River Grove vehicles victimized by vandals
Sal Lopiccolo of River Grove has to use tape to hold in the new rear window on his car until the glue dries. Lopiccolo, 80, was one of several victims in a vandalism spree; several vehicles were struck on hisblock. | David Pollard~Sun-Times Media
Updated: April 1, 2013 6:14AM
RIVER GROVE — The night of Feb. 17, police say, one adult and several juveniles went on a vandalism spree, busting out car windows.
Now, the owners want them to pay.
Clara Cotto, who lives on the 2500 block of Spruce Street, said the rear window of her husband’s Honda Accord was broken with a brick that evening. She said they didn’t know of the damage until police arrived and knocked on their door.
“He (her husband) figured it was some young and dumb kids who did it,” she said.
Elmwood Park Police Investigator Miguel Villagomez said they arrested the adult and his companions in their vehicle at 10 p.m. that same night at Spruce and Richard streets.
Christopher Vanderberg, 18, of the 2900 block of Beaulah Avenue, River Grove, was charged with four counts of criminal damage to property. Villagomez said there may be other charges pending because other cars vandalized that night might later be connected to Vanderberg.
Villagomez said other people also were with Vanderberg at the time the cars were vandalized and allegedly participated. He would not reveal their names because they are juveniles. He also would not say how many others were involved.
Two or more vehicles were vandalized on the 2500 block of Spruce Street and one on 9000 block of Fullerton Avenue.
Sal Lopiccolo, who lives at 2521 Spruce St., parks his 1998 Buick outside. The rear windshield of the car fell victim to the vandals. He had to pay $370 to get it fixed.
Police came to the door to tell him about the damage around 10:30 p.m. that night, he said.
He believes the group used a brick to break his rear windshield.
Lea Tomassone, who lives on the 2500 block of Spruce Street, wishes for more open communication with local police about this and other events the police are involved in.
“Last year someone busted out windshields,” he said. “We don’t know what’s going on around here. They (police) don’t tell you. It seems like everything is a big secret.”
Cotto and others are not making any secret about what the vandals have done and want them to pay in some form or fashion.
“I feel it will be a lost cause if their parents don’t take any responsibility,” she said. “If you do something wrong you should pay the price.”
Lopiccolo concurs, saying that he’d like to recoup the money he spent on repairs.
“I hope that it is a lesson he has learned and he doesn’t do it again,” he said. “He has to be punished one way or the other.”
Vanderberg’s court date is March 7. Cotto along with others plan to be there.