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Lake County Cybercrime Unit Works To Protect Children

The Lake County Sheriff's Office Cybercrime Unit pursues online predators who seek to meet underage children and those who possess inappropriate images and videos of children. Follow these officers as they conduct a search warrant for a man believed to be in possession of child pornography. Persons placed under arrest are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. 
Zion Man Charged in Beach Park Shooting

Bickwermert.jpgOn January 30, 2016, at approximately 2:45AM, Lake County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to the 9800 block of West Oak Forest Drive, Beach Park, for a fight in progress, with shots fired.  When sheriff’s deputies arrived they learned multiple people involved the fight fled the scene.  Sheriff’s deputies determined the physical altercation occurred between two rival gangs and the shots were fired just prior to the arrival of sheriff’s deputies. 

The individual responsible for firing the gun fled and was no longer at the scene when sheriff’s deputies arrived.  Sheriff’s Office Evidence Technicians arrived at the scene, located and collected numerous shell casings, as well as other evidence. 

The Lake County Sheriff’s Gang Task Force began an immediate investigation into this incident.  Through their investigation, the Gang Task Force determined the individual responsible for firing the gun was Eric Bickwermert, 27, of the 1500 block of Lorelei Drive, Zion, a registered street gang member.

On February 2, 2016, the Lake County Gang Task Force transported Bickwermert to the Lake County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Division, where he was subsequently arrested and charged. 

Bickwermert was subsequently charged with:

  • Unlawful Use of a Weapon by a Street Gang Member (Class 2 Felony)
  • Unlawful Use of a Weapon by a Felon (Class 2 Felony)
  • Aggravated Unlawful Use of a Weapon – No FOID Card (Class 2 Felony)
  • Reckless Discharge of a Firearm (Class 4 Felony)

Bickwermert is currently being held at the Lake County Jail on $75,000.00 bail.  He is due in Court on February 10, 2016 at 9:00AM, in Courtroom C-120.

Sheriff Curran reminds the public that the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

Superbowl Weekend Traffic Safety Results

Lake County Sheriff’s Deputies worked two extra seat belt patrols and two extra DUI patrols during Super Bowl weekend (February 5-7, 2016).  The extra patrols resulted in a DUI arrest, two drug arrests, 12 seat belt citations, for a total of 63 citations issued for traffic safety violations.

The Lake County Sheriff’s Office will continue extra enforcement with IDOT funds in the months of February and March, focusing on DUI enforcement.

“The Lake County Sheriff’s Office aggressively enforces drunk driving laws every day.  Don’t risk the lives of others, or your own life, designate a sober driver before drinking” added Undersheriff Ray Rose.

The extra enforcement details are funded through a grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Administration.  The grant is administered by the Illinois Department of Transportation’s Division of Traffic Safety.

Lake County Residents Invited to Participate in Sheriff's Citizen Police Academy

Lake County Sheriff Mark C. Curran, Jr. is pleased to announce the next Citizen Police Academy begins March 17, 2016.  Participants will have the opportunity to see first-hand how the Sheriff’s Office maintains law and order for Lake County residents.

The Academy is a 10-week long program with classes held each Thursday evening beginning March 17, 2016. Classes begin at 6:30 p.m. and end at 9:30 p.m. Instruction is provided by sworn deputies and civilians in their field of expertise and is designed to provide a hands-on experience.  Training takes place at the various Sheriff’s Office facilities throughout the county, including the Lake County Courthouse and Lake County Jail located in Waukegan, as well as the Highway Patrol Division located in Libertyville. Upon completing the 10-week program, students graduate on May 26, 2016. 

The Academy is offered free of charge to Lake County residents.  Participants must be 21 years of age or older, be of good moral character, and have no felony convictions.

Applications are available at the Lake County Sheriff’s Administration Office located at 25 S. Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue in Waukegan, on the Lake County website at If you have any questions you can contact Community Services at 847.377.4211.

Unincorporated Zion Shooting

On February 7, 2016 at approximately 1:40AM, Lake County Sheriff’s Deputies were dispatched to Pinsters Bowling Alley, 1646 Sheridan Road, Unincorporated Zion, for a report of a person with a gun.  When sheriff’s deputies arrived, they located several hundred people fleeing from the bowling alley, and learned shots had been fired.  Lake County Sheriff’s Deputies, along with officers from Winthrop Harbor Police Department and Zion Police Department, set up a perimeter around the scene to search for victims and offenders.

Sheriff’s deputies located a shooting victim who was shot in the leg and the head.  Lake County Sheriff’s Deputy Michael Platt administered life-saving measures and applied a tourniquet to the victim’s leg, stopping the blood loss.  The victim was transported via ambulance to a local hospital.  He is expected to survive.

Preliminary investigation revealed the shooting was likely gang related, following a dispute between rival gang members.  Sheriff’s detectives and members of the Lake County Sheriff’s Gang Task Force continue to investigate the shooting.

Anyone with information regarding this incident is encouraged to call the Lake County Sheriff’s Office at (847) 549-5200 or the Lake County Sheriff’s Gang Task Force Tip-Line at (847) 377-4424.

Lake County Sheriff's Office Alerts Businesses of Salon Burglaries

The Lake County Sheriff’s Office is alerting Lake County businesses of an increase in burglaries.  Over the last several weeks, the Lake County Sheriff’s Office has seen an increase in burglaries to businesses, specifically targeting salons.  These have been occurring throughout Lake County and neighboring counties, during the evening and overnight hours.

During these incidents, the offender(s) have primarily gained access to the salons by using force (breaking a window/forcing the door open).  The burglaries have occurred throughout Lake County and haven’t been limited to a specific geographical region. 

“To reduce the risk of loss, remove cash and expensive valuables from your business every night,” said Sheriff Mark Curran. 

Undersheriff Ray Rose said, “We encourage business owners to take proactive measures and utilize burglar alarms/video surveillance systems.  Additionally, members of the public should report any suspicious activity by dialing 9-1-1.”

Additional safety tips include:

  • ·         Ensuring there is ample lighting both inside and outside of the business, while the business is open and closed
  • ·         Having a secure safe to house cash/valuables when it’s necessary to leave them overnight
  • ·         Reinforce door frames
  • ·         Utilizing door locks with deadbolts

Lake County Sheriff’s Detectives are working with other area police detectives to locate those responsible for the burglaries.  Anyone with information surrounding the burglaries is encouraged to contact the Lake County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Division at 847-377-4250 or Lake County Crime Stoppers at 847-662-2222.

The Lake County Sheriff’s Office provides business security surveys to businesses located in sheriff’s patrol areas.  These surveys help business owners identify areas where security can be enhanced at a business.  If interested in a business security survey, please contact the Lake County Sheriff’s Office Community Services Unit at 847-377-4211.

Lake County Sheriff Announces Illinois Sheriff's Association Scholarship

Sheriff Mark Curran announced the Illinois Sheriff's Association will be awarding a $500 college scholarship to a local student seeking to pursue higher education during the 2016-2017 academic year. The scholarship is to be applied to tuition, books and fees only. The student must be enrolled full-time at a certified institution of higher learning within the State of Illinois. 

Those applying for the scholarship must meet the following criteria:

  • Applicants must be permanent Illinois residents
  • Scholarship must be utilized at an institution of higher learning within Illinois     
  • Student must be enrolled as a full-time student during the 2016-2017 school year (excluding summer session)

Guidelines include submission of a 350-word essay. This year's essay question focuses on the heroin epidemic locally and nationally. Applications are now available at the Lake County Sheriff’s Office or on the website at Students must complete the application; answer the essay question and return all documentation to the Lake County Sheriff’s Office; 25 S Martin Luther King Jr Avenue in Waukegan, IL by March 15, 2016 (must be postmarked by this date.)

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Sheriff's Office

Sheriff Mark C. Curran Jr.
Sheriff Mark C. Curran Jr.

Undersheriff Raymond Rose
Undersheriff Raymond Rose

Lake County Sheriff's Office
25 S. Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue
Waukegan, IL 60085

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