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Purse thief suspect charged

by Kevin Olsen
staff reporter

A 23-year-old Alsip man was arrested on Saturday in Palos Park and charged with strong-arm robbery of a woman’s purse in the Jewel-Osco parking lot on Jan. 26.

Patrick Sullivan was subsequently charged with similar thefts and robberies in Palos Heights, Oak Lawn and Hickory Hills.

Sullivan was charged with robbery, battery and theft in Palos Park after a vehicle matching the description of several purse snatchings was pulled over Saturday night and proceeds from two of the thefts were found in the vehicle. He was further identified in a lineup for alleged crimes in other towns.

He is accused of pulling a woman to the ground to steal her purse last week outside the Jewel-Osco, 131st Street and La Grange Road in Palos Park. The victim was taken to Palos Community Hospital for a shoulder injury, Chief Joe Miller said.

It was believed to be the fifth such incident in the area in the last month including three consecutive days last week. He was charged with misdemeanor theft in Palos Heights after he allegedly stole a purse from a woman’s shopping cart in the Dominick’s parking lot, 6401 W 127th St., at 4:44 p.m. Jan. 25, police said.

Sullivan was charged with theft from person in Hickory Hills after a man snatched a purse from a woman in the Jewel parking lot, 9528 S. Roberts Road, on Jan. 24. He was allegedly lingering between cars before snatching the purse without a struggle, Sgt. Jason Bray said.

Sullivan is believed to be a suspect in two strong arm robberies in Oak Lawn. He was charged with robbery and theft after he was identified by several victims and witnesses in relation to a robbery in the Dominick’s parking lot, 87th Street and Cicero Avenue, on Jan. 11. Sullivan’s alleged shoe was recovered at the crime scene. The other shoe was found at his residence and is at the state lab for DNA comparison, police said.

Police also believe he is responsible for another robbery on Jan. 3 in the Marshall’ s parking lot, 9615 S. Cicero Ave, Oak Lawn Police Division Chief Mike Kaufmann said.

The four police departments were working together on corroborating interviews and additional information of the similar crimes. Police were looking for a silver Jeep Commander with front end damage and a missing headlight that was involved in several of the crimes.

A Palos Park officer spotted the vehicle on 119th Street and La Grange Road on Saturday night. Property from the Palos Park and Palos Heights incidents were reportedly found on Sullivan during the stop including a cell phone and credit card from the Palos Park robbery and a sim card from a cell phone in the Palos Heights theft. The proceeds from the Oak Lawn and Hickory Hills crimes have not been recovered. He was arrested wearing the same jacket as the suspect in the Hickory Hills theft.

Sullivan allegedly fled in the passenger seat of a vehicle driven by another in the Palos Park robbery.

Samantha Romanowicz, 24, of Palos Park, was with Sullivan at the time of his arrest. She was charged with theft and unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia by Palos Park police. She cooperated with the other police departments and was not charged further. Palos Heights Officer Gerard Wodka said Romanowicz admitted to driving the getaway car, but was not charged.

Sullivan is an admitted heroin user, Chief Kaufmann said. He is on parole for burglary. His last known address is in Alsip, but he was reportedly staying with Romanowicz in Palos Park, Chief Miller said.

Bail was set at $500,000 for Sullivan on Monday. He is due back in court on Feb. 18.

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