Bond has been set at $35,000 for a Bridgeview man who repeatedly stole valuable metals from suburban businesses so he could sell it at scrap yards, Cook County Sheriff Thomas J. Dart announced Saturday.
Peter Gallant, 46, of the 7700 block of W. 87th St., has been charged with felony theft. He appeared in Bridgeview bond court on Friday.
Police opened an investigation on March 22nd after a business on the 17100 block of S. Wolf Road in unincorporated Orland Township reported the theft of 300 aluminum panels and other accessories used in building foundations, worth $200,000. Detectives with the Cook County Sheriff’s Police began researching whether other local law enforcement agencies had similar thefts. As a result of their investigation, police identified Gallant as their suspect. Detectives learned Gallant had recently sold 22 identical aluminum panels at a scrap metal business in Alsip for $1,000. Gallant was also a suspect in metal thefts in Orland Park and Willow Springs. After a search for Gallant, police were able to take him into custody on April 14th, at which time he admitted to the theft and sale of the aluminum.
Detectives from the Orland Park Police Department and Willow Springs Police Department came to Cook County Sheriff’s Police headquarters in Maywood on April 14th to interview Gallant. Additional charges were filed by Willow Springs Police, and Orland Park PD is pursuing charges as well.
Aluminum remains a target for thieves seeking a quick profit, as the price of the metal has almost doubled in the past two years. As the investigation continues, Cook County Sheriff’s Police detectives are seeking information from anyone who may have had contact with Gallant recently, or from scrap yards that have purchased large quantities of aluminum panels. Tips can be called in to 708-865-4896. Gallant’s next court date is May 4th in Bridgeview.
Police arrested nine men who were operating a counterfeit apparel sales ring out of stores in Chicago and suburban areas, Cook County Sheriff Thomas J. Dart announced Saturday.
Two of the men were charged with felonies and appeared in bond court at 26th & California on Thursday. Seven others were charged with misdemeanors. The following is a list of those arrested and charged:
- Ali Shaheen, 27, of the 10600 block of South Parkside Avenue in Chicago Ridge, three felony counts of counterfeiting - $30,000 bond
- Said Aljuba, 30, of the 7000 block of West 100th Street in Chicago Ridge, two felony counts of counterfeiting – $20,000 bond
- Samer Assad, 37, of the 4000 block of West Barry Avenue in Chicago, three misdemeanor counts of counterfeiting
- Hazem Nasir, 48, of the 16000 block of Laurel Drive in Orland Park, two misdemeanor counts of counterfeiting
- Iman Shahin, 26, of the 10600 block of South Parkside Avenue in Chicago Ridge, one misdemeanor count of counterfeiting
- Muhamad Nakhlek, 19, of the 9200 block of South 50th Avenue in Oak Lawn, two misdemeanor counts of counterfeiting
- Amer Alomari, 34, of the 5600 block of West Eastwood Avenue in Chicago, one misdemeanor count of counterfeiting
- Jalal Zayed, 36, of the 10500 block of Major Avenue in Chicago Ridge, one misdemeanor count of counterfeiting
- Mohammed Zaben, 33, of the 4300 block of West Belmont Avenue in Chicago, two misdemeanor counts of counterfeiting
The Cook County Sheriff’s Police Special Operations Unit began investigating the ring in early March, after receiving a tip from a concerned citizen. Over the course of several weeks, investigators conducted surveillance and undercover purchases, and determined the nine men – who were either related or friends – were engaged in illegal counterfeiting sales. Most of the apparel items sold in their stores bore the counterfeit trademarks of Nike, Timberland and Major League Baseball.
On Apr 12th and 13th, detectives conducted a raid of the five businesses owned by the men at the following locations:
- Oak Park Tobacco & More, 6300 block of West North Avenue, Oak Park
- State Street Discount, 7100 block of South State Street, Chicago
- North Avenue Discount, 5500 block of West North Avenue, Chicago
- Chicago Avenue Discount, 5600 block of West Chicago, Chicago
- Madison Discount Store, 5100 block of West Madison, Chicago
In total, investigators seized more than 4000 items including shoes, jackets, hats and shirts with an estimated value of $150,000.
The next court date for Ali Shaheen and Said Aljuba is April 20th at Harrison & Kedzie.