Updated 2/18/2011, 1:30 p.m.
Police have charged a man who allegedly acted as a lookout during a residential break-in with felony attempted burglary. The incident occurred Thursday afternoon in the 7300 block of Harvard.
Detective Sgt. Mike Keating told the Review that 24-year-old Sonny Ely, of Norridge, is in custody following the incident, and is awaiting extradition to any one of the three states where he has arrest warrants. Keating said all of the states are willing “to pick him up.”
“They all want him,” Keating said.
Ely is wanted in California for a parole violation stemming from a residential burglary charge, in Missouri for failing to appear at a hearing for a similar offense, and in Indiana for not going to court for a felony charge of possession of stolen property.
Ely and another man, who is still at-large, and who police describe as being heavy-set and dressed in a gray hooded sweatshirt.
According to authorities, Ely was acting as a lookout and communicating with the fugitive over a walkie-talkie, while the other man attempted to “pry open the back door.”
A witness who heard the two men conversing called the police.
The suspect who was trying to break in managed to get away, but police caught up with Ely following a brief foot chase.
Keating said Lt. Mike Cody and Deputy Chief Tom Aftanas were instrumental in Ely’s capture.
Cody was the first to spot the fleeing suspect in the 1000 block of Marengo, and from there a chase ensued.
Aftanas jumped a fence in pursuit of Ely, Keating said. The deputy chief helped lead Ely to officers who apprehended him in a backyard in the 1000 block of Circle.
Initially, Ely was not cooperative – he had several false IDs on him, bearing the names David Curtis, Nicholas Miller and Rocky Miller, and would not provide his real name. But with the assistance of dispatcher Maureen Kozak, police unveiled Ely’s identity.
“She did some research [in computer databases] and found out who this guy is,” Keating said.
“From the deputy chief all the way down, they worked in concert,” he added. “I was impressed.”
Ely has provided police with little information on the fugitive.
Keating also told the Forest Park Review that police believe that Ely and the fugitive suspect robbed the very same residence in December.
In what he described as a “ruse” the two men spotted the owner of the home, an elderly man, shoveling his snow and offered to help.
“They said they had some contraption … to help that needed water,” Keating said.
The man admitted one of the suspects into his home to get a bucket of water – it is not clear if that person was Ely or the fugitive – while the other suspect distracted the resident outside. The resident was purportedly robbed of an estimated $80,000 worth of jewelry.
In addition to Ely’s arrest, police also nabbed a man who was wanted in connection with a holdup at 7-Eleven, on Feb. 3.
Robert Howard, of Chicago, was arrested Wednesday and charged with robbery. There is also a second suspect in that case, who police have not yet caught.
“We’re following a direct line of inquiry as to the second subject,” said Det. Jarlath Heveran. “We’re optimistic we’ll be able to get him in the near future.”