A Wilmette gas station located in the 900 block of Green Bay Road has had more than $200 worth of gas stolen and suffered hundreds of dollars in property damages after the station was robbed four times during the past three months, according to police reports.
In each incident, the offender has used a pry tool to open the front panel of a gas pump in order to bypass the station’s payment system. In addition to the stolen gas, the damage caused by the break ins has been costly, as high as $500 in one theft.
The most recent theft occurred Saturday, when a man and a woman driving a white Pontiac stole approximately $60 worth of gas and caused $200 worth of damage to the pump, police said.
According to the police report, a station employee told police that he saw the woman remove a tool from her trunk and hand it to the man. The two used a prepaid debit card to start the pump, opened the front panel with a pry tool and “disengaged the reader to obtain more gas”. The employee wrote down the vehicle’s license plate number but later said he did not recognize the registered owner when police showed him a photo lineup.
The same gas station, which was victim to a similar incident only a few days earlier, has also been robbed of $80 worth gas on Sept. 29 and an unknown amount of a gas on Sept. 8.
During the Sept. 8 incident, police were able to trace the vehicle’s license plate to a Chicago man.
The manager of a Wilmette store located in the 800 block of Green Bay Road told police that a woman stole nine “fragrance gift sets”, valued at a combined $230, from the store during two separate November incidents.
During thefts on Nov. 15 and Nov. 29, the woman entered the store while pushing a tandem stroller carrying two small children, took the fragrance gift sets and left without paying, according to the police report.
Police described store surveillance video as showing a woman between the ages of 48 and 52, approximately 5’4’’, with brown hair, a medium build, wearing a brown winter coat. Police described the children in the stroller as a two to three-year-old boy and a one-year-old girl.
Someone stole an iPhone valued at approximately $600 from an unlocked vehicle parked in a lot in the 1500 block of Sheridan Road sometime between 6:10 p.m. and 7:15 p.m. on Nov. 28. According to the police report, the phone’s owner attempted to track the device using a “track my phone feature”, which suggested the phone was located somewhere near the 2600 block of Prairie Avenue in Evanston. However, Wilmette detectives reported they were unable to locate the specific location of the phone.
A Wilmette woman told police on Nov. 27 that a company based in Pettur, India had used her government-issued debit card to make a $725 purchase a week earlier. According to the police report, the woman told police that the government had issued her the card for unemployment benefits and that she discovered the fraud when she attempted to make a purchase with the card on Nov. 20 and was denied. The woman said her bank informed her of the unauthorized purchase but could not successfully stop the transaction in time.
A Wilmette woman told police on Nov. 26 that someone had made eight unauthorized charges totaling approximately $215 to her credit card on Oct. 26 and Oct. 30. The woman told police that she noticed the fraudulent charges when she received her credit card statement on Nov. 20, according to the police report. The woman also said she had received a suspicious package listed as “returned to sender” on Nov. 23, even though she said she had not sent the package, police reported. Police found a check inside the package for $2,500 in Canadian dollars, which was supposed to be delivered to a Maryland man.