Two Chicago men believed to a part of a , were charged Thursday.
Tyrone Hughes, 22, of the 4100 block of South Prairie and Christopher J. Carter, 20, of the 600 block of block of West Vermont are charged with possession of stolen property. Additional charges of residential burglary and unlawful use of a weapon are pending, police said.
The two men are suspected in Palos Heights burglaries from Sept. 13 and Oct. 1, said Palos Heights Detective Tim Holder. Investigators believe Gangster Disciples based in the Chicago’s Englewood neighborhood are operating a type of ruse burglary operation in the suburbs. Burglars drive around in white pickup truck with lawnmowers. They then knock on the front door of a home and offer to cut the grass if anyone answers. Otherwise, they break into the house.
“In one case, they started to cut the grass even though no one was home,” Holder said.
Read: Police Investigating Burglary of Palos Heights Home
The earliest of the three Palos Heights burglaries happened on Sept. 13 in the 12200 block of Flambeau. Witnesses told police they saw a white, full-sized pickup truck in the area with what appeared to be frame racks. Officers now believe those were actually lawnmower handlebars rising up out of the truck’s bed.
Two more residential burglaries were reported on Oct. 1, one in the 19100 block and the other in the 12400 block of 69th Court.
On Tuesday, Palos Heights police stopped a white pickup in the 12200 block of Cheyenne Drive. Police said they saw a jewelry box in the truck’s bed and several pieces of jewelry inside the cab. The driver, Carter, was carrying a replica 9mm pellet gun in his coat pocket.
Both Carter and Hughes, who also was in the truck, were arrested, police said. Officers obtained a search warrant and found, among other things, a loaded nine-shot revolver inside the truck.
Several of the found items came from an Oct. 2 burglary in Frankfort, Holder said. Among them were the driver’s license and a lock of hair from a deceased relative of the victim. Frankfort police have taken both men into custody, where they are already charged with residential burglary.
The pair now are awaiting a formal hearing on the Frankfort charges in the Will County Adult Detention Facility.
The larger gang crew is suspected in burglaries as far north as Elmhurst, Holder said. In the south suburbs, Palos Heights police have coordinated with investigators from the Cook County Sheriff’s Office and police from Orland Park and Hickory Hills in recent days over burglaries with similar elements to the ones that happened in Palos Heights. Two other men who police believe are connected were arrested in Midlothian several weeks ago.
Burglars are targeting homes at times they know people won't be there, Holder said.
Police advise residents not to let anyone in they don’t know and to report any suspicious activity in their neighborhood.
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