Chicago Police

Bucktown Landlord, 76, Confronts Would-Be Burglar

When a man attempted to break into a Chicago apartment building on Memorial Day, the 76-year-old landlord sprang into action, confronting the suspect in an incident that ended with the would-be burglar’s arrest.

Richard Wallace said in his 40 years of managing property in the city’s Bucktown neighborhood, nothing like Monday night’s incident had ever happened before.

All but two of his tenants were away from their apartments in the 1800 block of N. Hoyne Ave. for the holiday, according to Wallace, who lives across the street. One of the tenants called him late Monday, he said, adding that he didn’t think twice before rushing over.

A trail of blood led him to the burglary suspect that police later identified as 24-year-old Louis Guthrie, of Sauk Village.

“This is all smashed,” Wallace said, gesturing to the building’s side entrance. “And there's a guy in this position here, wrapping his arm up and bleeding all over the place.”

Wallace said he then held the trespasser in place until police arrived.

“There were a couple of times when he was kind of looking at the door like he was going to jump out,” he said. “I just got in front of him and he knew it was over.”

Wallace said that while a tenant called the police, Guthrie even offered to pay for the broken window.

“He says well how much do you want? I said I want you to go to jail,” Wallace recalled.

Chicago police said officers responded to the scene around 10:10 p.m. to find a broken entryway window, along with blood and broken glass inside the building’s vestibule.

The officers met Wallace at the building, and he took them to find the suspect sitting inside the hallway, bleeding from a laceration to his left arm.

“When I put him on the floor he started crying,” Wallace said. “When the cop came he started bawling.”

Wallace told police that the man did not live on the property and did not have authorization to be there.

Authorities said Guthrie was arrested and taken to St. Mary’s Hospital, where he was treated and released.

He was charged with criminal damage to property and criminal trespassing, both misdemeanors, according to police.

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