THE BERLIN MAUL: Tip On “Handyman” Leads To Arrest In Easter Mugging Of Lakeview Senior

Surveillance image of the alleged attacker and Berlin (Chicago Police Department)

A tip from a Boystown homeowner has led to the arrest of a suspect in the brutal mugging of a 75-year-old Lakeview woman on Easter morning.

Darren Berlin, 61, of the South Shore neighborhood is charged with robbery of a victim over the age of 60. Berlin is also known as Larry Tolliver, according to court records. He was released from prison on parole less than a month before the attack, according to 44th Ward Alderman Tom Tunney.

According to multiple sources, a Lakeview woman who saw video of the robbery met with police on April 2 because she believed that a man she recently hired to perform odd jobs resembled the robbery suspect. The tipster said the man identified himself as “Larry” when she hired him to do chores near Halsted and Grace days after the mugging. Investigators subsequently made a connection between the woman’s report and Berlin.

Several other neighborhood residents have called 911 since the mugging to report possible sightings of the suspect—most in the area of the 3600 block of N. Pine Grove, where the crime occurred—but responding officers were never able to catch up with the suspect.

Prosecutors say Berlin is the man who jumped an elderly woman as she shuffled off an elevator in a senior-focused housing center at 3639 N. Pine Grove shortly before 9AM on March 27. Berlin threw the woman onto the elevator floor and “rummaged through the storage compartment” of her walker before fleeing, police said.

Berlin was arrested in Woodlawn on Wednesday afternoon for allegedly breaking into cars in the 6200 block of S. Vernon, according to a police source.

Berlin, who also faces theft and criminal trespass to vehicle charges in connection with Wednesday’s alleged antics, is due in bond court today.

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CWBChicago was created in 2013 by five residents of Wrigleyville and Boystown who had grown disheartened with inaccurate information that was being provided at local Community Policing (CAPS) meetings. Our coverage area has expanded since then to cover Lincoln Park, River North, The Loop, Uptown, and other North Side Areas. But our mission remains unchanged: To provide original public safety reporting with better context and greater detail than mainstream media outlets.