Heights cops seek alleged intruder

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by Laura Bollin
staff reporter

Palos Heights police have released a sketch of the man who allegedly tried to break into a home in the 12400 block of South Natchez Avenue on the morning of Nov. 15.

The suspect is described as white, between 40 and 50 years old, with gray hair and a medium build. He was wearing a dark knit hat, a dark-colored Carhardt coat, and dirty, beige work gloves. The vehicle the man got into was described as a dark-colored SUV perhaps a Chevy Suburban, that was in poor condition. The SUV was driven by an unknown person. Palos Heights police officers searched the area for the suspect and the vehicle, but did not find them.

The suspect allegedly attempted to enter the home at about 9 a.m. He gained access to the home’s screened-in porch through an unlocked screen door, and began to open the unlocked sliding glass door that led into the residence, police said. A resident inside saw the man, and closed the door from the inside before he could get inside. The suspect then ran to the driveway to a waiting vehicle.

The Police Department is asking residents “to be extra vigilant in securing their homes and vehicles, and to check on elderly residents who may be home alone during the daytime,” Detective Gerard Wodka said in a release Monday.

Detective Wodka also noted that criminals use the cold weather to their advantage, wearing heavier clothing, such as coats, hates, masks, scarves, gloves, and boots, to disguise their appearance without looking out of place. Wodka also reminded residents that all Palos Heights employees have city-issued identification cards displayed on their person while working for the city.

After two recent burglaries in neighboring Palos Park, Police Chief Joe Miller recommended burglar alarm systems as another good idea to thwart residential burglaries.

Palos Heights resident Steven Derkacy president of Quality Alarm Systems Inc. in Alsip, said in a letter to residents that his firm has installed alarm systems in the area in the wake of the attempted burglaries in the city. He and his family, who live in Palos Heights, have been installing alarm systems since 1976.

Derkacy said his business provides alarm systems to the Palos Heights City Hall, Palos Heights Recreation Center, Lake Kather-ine Nature Center and Botanic Gardens, and many Palos Heights residents and merchants. The alarm systems report to the Palos Heights-based Southwest Emergency Dispatch Center for local police departments.

Any resident who observes suspicious activity is asked to call 911 immediately to have police respond. Residents can remain anonymous when calling police.

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