Oak Park police arrest teen for three carjackings

Chicago resident charged with crimes committed in September and October

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By Timothy Inklebarger

Staff Reporter

Oak Park police have arrested an 18-year-old Chicago resident suspected of hijacking three vehicles in the village during September and October.

Police said in a press release that they have arrested Brandon J. Steward, of the 1600 block of North Parkside Avenue, Chicago, on Thursday, Dec. 7, and charged him with an aggravated vehicular hijacking on Sept. 22 in the 1000 block of North Hayes Avenue, on Sept. 29 in the 700 block of North Hayes Avenue and on Oct. 7 in the 900 block of North Humphrey Avenue.

Steward is being held without bond at Cook County Jail, awaiting his next heating on Dec. 15, at the Fourth Municipal District Courthouse in Maywood.

Oak Park Police Chief Antony Ambrose said in the press release that preventing carjackings and catching offenders is a top priority for police. He said that police department has increased patrols with additional officers to heighten police visibility, along with undercover officers.

"Vehicle hijackings tend to be random and difficult to predict, but we have made significant headway in solving the incidents that have occurred in our community," Ambrose said. "As citizens embrace daily routines that include simple steps to reduce their chances of being a victim, we believe these types of crimes will occur less often in our community."

Ambrose said that of the nine arrests made by Oak Park police connected to recent carjackings, three were juveniles.

In addition, two other juveniles suspected of being involved in recent attempted carjackings on Austin Boulevard and Lombard Avenue were turned over to Chicago police and charged with a different crime.

Ambrose advised residents to be aware of their surroundings and call 911 when in doubt.

"We would rather respond and find out everything is OK than have to investigate a crime that might have been prevented with a call," Ambrose said.

CONTACT: tim@oakpark.com

Reader Comments

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Tommy McCoy  

Posted: December 15th, 2017 10:24 AM

Bill Dwyer, you certainly understand the process very well. You must have covered a lot of criminal cases and learned the process. It seemed Brian, was making comments on how Police, would avoid the offender from being able to reach a lawyer. In other words, bounce the prisoner from one place to another making it difficult for the lawyer, if the offender had one to find his or her client

Bill Dwyer  

Posted: December 15th, 2017 6:38 AM

Whether you "recall" it or not, Brian, a writ is required. Try looking up "habeas corpus ad respondendum": and "habeas corpus ad testificandum."

Brian Slowiak  

Posted: December 15th, 2017 12:44 AM

@ Bill Dwyer: Maybe we are talking about the same thing. If you are in custody in County and charged with another offense, I don't recall anyone writing a writ to take someone before a judge. Just like if you are charged in Oak Park with felony, you are taken before a judge in Maybrook. That's a procedural guarantee. There was no paperwork like a "writ" , completed by anyone that I know of. Have you ever seen a piece of paperwork entilted a "writ" in any case file The court is trying to cut the paperwork, substituting sworn written complaints instead of an arrest warrant.Chicago P.D. would arrest someone at Ohare. Extra time was needed to build the case. The arrestee was transferred down to Hegwisch, by planned mistake, where the transport van broke down, a new van summoned, and the subject was transported to Wrigleyville, where the paperwork was dirtied by planned mistake, and the subject was transported to Austin where the telephones were all broken. All the time out of phone contact with their attorney. A defense attorney would execute a writ of Habeus Corpus,( spelling) ie. produce the body of the arrestee, with a judge to make the State produce the arrestee.Some prosters from the NATO demonstration were supposedly treated in the same manner

Brian Slowiak  

Posted: December 13th, 2017 8:21 PM

@ Jenna Brown Russell: I can only speak for my self, and sometimes my beloved boys and girls in blue. If term limits for elected officials is being discussed, then term limits for judges should also be discussed.Or at least transfers out of the criminal division.

Jenna Brown Russell  

Posted: December 13th, 2017 7:16 PM

@Brian, relentlessly pursued is for naught unless it is followed by appropriate punishment. Our current system does not seem to have the will, or the capacity, to even include the most significant charges (such as weapons charges), never mind hand down significant sentences in such cases. Not much of a deterrent when you know you'll be able to get back at it in no time. Especially if you send your 17 year olds to assault.

Bill Dwyer  

Posted: December 13th, 2017 10:20 AM

Uh... yup, Brian. "If he is charged with an offense ... he has to be brought before a judge." As in, being writted out of County Jail and brought to Maybrook. For an arraignment. And arraignments have to be conducted by a judge. .. . As far as him being "hidden in the system," ya lost me there. He was arrested in October and charged with a crime and was being held in Cook County Jail, a fact that is searchable on the internet. You're a retired cop- you should know that if you want to hide someone "in the system," (which I have absolutely NO reason to believe the OPPD has ever done) you move them around from police lock up to police lock up. What you don't do is book them into the county jail.

Brian Slowiak  

Posted: December 13th, 2017 10:00 AM

@ Bill Dwyer: I am interested in this writ, "file a writ to have the sheriff bring him to court and arraigned". If he is charged with an offense, doesn't he have to be brought before a judge? Was he trying not to be arraigned or was the state hiding him in the system? The only true deterrent to crime is that the criminal element must be made to know that they will be relentlessly pursued by the Oak Park Police department. The police art, not science if there is such a thing, is the identification of the offender who is unknown to the victim. In this case both ideals were met. Nice job everyone involved.

Bill Dwyer  

Posted: December 13th, 2017 6:30 AM

That's how it works. Investigate a crime, identify suspect(s), bring charges, file a writ to have sheriff bring him to court and arraigned.

Tommy McCoy  

Posted: December 12th, 2017 11:09 PM

Bill Dwyer, I don't question your information, what the story say's is Oak Park Police arrested him on December 7th, 2017. If he was in county already, did the Police arrest him while in county, then had he brought to Maybrook and arraign him with the 3 charges of car jacking

Bill Dwyer  

Posted: December 12th, 2017 10:04 PM

Article doesn't say so, but Steward has been in Cook County Jail since Oct. 14 on a battery charge. So that, the Sept. 22 carjack and a May arrest for PCS should keep him behind bars through trial.

Tommy McCoy  

Posted: December 12th, 2017 9:34 PM

Virginia Fazio Seuffert, the individual most likely will not be back on the street for a while. On high profile case's, there is more attention on how the process is successful at prosecuting some one such as the individual who has been denied bail at this time

Virginia Fazio Seuffert  

Posted: December 12th, 2017 9:29 PM

Usual top drawer work by Oak Park cops! The question is: will these creeps do any time or will they be back on the street???

Jim Major from Oak Park   

Posted: December 12th, 2017 6:02 PM

Great job by our outstanding police department! There is a system very much in place for people to ask questions and share concerns with their RBO/NRO's -Attending your zone meeting. Working together in a respectful way . Many people can't make the meetings but there is always a meeting summary emailed out . with helpful stats ,crime prevention tips and other helpful info. If your block does not have some sort of updated block list /group or a reliable person to forward Village info to that list then please work together with your neighbors to make it happen. Once you decide who the Email Manager -formally Block Captain will be ,that person connects with their Beat Officer. You can use it for non Police /crime stuff . Neighbor to neighbor or to entire block. Many blocks in Oak Park have no list at all . That's too bad because there isn't a block in Oak Park without some fantastic people residing there.

Tommy McCoy  

Posted: December 12th, 2017 4:14 PM

Good work on the press release. As the weather gets cooler that should also reduce the amount of car jackings

Al Rossell  

Posted: December 12th, 2017 4:12 PM

Keep up the good work guys.

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