RIVERSIDE, Ill. (STMW) — A Chicago man was arrested for the 99th time Wednesday and charged with drug possession after allegedly using his 3-year-old child as a ruse to beg for money in west suburban Riverside.

At about 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, Riverside police received a call of a suspicious man stopping people on the street to ask for money and begging door-to-door in the 7200 block of West Ogden, a release from police said.

Officers located 37-year-old Alberto Luis Alvarez pushing a stroller with a small child inside, and when they questioned him, he refused to take his hands from his pockets, the release said. He then threw several clear plastic bags on the ground and tried to run away.

Police quickly caught him an arrested him after a brief struggle, and found more heroin in his pockets, the release said.

While being booked, it was discovered that Alvarez had 98 prior arrests and 23 convictions, ranging from burglary, robbery and larceny to assault, drugs and smuggling, the release said. He was also found to have 10 dates of birth, nine names and five Social Security numbers used as aliases.

Riverside Police Chief Tom Weitzel called it “simply mind-boggling.”

Investigators learned that Alvarez had been using his 3-year-old as a ruse to try and get money from residents by claiming to be injured, the release said. The child was turned over to a family member and the Department of Children and Family Services was notified.

Alvarez, of 2500 block of North Harding Avenue in Chicago, was charged with possession of a controlled substance, obstruction of a police officer (for destroying evidence), resisting arrest and child endangerment, the release said.

The chief called it “simply deplorable” that Alvarez was “looking for crimes of opportunity, purchasing drugs and looking for new victims to con by using a 3-year-old as a ruse.”

Court information was not immediately available.

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2010. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)