Evanston police say they’ve made what may be the largest recovery of stolen property in the city’s history.

A portion of the recovered items now held at the Evanston Police Department. 

Displaying what he said was at least $100,000 of goods taken in several dozen burglaries in a minimum of four north surburban towns, Police Commander James Elliot said the seizure was certainly the largest in his 20 years on the force.

The property, which filled two cargo vans, was recovered Friday from a house at 1904 Emerson St., and Elliot says it took a team of officers five days just to inventory it all.

1904 Emerson
1904 Emerson St. 

Police this morning also announced a third arrest in connection with the case.

Andre Frazier, 43, of 2121 Darrow Ave. was arrested Wednesday and charged with a residential burglary in Skokie.

In addition, police say Rengay Frazier, 36, of 1904 Emerson St., who’d been released after being charged with narcotics and gun law violations following the initial search of the property, has been picked up again and other charges are pending against him.

Mug shots

Also arrested on drug and weapons charges Friday was Allan Boyland, 42, of 1904 Emerson St.

Police say Andre and Rengay Frazier are brothers.

(The Chicago Tribune reports that Rengay Frazier is a custodian at Haven Middle School in Evanston. It quotes district officials as saying they conduct criminal background checks on all potential employees and that they could not explain how Frazier was hired, given what police describe as his prior felony record.)

Commander James Elliot with members of the burglary task force.

Elliot said police have already linked property recovered from the Emerson address to at least 20 burglaries in Evanston, Morton Grove, Skokie and Wilmette and are continuing to develop additional connections so they can ultimately reunite the stolen property with its owners.

But he said it could take some time for owners to get their property back, assuming it has to be held for use in prosecutions of persons arrested for the thefts.

Police say they also recovered $50,000 in cash in the raid.

He said people who believe their stolen property may have been recovered should contact their local police agency to arrange to view the stolen items. He said Evanston victims should call 847-866-5040.

Elliot said the joint task force established by Evanston, Skokie and Wilmette last fall to deal with the wave of burglaries hitting all three towns is an example of how police agencies can cooperate in a time of budget cuts to increase their efficiency.

“Individual towns can’t operate in isolation or do everything on their own,” he said, “and each agency has special units, technical capabilities and vehicles.”

“We’ve always worked together, but now we’ve formalized the collaboration,” Elliot said.

Police say they found ten guns during the raid. 

He said officers noticed that many of the burglaries involved forced entry using pry tools on rear doors and occurred in the early evening hours, and mostly on certain days of the week.

He said the months of surveillance allowed officers to gather a great deal of information about both burglary suspects and persons believed to be involved in drug dealing.

Silverware, binoculars and cameras were also found in the raid. 

“We still have numerous suspects,” Elliot said, in addition to the three persons charged so far, and more burglaries are still being reported.

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Drug raid yields suspected stolen property

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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