Burglary crew pulls man from car and beats him, Wilmette police say
A group of individuals reportedly dragged a Wilmette man from his car and beat and robbed him early Friday morning in northwest Wilmette.
The Wilmette Police Department issued a crime alert Saturday, Sept. 17, detailing the incident, in which a man sitting in his car in the 3400 block of Riverside Drive at 1 a.m. was ambushed by “several subjects” who attempted to take a bag containing his wallet and keys.
The man told police that after he was pulled from his car multiple subjects kicked him in the back, face and torso trying to get his belongings, according to Wilmette Deputy Police Patrick Collins. He escaped and fled on foot, police say, but the subjects reportedly stole a backpack from the vehicle.
The incident may be related to a series of car burglaries in the early hours of Friday, Sept. 16, in Wilmette and Northfield. Collins said the victim provided a description of offending vehicles that matched those believed to be involved in car burglaries in Northfield that morning. The victim also reportedly told police the offenders were in full face masks and he believed they were young.
According to the crime alert, while assisting Northfield police with car burglaries near Lagoon Drive and Sunset Road at 1:23 a.m., Wilmette police saw individuals they believed were suspects and notified area authorities about the fleeing cars, which were reported stolen from other communities.
Wilmette police discovered burglaries to unlocked cars in the 3500 block of Illinois Road and 1100 block of Manor Drive. Later in the day, at least four residents reported overnight auto burglaries. They reportedly occurred in the 3500 block of Elmwood Drive, the 2600 block of Wilmette Avenue, the 400 block of Highcrest Drive and the 400 block of Brookside.
At 6:30 p.m. Friday, the Wilmette man reported that he was dragged from his car and robbed around the same time in the 3400 block of Riverside Drive.
Collins said burglary crews often utilize one or more cars and drive around searching for unlocked and unsecure vehicles. He urged residents to be aware of suspicious activity late at night, such as car doors closing and individuals attempting to open car doors. He also stressed that residents should not try to confront these individuals, as they are often armed.
“Many of these offenders are believed to be armed. If you witness suspicious activity, do not confront these individuals and contact 9-1-1 immediately,” the crime alert says. “Residents are reminded to lock your cars and take your keys and car FOBs with you.”
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Joe Coughlin is a co-founder and the editor in chief of The Record. He leads investigative reporting and reports on anything else needed. Joe has been recognized for his investigative reporting and sports reporting, feature writing and photojournalism. Follow Joe on Twitter @joec2319