Joliet home invaded by police impersonators, prosecutors say

Michael Pedroza

Two men have been charged with impersonating police officers during an April 1 home invasion in Joliet, court records show.

On June 10, Michael Pedroza, 47, of Melrose Park, and David Brenner, 43, of Chicago, were charged in Will County with false personation of a police officer, home invasion and residential burglary.

Pedroza was further charged with aggravated unlawful possession of a stolen vehicle and aggravated driving with a revoked license. Pedroza has been arrested on the charges but not Brenner, according to Joliet police Sgt. Dwayne English.

The charges against the two men were the result of a police investigation into the alleged home invasion that occurred on April 1 at a home in the 600 block of Cowles Avenue. The residence is in Joliet’s Cathedral Area neighborhood.

Pedroza is scheduled for a pretrial detention hearing on Tuesday. Prosecutors have filed a petition to deny Pedroza’s release from the Will County jail.

In the petition, prosecutors said a friend of the homeowner was staying as a guest at the Cowles Avenue residence when he said someone yelled “police” and then saw four suspects enter the home.

The friend went into the backyard but one of the suspects followed him there and told him to go back inside, prosecutors said. The friend noticed the suspect was a “fake cop” who was wearing “cop-like clothing,” prosecutors said.

The witness apparently lunged toward the suspect’s handgun, which went off, and he then struck the suspect repeatedly in the head after grabbing his gun, prosecutors said.

The witness then placed the handgun under a mattress until police arrived, prosecutors said.

One of the suspects had thrown the homeowner to the ground during the home invasion and was holding a shotgun, prosecutors said. The homeowner managed to flee from the house.

The homeowner’s vehicle had been stolen by the suspects when they fled the house, prosecutors said.

Detectives allegedly found Pedroza with the stolen vehicle in Melrose Park, prosecutors said.