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RFPD Case #14-2464

July 11, 2014   


River Forest Police Arrest Self-Admitted Gypsy for Ruse Residential Burglary

On July 8, 2014, Leo Ely, 56-years old of the 8200 block of W. 87th Place in Hickory Hills, was arrested by River Forest Detectives in a joint operation with the Illinois State Policy Gypsy Crime Task Force and the South Barrington Police Department. Ely was wanted for his role in Ruse Entry Residential Burglary that occurred on April 14, 2014. On that date, Ely knocked on the side door of the 86-year old victim’s home and advised that he was a tree trimmer working in the neighbor’s yard.  He wanted the victim to come into the backyard to see the work he was doing.  The victim followed him into the yard, and he then spent 10-15 minutes pointing to the branches overhanging her yard that he was going to cut.  He then received a telephone call on his cellular phone and immediately walked to the end of the driveway, waving goodbye. The victim thought this was suspicious and went into the residence to call police to report the subject. After hanging up with police dispatch the victim went upstairs and observed that the chest drawers in the master bedroom were rummaged through. Missing from the home were antique sterling silver platters, valued over at over $1,000, which the victim had brought with her when the family had immigrated to this country. After the offense was committed River Forest detectives made contact with the members of the Illinois State Police Gypsy Crime Task Force. The task force provided intelligence information that Ely may be a possible suspect. The victim subsequently identified Ely in a photo lineup. During the course of the investigation, River Forest detectives learned that South Barrington Police suspected Ely in 2 similar incidents.   

Ely was located in Hickory Hills by River Forest Police and the other agencies involved. Ely was transported to the River Forest Police station for interviews and processing. Detectives consulted with the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office Felony Review Unit, and they approved one Class 1 Felony charge of Residential Burglary against Ely. 

In addition, South Barrington Police were able to secure two additional charges of Residential Burglary for incidents in their town. Ely was taken to bond hearing on July 9th and the case is pending trial. Bond was set at $75,000/10% for the River Forest case and bond was set at $250,000/10% for the South Barrington cases.

“Residents are encouraged to not let door to door sales or repair persons into their residences, and to never allow them to take you outside to inspect an area outside of your house. These types of Ruse Residential Burglaries target senior citizens, with 92% of the victims being between the ages of 65-79 years of age. Residents should call the police if suspicious vehicles or persons are seen driving or approaching homes in the Village.” --Deputy Chief James O’Shea

Editors Note:

Leo Ely didn't rat out the other person(s) who ransacked the house while Leo was doing a song and dance about aboreal
botany but he did fall short of an Oscar by somehow, letting the victim feel off balance enough to inform 911.  Perhaps Leo should have had his palm read before trying to bring bad luck to River Forest.

The public is reminded that a signed complaint is not evidence of guilt and that all defendants in a criminal case are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.

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