Year in Review: Lemont's Top Crime Stories of 2011
From the Lemont National Bank robbery to a Willis Tower bomb threat, here's a look at Lemont Patch's biggest police stories of the year.
Thankfully, Lemont is a fairly quiet town most days; the most scandalous police blotter item in any given week is a DUI arrest or a report of stolen goods.
In 2011, however, a few Lemont-related crime stories made headlines across the Chicago area. From the recent bank robbery to a a bomb threat at the Willis Tower, here's a look at a few of the year's biggest stories:
Lemont's biggest crime story of 2011 came in the final weeks of the year, when the Lemont National Bank on State Street was robbed.
Police responded to a hold-up alarm at the bank around 5 p.m. on Dec. 13. Employees reported a man had handed a note demanding money to the teller. After the man implied he had a weapon, the teller complied and the man fled the bank with an undisclosed amount of money, police said.
Within 11 hours, Lemont police tracked down and arrested Gerald C. Tysko, a 33-year-old homeless man who police describe as a "serial bank robber." He was charged with bank robbery and aggravated robbery, police said.
Following Tysko's arrest, Patch learned that Lemont police tracked him down using a local cab company. According to a source at the company, Tysko walked to a nearby Lemont bar and called a cab immediately following the robbery.
Police ultimately tracked his cab to a motel in Bridgeview.
Tysko remains in Cook County jail on $250,000 bail. He scheduled to appear in court Jan. 5.
We've filed this one under "What Were You Thinking?" in this year's archives.
In August, 19-year-old Lemont resident Julija Petraityte was arrested at the Willis Tower after telling a security guard that her friend had a bomb, Chicago police said.
According to a Chicago Tribune report, Petraityte made the joke after the guard asked her friend if she had taken all the items out of her pockets. When the guard warned her it wasn't funny, Petraityte repeated her statement.
Police said there was no actual bomb.
Petraityte was charged with one count of felony disorderly conduct—making a false bomb threat, police said.
One of Lemont's most heartbreaking stories of the year came in early August, when 25-year-old Jeremy Asbell was found dead in a Lemont retention pond. It wasn't a crime story (no foul play was suspected), but it involved emergency responders from nearly a dozen surrounding towns so we thought we'd include it anyway.
According to Lemont Fire Chief Carl Churulo, Asbell was reported missing Aug. 2 after he and a friend were tossed from a canoe that capsized on a pond near Frontage Road and Woodward Avenue. Crews discovered his body after two days of searching the pond.
Preliminary results of an autopsy indicated Asbell died of an accidental drowning, according to a release from the DuPage County Coroner's Office. The report also stated that there is no indication of foul play or suspcious circumstances.
Asbell was a 2004 graduate of Romeoville High School, where he wrestled and played football. On his Facebook page, he listed his current residence as Darien and his hometown as Bolingbrook.
Back in September, two Lemont siblings were charged with multiple counts of armed robbery after police said they used a fake gun to hold up immigrant women in Chicago.
Jaclyn Madera, 28, and Steven Madera, 36, were arrested Sept. 15 in Chicago's Brighton Park neighborhood. Both face six counts of armed robbery with a firearm, according to police. Jaclyn was issued a ticket for driving on a suspended license, while Steven faces additional charges of robbery, aggravated battery and possession of a replica firearm.
Steven is charged in five incidents and Jaclyn is charged in four incidents.
The siblings were arrested after police spotted them driving a white van that matched the description of one used during the reported robberies, according to police.
Jaclyn Madera, who lives in the 500 block of Second Street in Lemont, acted as the getaway driver as her brother jumped out and stole gold necklaces from his victims at gunpoint, police said. Two of her children were in the vehicle at the time.
The Maderas each remain in Cook County jail on $2 million bail.
In August, a Lemont man was accused by Orland Park police of driving too fast and causing a traffic accident that resulted in the death of Frankfort teen Julie Gorczynski.
Lukasz Marszalek, 21, of the 19W000 block of Hillcrest Lane in Lemont, was charged with one count of aggravated reckless driving, a Class 4 felony. Orland Park Police’s traffic division reconstructed the accident and concluded that Marszalek was speeding and caused the accident, according to a release from the Orland Park Police Department.
No evidence of alcohol or drug use was discovered after toxicology tests were performed on both Marszalek and the driver of the vehicle in which Gorczynski was riding, police said.
Police determined that Marszalek was driving at least 76 mph as a result of the crash reconstruction, police said.
Marszalek is free after posting 10 percent of a $150,000 bail.