SERIAL METAL THIEF CAUGHT
Saturday, April 16, 2011—Bond has been set at $35,000 for a Bridgeview man who repeatedly stole valuable metals from suburban businesses so he could sell it at scrap yards, Cook County Sheriff Thomas J. Dart announced Saturday.
Peter Gallant, 46, of the 7700 block of W. 87th St., has been charged with felony theft. He appeared in Bridgeview bond court on Friday.
Police opened an investigation on March 22nd after a business on the 17100 block of S. Wolf Road in unincorporated Orland Township reported the theft of 300 aluminum panels and other accessories used in building foundations, worth $200,000. Detectives with the Cook County Sheriff’s Police began researching whether other local law enforcement agencies had similar thefts. As a result of their investigation, police identified Gallant as their suspect. Detectives learned Gallant had recently sold 22 identical aluminum panels at a scrap metal business in Alsip for $1,000. Gallant was also a suspect in metal thefts in Orland Park and Willow Springs. After a search for Gallant, police were able to take him into custody on April 14th, at which time he admitted to the theft and sale of the aluminum.
Detectives from the Orland Park Police Department and Willow Springs Police Department came to Cook County Sheriff’s Police headquarters in Maywood on April 14th to interview Gallant. Additional charges were filed by Willow Springs Police, and Orland Park PD is pursuing charges as well.
Aluminum remains a target for thieves seeking a quick profit, as the price of the metal has almost doubled in the past two years. As the investigation continues, Cook County Sheriff’s Police detectives are seeking information from anyone who may have had contact with Gallant recently, or from scrap yards that have purchased large quantities of aluminum panels. Tips can be called in to 708-865-4896. Gallant’s next court date is May 4th in Bridgeview.