Thousands of items reportedly stolen in a string of burglaries over the past few months could eventually make their way back to their rightful owners.
Park Ridge police held a viewing event with investigators from other jurisdictions Thursday in an effort to determine if the items were taken in burglaries elsewhere. The items include hundreds of watches, weapons and signed sports memorabilia.
"In our business it's nice to be able to return some property to people who have been victimized," said Cmdr. Lou Jogman.
Four men -- Frank Obrochta, Brian David, Richard Green and Louis Capuzi -- have been arrested in connection with the burglaries, police said. They've already been charged with burglaries in Addison and unincorporated DuPage County. Further charges are pending, police said.
The men have been under police surveillance since last November, explained Det. Mario Faso. It's believed the men are responsible for heists throughout the metro area dating back to February 2011.
"They were a real sophisticated crew. When they committed the burglary. They had a certain pattern that they followed. Like they specifically cut phone wires and alarm wires to the residences," said Faso.
He said detectives from a multi-jurisdictional task force secretly watched the men and ultimately got a search warrant for a residence on the 4200 block of Irving Park Road, in Chicago, where roughly 3,000 items were recovered.
One Glenview resident, who asked to remain anonymous, characterized the sight of all the stolen stuff as staggering.
"I kinda feel that after seeing all this, it’s a business. And it’s kinda shame people have to do this to each other," she said.
Investigators from other jurisdictions are comparing the loot to police reports from their areas in hopes of getting the items back to where they belong. A public viewing is also planned, but a date hasn't yet been scheduled.
Anyone who believes their possessions may be among the stockpile should contact the investigator with whom they originally worked, who will then get in touch with Park Ridge police.