Tag Archives: Kane County Sheriff’s Department

Foreclosures up in SG, across the county

by Susan O’Neill
The number of foreclosed homes requiring Kane County Sheriff’s Department intervention has increased dramatically in the last couple of years. There were three times as many homes up for auction in 2008 than in 2006.

“We never slow down,” Kane County’s civil division Lt. Tom Baumgartner said.

Once the house is sold at auction, the Sheriff’s Department notifies the current resident of the pending eviction, typically scheduled for 30 days after the closing.

“It’s a heart-breaking thing to do,” Baumgartner said.

He said that one in five families is home at the time. The Sheriff’s Department will offer the evicted residents a ride to either mass transit, a friend’s house or a homeless shelter.

“Last week, we were at a house where the family had two dogs,” he said. “We had to call (Kane County) Animal Control and they took the dogs.”

He said the Sheriff’s Department currently carries out four evictions a day, five days a week.

Kane County Development Department Scott Berger said although the majority of Kane County’s foreclosed homes are located in Aurora, Elgin and Carpentersville, communities across the county are affected.

“Not a single community is exempt,” Berger said. “The numbers are up throughout the county.”

Sugar Grove currently has 76 vacant and/or foreclosed homes, up from an average of 60 to 65 from last year. Sugar Grove Finance Director Justin VanVooren said the village obtains weekly reports from Kane County.

According to VanVooren, the village uses the information to alert police to ensure the security and maintenance of the properties, and to determine where to send the owner’s utility bills.

Sugar Grove police investigator John Sizer said that checking in on these properties currently takes up a significant amount of police time. However, he said it is important to ensure that the property is not damaged and that individuals who do not belong there do not gain access to the home.

VanVooren said the homeowner is still responsible for the property until the foreclosure process is completed and the sale is certified. However, to ensure that a vacant property does not have a negative impact on the rest of the homes in the neighborhood, the village will hire someone to mow the yard, if it becomes necessary.

Homes entering foreclosure in first quarter 2009 (January-March)
Elburn 18
Maple Park 3
Kaneville 0
Sugar Grove 24
Kane County 1,256

Kane County properties in Sheriff’s auctions
2005 847
2006 1,223
2007 2,002
2008 2,944
1st quarter 2009* 1,073
*First quarter fiscal year 2009 (Dec. 1, 2008-Feb. 28, 2009)

Marengo man dies in 2-car crash near SG

Elburn driver ticketed just before accident
by Martha Quetsch
An Elburn woman involved in a fatal crash March 20 near Sugar Grove was ticketed for improper lane use less than nine minutes earlier on Route 38 and Pouley Road, according to the Kane County Sheriff’s Department.

The Sheriff’s Department is investigating the two-vehicle fatal accident on Route 47 near Merrill Road that was reported at 5:36 p.m. Sheriff’s deputies, along with Sugar Grove Police and Kane County Forest Preserve Police, responded to the scene, where individuals were reported trapped in the vehicles, Sheriff’s Lt. Pat Gengler said.

The initial investigation indicates that a yellow Chevy S-10 pickup was traveling south on Route 47 and crossed into the oncoming northbound lane of traffic colliding head on with a Ford Windstar, Gengler said.

The driver of the pickup, Linda L. Knotts, 44, of the 300 block of Dempsey Drive in Elburn, was airlifted to Good Samaritan Hospital in Downers Grove with apparent non-life-threatening injuries. The driver of the Ford, William J. McKenzie, 54, of the 400 block of North State Street in Marengo, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Route 47 was closed temporarily between Scott and Harter roads for the investigation. The Kane County Accident Reconstruction Team is assisting SheriffՉ۪s Detectives with the investigation.

It is unclear if drugs or alcohol played a role in the crash, Gengler said.

Between the time of Knotts’ first ticket and the crash, at 5:34 p.m., the Sheriff’s Department received a call about someone driving recklessly in a yellow pickup southbound on Route 47 near I-88, Gengler said.

After the accident, Knotts was ticketed for illegal passing, failing to reduce speed to avoid an accident, and driving in the wrong lane.

The charges against Knotts are not a proof of guilt. A defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial in which it is the state’s burden to prove his or her guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. The Sheriff’s Department asks that anyone with information relating to this crash to call Detective Sal Rodriguez at (630) 208-2030.

Pair charged with firing at moving vehicle

by Lynn Meredith
An adult and a juvenile turned themselves in after being charged with firing shots into a moving vehicle in unincorporated Maple Park. No one in the car was injured. The two were charged with aggravated discharge of a firearm, reckless discharge of a firearm and possession of a firearm without a firearm owner’s identification card. The adult male was further charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

On Jan. 31, Kane County Sheriff’s deputies responded to a report that a vehicle may have been struck by an object in the area of 9N046 McGough Road in rural Maple Park. They discovered that a bullet had struck the driver’s side front fender.

The officers spoke to James A. Thorne, 18, of 9N046 McGough Road and located a .22 caliber rifle at his residence. Deputies further identified a 15-year old male from Sycamore who was at the residence at the time of the incident.

Thorne turned himself into the Sheriff’s Department on Feb. 23. His bond has been set at $35,000. Lt. Pat Gengler of the Kane County Sheriff’s Department said the charges were bumped up to reckless discharge of a firearm because there were people in the car.

The Kane County State’s Attorney’s Office has referred the 15-year-old’s case to Juvenile Court Services.

Sheriff’s Department release sketch of Mill Creek attempted abduction suspect

From the Kane County Sheriff’s Department
The Kane County Sheriff’s Department released a sketch of the suspect in an attempted abduction in the Mill Creek Subdivision west of Geneva.

The incident took place on Feb. 16 at approximately 3:00 p.m. in the area of Brundige and West Weaver Ct.

A male white subject approximately 20-30 years old with brown eyes and red hair approached a 9-year-old boy and asked if he wanted to go to bible study with him. When the boy said no, the subject exited his vehicle and grabbed the boys bicycle. The 9-year-old was able to free the bicycle and ride home. The subject got back in his car and left the area. He was last seen traveling north on Brundige towards Keslinger Road.

The subject was driving a newer model dark green Mustang GT with red seats and a decal of a baseball going through the back window.

The Sheriff’s Department is asking anyone who has information to please call the Kane County Sheriff’s Department at (630) 232-6840.

Elburn police blotter

The following reports were obtained from the Elburn Police Department. The individuals charged with crimes are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

Emergency response to home
Twenty emergency vehicles from local police and fire departments, the Kane County Sheriff’s Department and the county SWAT division, responded at 4:30 p.m. Jan. 30 to a personal crisis at a residence in the 1200 block of Beed Street in Elburn.

The event involved a resident at home alone who had contacted a local social service agency for help. The agency alerted Elburn police to the potentially dangerous situation. The emergency responders were on hand at the scene until 4:30 p.m., when they were able to resolve the situation and obtain medical assistance for the subject.

• Steve James Betzelos, 50, of the 800 block of Sharp Street in Elburn, was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol at 7:03 p.m. Jan. 31.

Police arrested Betzelos after he pulled into his driveway, after witnesses reported him driving erratically on Route 47 and Prairie Valley Drive.

• Veenkatesh Damodaram, 43, of the 900 block of Liberty Drive in Elburn, was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol, at 12:22 a.m. Jan. 31. Police stopped him on Keslinger Road near Liberty Street in Elburn, for speeding.

Fortune smiles as woman escapes collision with train

by Lynn Meredith

A woman and her dog narrowly escaped a collision with a Union Pacific train when her car slid to a stop on the railroad tracks at the Meredith Road railroad crossing near Route 38 on Friday. Her red Pontiac Grand Am was struck by the train and carried along until the train could stop. Fortunately, Julie Nortman and her Belgian Schiekeepe got out of the car in time.

Nortman, of Aurora, was headed north on Meredith Road. She described the roads as snow packed and icy.

“I saw the crossing guards come down and the lights come on,” Nortman said. “I wasn’t going to crash into them, so I turned the car to the left toward the ditch. But with all the snow, I slid onto the tracks.”

As she tried to go forward and then back to free the right side of her car that was stuck on the tracks, she could hear the train blowing its horn.

“I thought about staying in the car, and I thought about getting out. Then something told me to get out,” Nortman said. “I undid my seat belt and jumped out and got my dog out. Actually, he jumped out on his own. It was fortunate because I might not have gotten him out in time.”

Nortman had the wherewithal to grab his leash so that he wouldn’t run onto the tracks of the approaching train.

The crash occurred at 9:15 a.m. The train was a local freight train serving businesses between West Chicago and Troy Grove in La Salle County. The accident closed the railroad line until 11:50 a.m., when the vehicle was removed from the track, according to Mark Davis of Union Pacific Railroad.

“She was very fortunate to be able to get out,” Lt. Pat Gengler of the Kane County Sheriff’s Department said.

No ticket was issued.

As for Nortman, she said that thinking about the incident still bothers her. She avoids the Meredith Road crossing and sticks to Route 47 on her daily route.

“I won’t travel on Meredith Road anymore this winter,” she said. “Now I go on (Route) 47, but there’s still tracks there. I have a paranoia that possibly a train is coming.”

Nortman may have lost her car in the crash, but she and her dog are safe.

“At first I was sad because of my car. Then I thanked God that it was not me in there and not my dog in there,” Norman said.