christopher Castillo

A Carpentersville man is facing an animal cruelty charge after his family’s dog was found fatally stabbed in a forest preserve near Barrington Hills.

Christopher Castillo, 23, was charged last month with one count of aggravated animal cruelty, authorities said.

Kane County Forest Preserve Police Chief Mike Gilloffo said the charge stems from a March 25 incident.

Castillo told his parents he was taking the dog for a walk around 4:30 a.m., authorities said. When he did not return by 8 a.m., they reported him missing.

Gilloffo said the family found Castillo’s car, a piece of clothing and the wounded dog in the parking lot of Helm Woods Forest Preserve. One of the family members, assuming the dog was dead, took the animal home.

Police ended up taking the dog to a veterinary hospital, but it ultimately died, Gilloffo said.

Read more here.

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Police are outside a residence in the 300 block of Old Sutton Road in Barrington Hills on March 9, 2020, where 28-year-old Chicago man Sean Patton was shot and killed days before. (Kaitlin Edquist / Pioneer Press)

As the one-year anniversary approaches for a deadly shooting at a Barrington Hills party where a Chicago man was killed and others were struck by gunfire, police say their investigation has been impeded and there have been no arrests.

According to authorities, Barrington Hills police responded to a call of shots fired in the 300 block of Old Sutton Road just after 3 a.m. March 7, 2020. The shooting took place at a party being held in a 6,000-square-foot house on the block that had been listed on the Airbnb website. Upon arriving, police found several people wounded from gunfire and discovered the body of a 28-year-old man identified as Sean Patton Jr.

Since that time, police have made no arrests in connection with the incident.

Barrington Hills police spokesman William Walsh told Pioneer Press earlier this month that the investigation has been stymied due to a lack of cooperation among potential witnesses.

“We’ve spoken to a lot of people who were there, and everyone says they didn’t see anything or they can’t remember anything,” said Walsh.

At this point, Walsh said, police have pursued apparent available leads, and have been left in the position of having to wait for a break that could lead to new avenues to investigate or an arrest.

Read more here.

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Indian Lakes Hotel, Bloomingdale

Village leaders in Bloomingdale may well be wondering what they could have or should have done to avoid the weekend mayhem that resulted in multiple shootings and one death at the Indian Lakes Hotel.

And they’re wise to examine their practices and polices — and for reacting decisively regarding what Public Safety Director Frank Giammarese described as the scene of a “drastic spike in crime” in recent years.

But they certainly cannot be faulted as having done nothing. They’ve pressed for years, by the hotel’s owners’ own description, to try to “ensure the safety and security of all guests and associates of the hotel.” And as recently as last December, they imposed fees and restrictions on short-term rental properties — including a minimum 30-day stay — following a shooting in neighboring Roselle over the summer in which one person died and six were hurt.

A short-term home rental is no hotel, of course, and the very nature of a hotel or motel complicates the actions a community can take to fend off problems from large parties. Indeed, for weddings, birthday celebrations, conventions and all manner of public events, hotels and banquet halls are important community centers.

The point is that, even so, Bloomingdale has not been blind to the potential for trouble when large gatherings occur. Nor have many other suburbs. In 2016, Lake Barrington passed an ordinance prohibiting rentals of less than three months following a shooting at a rental property in the village. Barrington Hills already had a zoning law in place outlawing parties like the one that led to a fatal shooting there last April. Naperville imposed a short-term rental ban last August, and Roselle imposed strict regulations governing short-term rentals following the fatal shooting at a short-term rental. Even Airbnb itself has announced a global ban restricting rentals to occupancy of no more than 16 people.

Continue reading the Daily Herald editorial here.

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State officials have said the rise in unemployment fraud is likely due to large corporate data breaches, such as one in 2017 involving Equifax that exposed the personal data of millions of people.”

State and federal officials are encouraging Illinoisans to stay vigilant as reports of unemployment insurance fraud swell.

From the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, fraudulent claims have been an issue as a record number of Illinois residents file for benefits and Congress provides additional jobless aid. Illinois has stopped more than 350,000 fraudulent claims since March 1, according to the state’s Department of Employment Security.

Reports of fraud have been so widespread — often inundating local police departments — that the FBI, IRS and several state agencies launched a task force to tackle the problem.

The Illinois Attorney General’s office has received more than 1,400 complaints since June from people who allege someone else filed an unemployment insurance claim in their name, spokeswoman Tori Joseph said.

Here’s what to be on the lookout for and what steps to take.

  • How do I know if I’m a victim of fraud?
  • Why did I receive a debit card?
  • What steps should I take to protect myself?
  • How do I avoid becoming a victim of fraud?
  • Am I responsible for funds paid to fraudsters?
  • What if I need to file for benefits?

Read the answers to these question in the Chicago Tribune here.

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“The Winnetka Police Department received 214 reports from residents during the past six months whose personal information was used for fraudulent unemployment claims, Winnetka Police Chief Marc Hornstein said.”

River Forest resident Joe Marrazzo phoned his local police department this week to file a report, but even before he had a chance to explain his problem, the dispatcher swiftly interjected: “Is this about a fraudulent unemployment benefits claim?”

“I was already on the lookout when this happened to me, because it had already happened to my mother and brother,” said Marrazzo, 49, a video editor who is among the more than 350,000 individuals across Illinois whose personal identities have been used for fraudulent unemployment claims in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“What’s really crazy is, this is happening to everyone, so why have we not heard more about this?” Marrazzo added.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, suburban Chicago law enforcement officials say their departments have been bombarded with surging numbers of fraudulent unemployment benefit reports. At times, they are fielding dozens of nearly identical calls from frustrated residents in a single day. In some suburbs, the number of reports taken since March now stands in the hundreds.

In most cases, the target discovers the scam when their employer alerts them that a claim has been filed in their name despite still being employed. A letter then arrives from the state detailing the unemployment benefits, and often times, a debit card is included in the mailing.

The investigation into the spiraling number of fraudulent claims is being handled by the Illinois Department of Employment Security, a state agency already overwhelmed by a record number of legitimate unemployment compensation claims filed by workers who have lost their jobs during the pandemic.

If this has happened to you, read on hereTo report unemployment insurance identity theft fraud, click.

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John H. Breseman | Cook County sheriff’s office

A 50-year-old Barrington man was ordered held without bail Sunday while awaiting trial on a first-degree murder charge in the New Year’s Day slaying of his longtime girlfriend.

John H. Breseman is charged with fatally shooting Christina Czuj, 54, during a confrontation in his vehicle while on the ramp from I-90 westbound to Barrington Road in South Barrington.

The Sleepy Hollow woman was found dead in the vehicle at about 1:34 a.m. Friday at Barrington and Palatine roads in Barrington Hills, where police had been called on a report of a shooting. She had suffered gunshot wounds to the back of her head and near her collarbone, authorities said Sunday.

According to state police, a preliminary investigation showed that a man later identified as Breseman placed an emergency call early Friday admitting to shooting his passenger, Czuj. Cook County prosecutors said in court Sunday that Breseman also called his adult son and a former girlfriend after the shooting and made incriminating statements, then later told police “I killed the woman I love.”

A prosecutor said Sunday that Breseman and Czuj dated for about two years, but recent text messages and emails between the two indicated problems in their relationship.

Read more here.

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The woman was gunned down about 1:15 a.m. on the ramp from westbound I-90 to Barrington Road, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office.

A 54-year-old woman was shot to death Jan. 1, 2020, in Palatine.

A 54-year-old woman was fatally shot Friday on an exit ramp on Interstate 90 in northwest suburban Palatine.

The woman was gunned down about 1:15 a.m. on the ramp from westbound I-90 to Barrington Road, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office. She was pronounced dead about 15 minutes later.

Read more here.

Related:Sleepy Hollow woman killed in shooting near Barrington Hills,” “Police investigating report of a woman passenger shot dead in a pickup truck on Palatine Rd near Barrington Rd, Inverness

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Illinois State Police are investigating a shooting early Friday that resulted in the death of a 54-year old Sleepy Hollow woman in a vehicle in Barrington Hills.

Local police and rescue personnel, responding to a report of shots fired shortly after 1 a.m. Friday, found the woman, identified by state police as Christina Czuj, in a vehicle on Palatine Road just east of Barrington Road. The area is on the border of Barrington Hills and Inverness.

District 15 troopers, who patrol tollways in Northern Illinois, responded and assumed control of the investigation, according to state police Sgt. Christopher “Joey” Watson.

The report location was listed as being on the ramp from I-90 westbound to Barrington Road, but Watson did not elaborate.

According to Barrington Hills police, the case originated in the tollway’s jurisdiction and was immediately turned over to state police.

Read more here.

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Fatal shooting investigation in Chevy Silverado on westbound Palatine Road east of Barrington Road near Inverness.

Multiple police agencies and firefighters and paramedics from Barrington-Countryside Fire Protection District responded about 1:15 a.m. Friday, January 1, 2021 to a report that a female passenger was shot at Palatine Road and Barrington Road near Inverness and Barrington Township.

A male called 9-1-1 saying he had an argument with a 54 year-old female passenger in a silver Chevy Silverado pickup truck and that a female passenger was shot twice.

Police arrived within about five minutes and determined the scene was secure. Firefighters and paramedics from Barrington-Countryside Fire Protection District confirmed a person dead at the scene. The Chevrolet Silverado was facing westbound on Palatine Road near the shoulder.

Police officers and/or state troopers from Barrington Hills, Hoffman Estates, the Illinois State Police, and Inverness were immediately at the scene.

Initially there was no confirmation whether the actual shooting occurred in the proximity of the location where the Chevy Silverado was stopped. An on-scene investigation continued from the time of the report of the shooting at 1:15 a.m. beyond 8:15 a.m.

Read more here.

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“The Barrington Hills Police Department is investigating a ruse burglary which occurred yesterday at a residence on Route 62 east of Route 25. In this incident, the resident was contacted by a subject at her front door claiming to be with Commonwealth Edison and explaining that he needed to test the water.

Residents should be extremely wary of all unexpected visitors, especially those purporting to be contractors, utility workers, or new neighbors and attempting to enter a home or draw attention or residents away from the home. Regardless how credible a story may sound or how genuine a person may seem, never let a stranger in your home or allow them to draw you outside your home. Residents are strongly encouraged to call 911 to report any suspicious activity or for police assistance in determining the authenticity of an uninvited visitor. Victims often tell officers that despite feeling that a situation felt off, they didn’t call out of concern of being bothersome.

Should that ever be the case, please do bother us – we are here to help!”

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