CHICAGO HEIGHTS, Ill. (STMW) — A business in south suburban Chicago Heights was ransacked and two vending machines were damaged by gunfire Sunday when an Indiana man who previously worked there broke in and became angry because he was unable to find his certificate to operate a forklift, police said.
Bryan Relf, 31, of Merrillville, Ind., was charged with unlawful use of a weapon and burglary after breaking into Bulkmatic, 2351 State St., police said. The company manufactures ingredients used to make glass.
Cook County Circuit Judge Douglas Simpson set Relf’s bail at $30,000 Tuesday at the Markham courthouse. He next is due in court March 4.
According to police, Relf was driving around Sunday morning when he decided to break into the business, which was closed.
He worked for the company for about a year until being laid off eight months ago, police said.
Relf said he had tried to get the company to send him his forklifting certificate, but it didn’t, so he decided to break in and try to find it himself, police said. Once inside, Relf ransacked the main office but was unable to find the certificate, police said.
Relf became angry and started shooting his .45-caliber pistol inside the building, hitting two vending machines, police said, and 12 shell casings later were recovered.
Police got a call about the burglary in progress and arrived about 9:30 a.m. as Relf was walking out the back door. Relf hid behind some nearby trees as an officer waited by Relf’s car in the parking lot, police said.
“As officers were standing by this mysterious vehicle, they saw (Relf) in the woods,” police Sgt. Tom Rogers said.
Relf was arrested and told police he had a .45-caliber gun tucked away in a shoulder holster. At the police station, Relf revealed he had stolen several items from the building, including radios with chargers, calculators, safety eyeglasses, a flashlight and ear covers, police said.
Rogers said Relf broke into the business only to cause damage and did not intend to hurt anyone.
–SouthtownStar, via the Sun-Times Media Wire
(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2011. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)