Tag Archive: Northwest Herald


Who can say why some things happen but what happens later is oft times an even bigger problem. In the Chicago northwest suburban town of Crystal Lake, ILL Thursday was garbage day. Amid the still sleepy drivers headed to work who wished it were Saturday garbage trucks rumbled up and down the streets.

The regular routine of one truck came to a sudden change when smoke and flames began to spark from its belly. The police and fire department were called around 6:30 in the morning to this unusual haul being driven down Route 14.

The story quickly changed again as the truck turned northward onto the Route 31 ramp the fire contents were emptied accidentally onto the side of the road and the nearby grass licked it up hungrily. Firefighters worked for twenty minutes to put the brush fire out but at seven that morning they were still working to put the smoldering garbage pile down. These hot spots of rubbish had no intension of giving up but the men where just as determined.

That morning drivers found a detour at the closed ramp and a very unusual sight. What caused the fire was a mystery. It could have been a teen’s prank to set a garbage can at the curb on fire or it could have been an early morning jogger throwing out a spent cigarette that wasn’t quite out. However it could have been a total accident. We’ll never know but the image of a garbage truck’s contents on fire will not soon leave our retinas.

 

Source: Northwest Herald, Friday April 11, 2014 – Page B2

The Story is in the Pipes

Copper-pipeDesperation makes people do strange things. In the beginning there is a feeling that something will come along and things will begin to look up again. As the days become weeks and then months this faith slowly dwindles until there seems to be no hope left. What would have never crossed their mind before slowly creeps in until it is seen as a possibility. This happened to Brett A. Roberts.

Something drove Roberts on. There was a devil on his tail and he responded. There was a vacant house on Queen Anne Road near Woodstock, Illinois. How he got in I don’t know but once in he saw a possibility few would have. In the basement Roberts found the plumbing pipes to be copper. Copper has gone up in the last few years and Roberts must have known this and devised to steal them. melted down they would feed him for days. What he didn’t count on was someone coming into the supposedly vacant residence.

The house might not have had people living in it but it wasn’t abandoned. It was simply For Sale. While Roberts was busy in the basement, hacksaw in hand, the real estate agent came in to check things out. He was interrupted in the act but got away before McHenry County Sheriff’s Police could get there. If he’d been smart he’d have worn gloves but he hadn’t thought of that.

In his haste he left behind the hacksaw and the pipes he’d already cut loose. On the pipes he left his fingerprints. Already in the criminal database they left a direct trail.

Roberts thought he could steel the copper pipes and get on with his life. He couldn’t see the future and so he didn’t know the outcome. April 14, 2011 he was charged with residential burglary and criminal damage to a property. He was found guilty. His punishment could have been up to fifteen years in prison. He was able to testify that since no one was living in the house it was no residential burglary and therefore his sentence was reduced to the possibility of three to seven years. If he got it or not, I doubt he would say the pipes were that valuable. He should have known better. After all, he’d already been convicted in the past for theft and forgery. Lesson learned this time? Perhaps, at least, one would hope so.

Sources:

Northwest Herald Friday, February 2, 2011 Pg. 3B

http://www.dailyherald.com/article/20130114/news/701149623/

 

%d bloggers like this: