Police arrest two men after bank teller suspects scam




by BRIAN NADIG

The actions of a bank teller recently led to the arrest of two men who are accused of attempting to scam thousands of dollars from a 90-year-old home owner, according to 16th (Jefferson Park) Police District commander William Looney.

"When we get calls like this, we’re often out of luck, but the teller was sharp and the officers were sharp," Looney said at the April 21 meeting of the 16th District Advisory Committee. "So many people like this get scammed."

On March 12 a teller at Byline Bank, 6500 W. Irving Park Road, became suspicious when an elderly man asked withdraw $3,300 with a check made out to cash and told her that the money was for two men who had done work at his home, according to police. The man said that the men were waiting in a dump truck in the bank’s parking lot and that he had paid them $6,000 two weeks earlier, police said. The teller called police, and officers questioned the men in the truck, police said.

A police sergeant later went to the man’s home, and the men were charged with attempted theft by deception after the shingle and concrete work appeared "severely substandard and overpriced," according to police. The suspects were identified by police as Steve George, age 37, and Keven G. Mantes, age 20, both of the 600 block of North Illinois Avenue, Hoffman Estates.

It also was reported at the meeting that the number of robberies in the 16th District this year through April 17 was 65, compared to 36 during the same period last year, and that the number of vehicle thefts was 140, up from 85 last year. In addition, there have been 12 robbery arrests, compared to four in 2015, and 17 vehicle theft arrests, compared to three in 2015.

Looney also reported that officers recently visited with the parents of two victims who were wounded by gunshots during separate incidents in the district.

Under the Chicago Police Department’s Custom Notification Program, counseling and other services are offered to victims whom police fear may retaliate against the offender, who may be in a rival gang. The program calls for officers to first attempt to meet with victims, but in many instances they do not cooperate with police, Looney said.

Looney said that the visits are the first time that the district has used the notification program. He said that one of the parents appreciated the visit but the other family did not, he said.

Looney also said that he plans to inform officers about the services offered at the Maryville Crisis Nursery, 4015 N. Oak Park Ave. The facility provides 72-hour emergency child care for those up to age 6.

Looney said that the nursery could have been used in a recent incident in which a 4-year-old needed care after the mother died of an apparent heroin overdose.

The committee honored Terry Abbate as Officer of the Month for his Feb. 11 arrest of a man who attempted to rob a woman. Abbate believed that the woman was in distress, and he stopped to assess the situation, according to police.

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