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Crime & Courts

Residents' home security footage helps Elmhurst police make burglary arrests

ELMHURST – Elmhurst residents' home security footage helped Elmhurst police make arrests following a few area burglaries that reportedly occurred in August and September in Elmhurst.

Michael A. Astorino, 28, of the 200 block of West Devon Avenue, Roselle, was charged at 9:16 a.m. Sept. 4 with residential burglary in Chicago in connection to an Elmhurst burglary, according to Elmhurst Police Department reports.

A resident in the 500 block of Fay Avenue in Elmhurst reportedly discovered Astorino on the interior porch of of his home, and Astorino offered to mow the resident's lawn, Elmhurst Deputy Police Chief Mike said in a phone interview. The resident declined the lawn service and later realized his screen door had been damaged.

Elmhurst police searched the area, and at about 9 a.m. Sept. 4, they were "flagged down" after another home's back door had been broken, McLean said.

Elmhurst police met with the residents of the home in the 600 block of Armitage Avenue in Elmhurst and learned a handgun, five jewelry items and a Samsung computer tablet reportedly had been stolen, he said.

An "extremely helpful resident" notified police he had home security footage of a person ringing his doorbell at the front of his home and knocking on his back door and provided Elmhurst detectives with the footage, McLean said.

Astorino was identified through the footage from the resident, he said.

He was transported to the DuPage County Jail, and he is scheduled to appear at 9 a.m. Oct. 9 in room 4012 of the DuPage County Courthouse.

Astorino also has been identified as the suspect in a motor vehicle burglary that reportedly occurred early in the morning Sept. 4 in the 300 block of North Oak Street in Elmhurst, McLean said in an email. Additional charges may be filed by the DuPage County State's Attorney's Office in court against Astorino in connection to the motor vehicle burglary and Fay Avenue incident, he said.

Nickey Frank, 45, and Sandy Frank, 37, both of the 2600 block of North Central Park Avenue, Chicago, were charged at 11:01 p.m. Aug. 31 with residential burglary near their home in Chicago, McLean said via phone.

The arrests of the husband and wife followed the Elmhurst police investigation of a ruse-type burglary that reportedly occurred Aug. 8 in the 400 block of North West Avenue in Elmhurst, he said.

The offenders allegedly knocked on the door of the home of the victim, an elderly woman, and Nickey allegedly said he was there to take care of the victim's roof and chimney, McLean said.

It is alleged the Franks entered the residence, and Sandy distracted the victim by talking with her in the living room at the front of the home while Nickey searched the home, including the kitchen, where the woman confronted him, after which the couple fled in a red Dodge minivan, he said.

Money reportedly was stolen from a bank envelope in the kitchen, and two rings and two watches reportedly were stolen from the victim's bedroom, McLean said.

A nearby resident notified Elmhurst police officers that video camera footage had captured a recording of the offenders driving past the home in the minivan, he said.

Detectives distributed a photo of the vehicle and the offenders to area police departments to try to identify the suspects, and on Aug. 31, Illinois State Police informed Elmhurst police they had a lead on identifying the offenders and a license plate of the minivan, McLean said.

Elmhurst police performed surveillance in the area of Central Park Avenue in Chicago, where they found the parked minivan and took the Franks into custody, he said.

Nickey is on parole for residential burglary, according to Illinois Department of Corrections records.

He is scheduled to appear at 9 a.m. Oct. 1 in room 4014 of the ​DuPage County Courthouse, and Sandy is scheduled to appear at 9 a.m. Sept. 24 in room 4014 of the courthouse.

McLean encouraged residents to participate in the Elmhurst Police Department's video-sharing partnership to help solve crimes and to report suspicious people who were not scheduled to conduct work in their homes to the police so police can respond and verify the inquirer's intentions.

"Unfortunately, the elderly can be taken advantage of by people in these ruse burglaries," McLean said.

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How to help

To learn more about the Elmhurst Police Department's video-sharing partnership, visit elmhurst.org/1554/Video-Sharing-Partnership and fill out the form to share video footage.

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