Rogers Park man, 19, scores his 35th arrest for stolen auto case

Kenneth Elmore | CPD

Kenneth Elmore has quite a “body of work,” as a Cook County judge called his criminal record this week. An 11-page juvenile rap sheet. Convicted of armed robbery at the age of 13. On juvenile parole for attempted murder. On “affordable bail” for an adult felony drug distribution case. And, as of yesterday, 35 total arrests.

He turned 19 on January 3.

Elmore was in court Thursday to face felony charges of possessing a stolen motor vehicle and resisting police along with two misdemeanors.

“It looks like you like to commit offenses, but you don’t like being arrested for them,” Judge Charles Beach told Elmore after hearing a lengthy presentation by Assistant State’s Attorney Lorraine Scaduto.

Elmore is “well known to community members as well as the police in the Rogers Park neighborhood,” Scaduto said. “He has been arrested in that neighborhood 35 times — 25 of those times have been in and around the Howard Red Line area.” He’s been arrested another five times near the Skokie CTA station, she said.

“Mr. Elmore is under investigation for numerous cases of cars being taken in various manners,” Scaduto told Beach.

Elmore allegedly ran into oncoming traffic on the 1600 block of West Howard when cops approached him Tuesday afternoon to talk about the auto thefts. Police caught him and found a key fob belonging to a 2019 Hyundai in his possession, she said. Cops located the car nearby.

Someone stole the vehicle around 10:10 p.m. the night before when its 70-year-old owner left it running in front of their home in the 2600 block of North Burling, according to Scaduto and a police spokesperson.

One officer who detained Elmore this week is unable to work because they suffered a sprained wrist, cut knee, and other injuries during a struggle with the 19-year-old, Scaduto said.

In addition to his juvenile adjudications for attempted murder, aggravated battery with a firearm, and robbery, Elmore’s juvenile convictions reportedly include theft and vehicular invasion.

The attempted murder and aggravated battery cases stem from an incident in which he ordered another offender to shoot two victims in Rogers Park, according to Scaduto.

He’s still on juvenile parole for that case, she said. Yet, he has managed to collect an impressive adult arrest record since his 18th birthday last January.

His first adult arrest came in February 2020, she said, when prosecutors charged him with criminal trespass to a vehicle and felony possession of cannabis. The state dropped all charges.

His second arrest also came in February 2020. That’s when he was arrested in Rosemont for criminal trespass to a vehicle, resisting police, retail theft, and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

Nine days after that, he was arrested in Rogers Park for delivery of a controlled substance to an undercover cop. He was charged with two felonies in that case and went home on a recognizance bond, she said. The case is still pending.

About two weeks later, he was arrested after police allegedly saw him conducting hand-to-hand drug deals on the same block where he was arrested for allegedly selling to an undercover cop. Prosecutors dropped the case nine days later.

In October, police stopped him for investigation of an armed robbery, Scaduto said. But the alleged victims failed to show up at the police station for an interview, so he was only charged with driving on a suspended license, according to Scaduto.

She said police are still investigating to see if Elmore has links to other stolen auto cases.

Judge Beach ordered him held without bail for violating the terms of bail in the pending manufacture-delivery case. Beach then set bail in the new stolen motor vehicle matter at $500,000.

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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. Our editorial email address is news@cwbchicago.com