Salud Martinez Ruiz

Salud Martinez Ruiz

Chicago man charged in Palos Heights motor vehicle thefts

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From staff reports

A Chicago man was charged last week with possession of stolen motor vehicles after Oak Lawn police found him allegedly driving a van stolen in Palos Heights.

Police said they responded to a report of a suspicious vehicle in the parking lot of Good Shepherd Church at 7800 McCarthy Road about noon on May 30 and found an unoccupied landscaping truck, trailer and riding lawnmower.

Police said they learned that these vehicles were at the Northwestern Palos Hospital lot and were stolen by an unknown person.

Neighbors reported a male Hispanic subject had approached their homes and asked for water and cigarettes just prior and told the neighbor his name was Salud and he used to work for another neighbor.

Police said they learned that a Salud Martinez Ruiz had worked for the neighbor previously and had been recently discharged from Northwestern Palos Hospital.

The recovered landscaping van, trailer and lawnmower were returned to the owners.

As officers were investigating this matter, a second vehicle, a Chrysler van, was reported stolen from the CVS lot.  A male Hispanic subject was identified as being inside the store just prior to the theft and video captured him entering the stolen vehicle in the lot.

On Wednesday, May 31, Oak Lawn police received a stolen plate hit on the stolen Chrysler van and conducted a traffic stop on the vehicle.

The driver, identified as Salud Martinez Ruiz, was taken into custody and the van recovered and returned to the owner.

Ruiz was transported to the Palos Heights Police Department, where he gave a full confession to both motor vehicle thefts after receiving his Miranda warnings.

The case was reviewed by the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Felony Review Unit and four felony charges were approved.

Ruiz, 27, was charged with one count of aggravated possession of a stolen motor vehicle and theft of over $10,000 for the initial vehicle theft, and charged with theft of under $10,000 and possession of a stolen motor vehicle for the CVS vehicle theft.

Ruiz was transported to the Bridgeview Courthouse for a bond hearing.

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