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WEDGE charges suspected burglar, thief after posing as friend

RIVERSIDE – The Riverside Police Department announced the arrest of Aurelio Ortega, who has been charged with theft, in conjunction with the West Suburban Enhanced Drug/Gang Enforcement (WEDGE).

Ortega, 21, of the 2100 block of South Damen Avenue, Chicago, was charged with theft and a violation of bail bond for being wanted on two outstanding fugitive warrants, the department said in a news release.

Ortega previously had a listed in address in Brookfield.

Police responded to a report of a theft from a home in the 300 block of Shenstone Road in Riverside July 4 at 7:40 p.m. The homeowners told police that their daughter had a friend over, who police said was Ortega, for a July 4 event and afterwards noticed that cash was missing from a vase that had been hidden in the home. The homeowner said they noticed the male friend putting something in his pocket when he left the house earlier in the evening.

Police began an investigation that revealed that Ortega had a criminal history of burglaries and theft cases.

Riverside police obtained complaints and had been looking for Ortega since early July, but he was not living at his last known address in Brookfield.

On Thursday last week, Riverside police enlisted the help of WEDGE to attempt to locate Ortega.

They gathered information that he was staying in Chicago.

An officer in the WEDGE Task Force went to the home in Chicago, and, posing as a friend, rang the doorbell. A family member opened the door and told the officer Ortega was not at home, but was down the street with a girlfriend.

Ortega was found at that address and was taken into custody without incident.

In addition, Ortega was found wanted on a domestic battery warrant issued by the Downers Grove Police Department.

Police said Ortega is a self-admitted member of the Latin Eagle gang.

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