A Flossmoor man chased and subdued a burglary suspect last weekend, tackling him on the street and holding him until police arrived.
Homewood resident Ryan Spratt, 26, faces felony charges of residential burglary, possession of burglary tools and possession of drug paraphernalia, Flossmoor police said.
The victim contacted the H-F Chronicle after the incident, saying he wanted residents to know what can happen in quiet communities like Homewood and Flossmoor.
Spratt, of 2429 Ravisloe Lane, told police that he is a heroin addict and broke into the house on the 700 block of Bruce Avenue to steal items to support his $150-a-day habit, Deputy Police Chief Tod Kamleiter said.
Flossmoor Detective Dennis Karner said, “He told us, ‘That heroin will make you do things you can’t believe.’”
The incident began at about 8:30 p.m. Saturday when the family on Bruce Avenue – a husband and wife and their two daughters, ages 5 and 2 – arrived home from an outing. As they prepared for bed, the parents heard some noises from downstairs but checked and found nothing, police said. Also, they told police, the family dog would not stop barking.
By 10 p.m. all the family members were in bed; the husband said he woke up when he heard more noise.
“I thought I had heard footsteps downstairs so I went down to go check it out,” the man told the Chronicle. “Not finding anyone or anything, I figured I was just tired and (that I’d heard) a mouse running about.”
A few minutes later, he said, the dog “started going crazy again.”
“As I got up to look around, I definitely heard the sound of someone running down stairs,” he said. “I shouted to my wife to call the police, and at the same time I heard the sound of glass breaking from the basement.
“I turned on the back porch floodlight and saw the home invader trying to leave through my basement window. I ran out the back door and chased the guy around the house and down the street where I finally caught him on the northwest corner of Bruce Ave and Gordon Drive.”
As he chased the suspect, the victim yelled to his neighbors to call 911. Two neighbors – one was walking his dog and the other heard the commotion and came outside -- stayed with the victim until police arrived. The dog walker told the police he saw the victim tackle Spratt.
Police said Spratt was carrying a backpack containing six boxes of jewelry that were allegedly taken from the victim’s house as well as a hammer, four screwdrivers, a chisel, a utility knife, pliers, a vise grip and a head lamp. The backpack also contained 10 syringes and a spoon that contained heroin residue, the police report states.
Police said Spratt entered the home through a basement window. Spratt told police that he had picked the house on Bruce Avenue because no one was home, Kamleiter said, adding that Spratt hid in the basement after the family returned.
Kamleiter said Spratt would be facing the more serious charge of home invasion if he had entered the residence when anyone was present.
Spratt, who is being held on a $10,000 bond, is scheduled to appear April 10 at the Cook County Criminal Court in Markham. Police said this is the first time he has been charged with a felony but has been arrested in the past for retail theft.
The homeowner said he contacted the Chronicle because he wanted “to bring some attention to this particular incident as I feel people should know who they are living with in a community.”
“My ultimate hope is that pressure from (this publicity) will assist in prompting this individual and his family to reform his ways so that he can stop being a complete drag on society,” he said.