Suspicious man lets air out of tires of female drivers
By Frank Abderholden firstname.lastname@example.org July 18, 2013 5:02AM
A man in the area is allegedly partially unscrewing the valve stems on car tires to create a slow leak so he can then offer to help female drivers fix their flats. Thomas Delany Jr.~Sun-Times Media file
Updated: August 20, 2013 6:15AM
From the creepy side of the police files comes a case that has spread over Facebook and involves a man who allegedly partially unscrews the valve stem on a woman’s car tire to create a slow leak, just so he can then offer to help her fix her flat.
Twice this summer, the latest was last week, a woman customer of Target in Waukegan near Lewis Avenue and Yorkhouse Road had the valve stem of a rear tire tampered with, but the scariest incident is recalled in a Facebook warning made by Ron Colangelo, the city of Zion’s Public Works Director whose daughter had a run in with the suspect.
On July 10, his daughter called him to say she had a flat in Zion at Sheridan Road and 28th Street, but there was more to it. She said a Hispanic man in a white work truck offered to help her fix her tire, but the creepy part is he had been following her since she left the Target store parking lot.
“The truck pulled next to her to tell her she was getting a flat and offered to help her if she pulled over,” he wrote, “He offered a again and after telling him no a second time he did a u-turn in the CVS (Pharmacy) parking lot and headed back west on Wadsworth Road.”
When she went to the Target store she had noticed a white pick-up truck parked next to her car with no one inside. When she left she noticed the same truck was following her down Lewis Avenue toward Zion. She became nervous so she turned east onto Wadsworth Road toward Sheridan Road and the truck followed. As her car approached Sheridan Road, the truck pulled up along side of her car and pointed out she was getting flat and he could help, said her father in his post.
“There is no doubt that this was a deliberate attempt to have her vehicle disabled on the side of the road so she could become a victim of a crime,” he wrote after discovering the valve stem had been tampered with, “Please get the word out to others so they don’t fall prey to someone out there doing this.”
Waukegan police said they received a second complaint from a victim who had seen the Facebook posting.
She told police that on June 12 she had a man in a white pickup truck help her change a flat. Only her car was still parked in the parking lot of Target when the tire became flat.
She told police a Hispanic man offered to help her fix her flat tire and he did just that, then drove off.