Readers React to Arrests of Deerfield Teens for Highland Park Burglary

Armed home invasion leads many readers to question their safety and wonder what their own kids are up to.

Days after Highland Park Police , readers continue to flood Patch with comments.


Deerfield residents Joseph J. Mahoney and Joshua S. Norris, both 17, were charged as adults for They are charged with home invasion, residential burglary and possession of a stolen firearm, according to the Highland Park Police Department. They were transferred to the Lake County court building, where bond was set at $150,000 each. Both bonded out last Friday.

Residents wonder about their kids

The incident has left many residents in both Highland Park and Deerfield stunned, apprehensive about their safety and curious about what their own children are up to.

"As a parent of two little girls it does scare me a little to see what is out there," writes . "You raise your kids and hope you did a good job. You spend time with them."

Another reader asked that commenters refrain from jumping to conclusions about what happened before more information is revealed. There is currently little known about why the house was targeted and what the offenders hoped to get, though Deputy Police Chief Dave Schwarz told Patch that "it wasn't random."

"You never know how kids are 'wired' until you meet up with these unimaginable situations," writes . "It could be any one of our kids making bad choices. We need to be a community of concerned, but, most importantly, kind people."

Kudos to police department

Several readers praised the police work that led to the arrests only hours after the burglary occurred. The investigation involved help from nearby police departments including Deerfield, Lake Forest and a canine unit from North Chicago. One reader commented specifically on the use of reverse-911, a phone service where the Highland Park Police calls residents to warn them of potentially dangerous situations occurring in the community.

"Kudos to the Highland Park police Department for using the connect CTY warning system," writes . "Great Job of protecting your residents. And next time you wonder if your tax dollars are being spent wisely, think of this technology!"

Innocent until proven guilty

In addition to larger subjects like community safety, raising a teenager and gun control, the overwhelming question driving the comments has been "Why did this happen?"

While many residents have continued to speculate what could motivate teens to pick up a gun and break into a nearby home, others have advised against inferring or judging until the trial.

"I'd fully expect a young man of 17 years old to know right from wrong, to realize that someone could get killed with a firearm, and to realize that he himself could get killed if he chose to rob someone or invade their home," writes . "We have to wait to see how this all plays out in court."

takes Greenberg's sentiment a step further, reminding readers that "this is still America. They're innocent until PROVEN guilty."

"And, in my opinion," he writes, "Everyone deserves a second chance."

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Allen Goodman August 17, 2012 at 10:01 PM
ResidentD - Namecalling? Really? You just tossed out your own credibility. Ronnie - Without getting into the details, your position is harsh. Things are never simply what the seem on the surface, or worse, what you read here. Please allow for some depth, or complexity, or even the unknown to temper your position. Steve S. - If you know the people personally, your best move is to leave these guys to tire themselves out with half-truths and go support your frends who i bet would love to hear from you. Everyone - We are all neighbors who all care about very similar things, but go about it in very different ways. Let's agree that the officers did their jobs well and the courts will sort out the details. These kids are NOT representative of our collective communities, but it should serve as a wake-up call for parents to know that bored children with access to money make bad decisions.
Allen Goodman August 17, 2012 at 10:03 PM
This post should be removed at once. Allegations like the one just made should not be allowed to stand here.
Steve S. August 17, 2012 at 11:14 PM
Fair enough, we have consoled the family we are closest with. I also feel that these forums allow us to get these issues out in public and despite a lot of the psycho babble, it's better to talk about it than not. I don't think the "access to money" part really makes a huge difference, I would think it would be: bored children make bad decisions, or something like that. The money part comes down to the consequences and the money helps for that i.e. lawyers and rehab.
Kennith Wilson August 21, 2012 at 03:14 AM
All u people need to get your head all of your asses they going to jail and it wasnt the parents fault it was theres it goes to show how pot bad is in all honesty I know josh Norris and he's a crack head, the kid has major problems his parents shelled all sorts of money and at least joes mother tried all you people from Deerfield have to realize it was there descion, and honestly u wouldn't give a fuck if it was on the Westside were have to do that when there starving maybe they will learn of they go to jail or drop them off on chicago and Pulaski it goes to school when you act like a nigger you get treated like one
STOPTHEBASHING August 22, 2012 at 09:46 PM
WHY? are all you PATHETIC people leaving comments. Concerned citizens? PLEASE. Nobody in HP or DF have exciting life. HP and DF is the mecca of drama and opinions. I am the closes person leaving a comment on this situation and if circumstance were different. I would have been in that home the morning of the robbery. To the teens who rob that home..YOUR LUCKY I WASNT THERE THAT MORNING, CAUSE IF I WAS, I WOULD HAVE ATTACK YOU AND GOTTEN YOUR GUN, HOG TIED YOU AND THEM CALLED THE COPS. or I would have gotten shot and YOU PATHETIC teens would have been up on murder or attempt murder charges. Believe me the people reading this comment. If you can figure out who this is. Know that I wouldn't back down from two pathetic teens with guns. I have to much PRIDE for that. I would rather be shot. Plus then the pathetic DF teens, would be big bubbas, GF in prison for at least 15-20 years.


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