A Frankfort man suspected by that village's police force in a string of home burglaries also has been connected to breaking in to his grandmother's Tinley Park home and stealing a $1,000 ring, some gold coins and costume jewelry, according to police reports and court records.
Alexander Q. Stewart, 20, of the 8100 block of Parkview Lane, was arrested around 5 p.m. Sept. 28—hours after he allegedly burglarized his grandmother's apartment—and initially charged with felony theft, felony burglary, identity theft and possession of stolen property, according to a Frankfort Police report. The identity theft and possession of stolen property charges were later changed to unlawful possession of a credit or debit card and two counts of misdemeanor theft, according to Will County Circuit Court records.
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Stewart is still being held at Will County Jail on $85,000 bond, and his next court date is Oct. 22, court and Will County Sheriff's Office records stated.
The previous day, Sept. 27, Stewart arrived unannounced at the apartment of his grandmother, Sharon Kooper, 67, of the 7000 block of West 166th Street, according to Tinley Park Police reports. Kooper told police she thought it strange for Stewart to show up because she hadn’t heard from him in about a month, adding that her grandson had alcohol and drug problems, the report stated. Kooper said Stewart's mother, Kooper's daughter, had kicked him out of the house because of his abuse problems, the report continued.
Kooper let Stewart stay the night, and the two left together the next day at about 7:05 a.m. when Kooper went to work, the report stated. When Kooper returned home at around 12:20 p.m., she noticed a potted plant near her patio door had been knocked over onto the carpet and that someone had entered the apartment through that sliding glass door because it was unlocked, the report stated. Kooper then found the contents of her top bedroom dresser drawer in disarray and the following items missing, according to the report:
- a silver-banded ring with a ½-carat, emerald-cut diamond valued at about $1,000.
- multiple pieces of costume jewelry that Kooper had trouble describing
- about 25 gold coins from a container on top of the dresser, valued at $25
Kooper told police she suspected Stewart, claiming her grandson had a long history of stealing from family members, the report stated.
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Later that day, a Mokena Police officer spotted Stewart boarding a Metra train in the village and took him in to custody because he was wanted as a suspect by both Tinley Park and Frankfort authorities, said Frankfort Police Deputy Chief Kevin Keegan. Stewart was then taken to the Frankfort Police Department by the Mokena officer.
Frankfort officers searched Stewart and found a debit card in someone else's name, as well as a variety of jewelry, which was later identified as belonging to Kooper, Stewart's grandmother, Keegan said.
The debit card, which Stewart used to make 15 fraudulent charges, had been reported stolen Sept. 15 by a resident in the 400 block of Meadow Avenue in Frankfort, Keegan said.
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Along with the Kooper burglary and the stolen debit card, Frankfort investigators and Will County prosecutors claim Stewart was involved in three other thefts in the village, Keegan added:
- Items were reported stolen Sept. 2, from a vehicle parked in the 8200 block of Calista Drive.
- Items were reported stolen Sept. 12, from a residence along Troon Trail.
- Items were reported stolen Sept. 24, from a residence in the 11600 block of Quartz Court.
Except for the Calista Drive incident, the victims of Stewart's thefts were either his friends or family, Keegan said. Frankfort detectives also claim Stewart unsuccessfully tried to sell the stolen items from the Quartz Court burglary at a pawn shop in New Lenox, Keegan said.
Currently, Stewart is scheduled to go through the Will County courts system, even though the burglary involving his grandmother happened in Cook County. In fact, the only charge prosecutors could file involving that crime would be possession of stolen property, which has been dropped. Keegan said he didn't know if the Cook County State's Attorney Office would file separate charges against Stewart.
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