Numerous break-ins occur across Libertyville


Claire Salemi

In the past four months, many car break-ins have occurred, some being reported via Libertyville Facebook groups. In August, a Libertyville ice cream shop was robbed as well, by a man in a green morph suit.

A string of recent break-ins throughout the past few months has caused concern for Libertyville citizens and police alike. From parked cars to an old ice cream shop, crimes of this type have been reported relatively frequently to local police.

Kiley Nolan, a junior, witnessed the aftermath of a car break-in that happened on her street from her bedroom window early on September 18: “It was about 2:45 in the morning,” she recalled. “At first my dad woke up … to flashing lights right outside our street and then he looked outside and there were police everywhere and police dogs.”

Remembering the vivid details of that night, Nolan went on to say that “in Libertyville, you don’t really think that many bad things are going to happen because it’s such a nice community and a nice area, so it’s obviously scary. I was nervous because I woke up and my parents were locking my window, and I didn’t really know what was happening.”

Senior Zach El Ghatit has been personally affected by a break-in much like the one Nolan observed. On the morning of September 8th, he discovered that his soccer bag and garage door opener were missing from his car, which was parked and unlocked on his driveway.

When he called to file a police report, El Ghatit was informed that many of these kinds of crimes are committed by “inner-city kids who drive up during the night to the suburbs where they know people leave their cars unlocked and they take [what is in] them there,” he described, recollecting the phone call.

School Resource Officer Dusan Racic affirmed this. He explained that they “were part of what [the police] refer to as an ‘organized crew’ that bounced from town to town and partook in … ‘car-hopping.’” These groups scope out unlocked cars by shaking the doors and then, if they’re successful, proceed to snatch items like “GPS devices, spare change … anything that really can’t be traced,” Officer Racic added.

For El Ghatit, the events took a positive turn: “My mom just got a call one day from the Libertyville Police Department and they were like, ‘Oh, we have your son’s soccer bag on the side of the road,’” he said with a smile.

While he was lucky enough to have gotten his missing belongings back, not every situation has ended this well. Dairy Dream, a local ice cream shop, fell victim to thievery in late August. According to an article in the Daily Herald, an intruder wearing a green morph suit “jimmied the back door and removed two safes containing an undisclosed amount of rolled coins and cash, with one safe weighing about 20 pounds and the other about 100 pounds.”

Manager at Dairy Dream and LHS senior Kylee Kraus reflected on the event over email: “It just felt like a big shock … it gives me chills knowing I am standing where the robber could’ve stood.” She expanded, “There also was a new mark on the floor, which kinda creeps me out.”

Overall, Kraus said that work life is “mostly normal,” but that they’re being extra careful to lock doors and windows at the shop. She suggested that community members take similar precautions to keep themselves safe.

In regards to the public, Officer Racic has some similar advice to give. Over email, he recommended that community members “keep vigilant and report things to the police you deem suspicious … [and to] keep your vehicles and homes secure at all times.”