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Caretaker Charged With Doing $20,000 Worth of Damage to Hinsdale Church

Police have not identified any possible motives for the damage.

Criminal damage to property—Vincent H. Latkowski, of 148 Ann St. in Clarendon Hills, was arrested and charged with felony criminal damage to property after officers from the responded to an activated fire alarm at Grace Episcopal Church, where Latkowski works as a sexton, around 10 p.m. March 2 and found broken stained glass, a broken wooden bench, overturned bookcases, and several chairs thrown about the building.

Deputy Chief Mark Wodka said police found evidence that indicated the sexton—which is a church's caretaker—had caused the damage. Initial estimates of the damage's total cost exceed $20,000.  

"[The damage] wasn’t in the sanctuary itself. It was primarily in the office areas outside of the sanctuary," Wodka said. 

Latkowski, 31, was the only person at the church, located at 120 E. 1st St., when responders arrived and there were physical signs that indicated he had been drinking, Wodka said. As of now, police do not know of any motive Latkowski might have had. The suspect was transported to DuPage County Jail for a bond hearing.  

Wodka said Latkowski has one prior conviction for dangerous drugs and one prior conviction for assault.

Retail theft—An unknown suspect stole 38 DVDs from a rear display at Blockbuster Video, 30 S. Lincoln St., between 11:50 a.m. and 12:15 p.m. March 5.

Each DVD is worth between $9.99 and $12.99, meaning the value of the stolen goods is between approximately $380 and $494.

Wodka said two people were in the store when the lone employee at the time went into a back room. When the employee came back out, the two people were gone and the DVDs were later discovered to be missing.

The case is currently pending.

Burglary to motor vehicle—An unknown suspect entered two vehicles parked in the 400 block of Briargate Terrace and took approximately $480 worth of electronics between 9:30 p.m. Feb. 28 and 5:25 p.m. Feb. 29.

From one vehicle, the suspect took a GPS device and iPod charger worth a combined $280; from the other, a $200 GPS device was taken. 

"Both cars were believed to have been unlocked because there was no forced entry into either car," Wodka said.

Wodka said the two cases are considered to be connected because of the proximity of the two burglaries and the similar timeframe. Both cases are pending.

DUI—Jill S. Vorobiev, of 746 S. Monroe St. in Hinsdale, was charged with DUI after she was observed to be under the influence of alcohol during a traffic stop for disobeying a stop sign near the intersection of Washington and 1st streets and refused to submit to a breath test at 1:22 a.m. March 4.

Vorobiev, 40, was charged with DUI and disobeying a stop sign and was released to appear in court.

DUI—David C. Mellor, of 9 Bendwood Dr. in Sugarland, Texas, was charged with DUI after he was observed to be under the influence of alcohol during a traffic stop for disobeying a traffic control device near the intersection of Monroe and 55th streets and failed an ensuing breath test at 2:16 a.m. March 3.

Mellor, 41, was charged with DUI and disobeying a traffic control device and was released to appear in court.

Patch reports on law enforcement activity in our towns, using information provided by official agencies. Persons charged with a crime, or issued a citation for violation of a local ordinance, are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. If you or a family member are charged with a crime or cited for a violation, and the charge or citation is subsequently adjudicated, we encourage you to notify the editor of this Patch site by emailing joe.odonnell@patch.com and we will do follow-up reporting on the case.

Teri D. Springer March 11, 2012 at 06:34 PM
This makes me so sad. I was a member of Grace Episcopal when I was in high school. It was a beautiful church and the pastor at that time (1972-76) was wonderful. I hope they are more selective in who they hire to care for the church in the future.
Duncan Idaho March 17, 2012 at 05:06 AM
I grow weary of the masses that are so concerned about the beauty and the material attributes of the church facilities. It is much more interesting question as to the motivations of the individual that made the decision to lash out in anger, immaturity or frustration towards inanimate objects.

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