After allegedly breaking into a car and stealing several items, Tilynn L. Tate thought it would be a good idea to ask police for a ride home.
Unfortunately, some good old-fashioned police work revealed that Tate had just stolen a GPS device and a large amount of loose change from a vehicle parked in the 5200 block of Palma Plaza on Feb. 12.
Skokie police were dispatched near the intersection of Long Avenue and Foster Street after a nearby resident called to report that a man was trying to open car doors in the area.
When officers arrived on scene, they found Tate in the vicinity and he matched the suspect's description.
Police reported that as soon as Tate saw them, he said, “I am waiting for a friend but go ahead, you can search me. I have nothing on me.”
The search revealed a large amount of loose change, two cell phones and two chargers. Tate told police that the money was his and the other items were his friends.
While a background check revealed that Tate was currently on parole for burglary, the officers had no proof or reason to arrest him.
Instead of leaving, Tate, 24, of the 9000 block of Central Street in Morton Grove, told police that he lives “just over the border and would like a ride home,” according to the report. While he waited in the backseat of the vehicle, police found a lit flashlight and a GPS device in the snow. They also discovered several fresh footprints near the items.
When confronted about the items, Tate denied any connection to them, even though one of the chargers in his coat pocket fit the GPS unit.
Police turned on the GPS device and discovered it listed a "home" address that was not too far from their current location. Officers then spoke to the homeowner, who said the instrument was his.
Police said that Tate later told them, “I did not break into the car; I just opened the door and took the GPS system.”
Unfortunately for Tate, his confession constitutes theft from a motor vehicle. He was charged with one count of felony burglary, and has a court hearing on Feb. 22.
Community crime fighters
The Village of Skokie issued a press release Thursday relating to Tate's arrest. It urged residents to be more alert of suspicious activities in their communities and recommended they join the Neighborhood Watch Program.
By participating, "residents have the opportunity to feel a strong connection to the community and contribute to neighborhood safety," according to the press release.
Anyone interested in the Neighborhood Watch program should call the Crime Prevention-Community Relations Unit at 847-982-5919.