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Oak Park Crime Briefs: Armed Robbery, Theft at PADS Shelter and Hatch School

Cash, cell phone and laptops taken in three separate incidents.

Oak Park police are continuing their search for suspects who are connected with two unrelated crimes that took place this week and in February.

Armed Robbery

Four people were involved in the March 21 armed robbery of a 29-year-old from Villa Park, who was threatened with a gun after complaining that $580 given to him for an iPhone that he advertised for sale on Craigslist was counterfeit.

The victim told police he made arrangements to meet a potential buyer in the lot of Wendy’s, 11 N. Harlem Avenue, and at nearly 10 p.m., the possible buyer arrived in a gold mini-van, which bore a temporary registration permit.

The victim got the money after handing over the phone but noticed that the cash did not feel or look real. He complained and a passenger in the van displayed a handgun and told him to back away. The suspects, all in their late teens to early 20s, drove off southbound on Harlem Avenue.

The restaurant was open at the time of the incident.

Theft at PADS Shelter

Police are also looking for a person who stole $80 from the purse of a volunteer at the West Suburban PADS shelter site at , 924 Lake St., sometime between March 21 and March 22. The purse was located in an open office, police said.

Nancy Ford, director of development and communications at PADS, said she hasn't heard of anything like that happening in her years with the organization. Ford said security is determined by each site. Efforts to speak with an official at Grace were unsuccessful.

Arrests Closer in Laptop Thefts?

The arrest of a 14-year-old Oak Park teen has given police more clues into who may have been responsible for the theft of $6,000 worth of laptop computers from , 1000 N. Ridgeland Ave., in early February.

The youngster was charged with criminal trespass to state supported land after he was identified as being one of four youths seen running away from the school on Feb. 6, after items were taken from the media center, police said.

A child care program was taking place at the school at the time, police said, and at least one employee saw a young man walk down a staircase with a backpack and then flee the scene.

The 14-year-old, who was apprehended while walking in the 800 block of Lake Street, told police that although he was at the scene he did not steal the laptops. He did provide information about the other suspects, police said.

The youth was turned over to a parent, police said.

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