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Riverside police arrest two in drive-by shooting

Cops get search warrant for SnapChat to link crime to juveniles

February 21st, 2018 4:29 PM

TIMOTHY INKLEBARGER

Staff Reporter

The Riverside Police Department arrested two male juveniles – a 15-year-old from Hanover Park and a 17-year-old from Roselle – they believe committed a drive-by shooting in the 200 block of East Burlington on Dec. 1.

Police report that they got a break in the case after obtaining a search warrant for the social media company SnapChat.

Police say the 15-year-old was the shooter.

Over the last 11 weeks, police gathered video surveillance of the shooting, witness statements and other physical evidence and collaborated with other police agencies, along with Facebook and SnapChat, to lead detectives to the two male juveniles.

Detectives learned in their investigation that the two juveniles set up a drug deal via SnapChat to make the exchange in the rear yard of a residence on East Burlington near an apartment complex and the Burlington North railroad tracks.

The juveniles intended to rob the drug dealer, who was planning to sell them cannabis, according to police. That deal never took place and the two parties exchanged words, police said in a press release.

The juveniles began to leave the scene but then circled back toward Desplaines and fired six shots out the window, according to police.

No one was injured in the incident, but a building and several parked cars were hit with bullets. The juveniles then fled north on Harlem.

Police report that both juveniles attend an alternative school in Addison "designed for high-school age students who have had academic and or behavior problems in the past."

Riverside Police Chief Thomas Weitzel said in a press release that the shooting was an isolated incident and the result of a drug deal gone bad.

"I had my detectives working on this case every day in some capacity or another as I knew the importance of solving this crime to our community," Weitzel said. "I also wanted to mention that there was excellent police work done by the patrol officers who initially responded and were able to collect evidence immediately by canvassing the area which led to statements that assisted us in this apprehension.

"Detectives also worked countless hours obtaining search warrants for SnapChat and Facebook in addition to collaborating with suburban police departments as well as the Chicago Police Department to identify the suspects."

CONTACT: tim@oakpark.com