A Merrionette Park man was charged with attempted burglary and possession of burglary tools Oct. 9 after attempting to open car doors in a garage of an Oak Lawn condominium, police said.
Joseph A. Robinson, 19, was arrested at 9:03 p.m. in the parking lot of the condo in the 10300 block of Austin Avenue, according to reports.
Robinson had a screwdriver, folding knife and two padlocks as well as a backpack that contained a flash light, latex gloves and a folding hex key tool, police said.
A witness, who lives in the building, called police and said he saw two men in the parking garage checking for unlocked car doors. Police arrived and saw Robinson walking away from the building followed by the witness, who was pointing at him.
The witness said he called police shortly after hearing noises in the garage, which is located beneath his unit. He activated security cameras that are focused on his two parking spaces and saw two men wearing hooded sweatshirts trying to enter the cars, police said.
The witness said Robinson ran toward a car parked in the corner of the garage in an effort to hide after another resident entered the garage. The resident did not recognize Robinson and questioned him, police said.
Robinson said he was there to visit his mother, but the resident did not believe him because she said she knows everyone who lives in the building. Robinson entered the building’s hallway and went upstairs, followed by the first witness, who saw him exit the building via the Austin Avenue door as police arrived.
The man with Robinson was not found. Witnesses said he wore a black hoodie, a dark hat, which he wore backwards, and dark basketball shorts. He was last seen in the building’s hallway.
The witness who encountered Robinson in the garage told police that the two padlocks on her storage unit were gone, but nothing was missing. The locks were not secured. She positively identified Robinson as the man she saw in the parking garage, police said.
Robinson told police he was at the building visiting a friend who he met on Oct. 8 at the basketball court at Little Wolfe Park in Oak Lawn. He said he did not know his friend’s last name or the condo unit in which he lived, according to reports.
Police asked him to call his friend, but Robinson said his phone was not on, police said. Robinson later told police he was in the garage while his friend went upstairs to get cigarettes, according to reports.