Man Charged in Break-in at Wheaton Library

A 43-year-old man faces charges after he broke a window to get in to the Wheaton Public Library after it closed Friday night.

A Wheaton man is charged with felony damage to government property and trespassing state land after he broke a window at the Wheaton Public Library last Friday and climbed into the building to retrieve a bag, police said.

According to the police report Erik Oppenhagen, 43, of the 700 block of Liberty Drive in Wheaton, left his bag in the library Friday after he got a call from a friend, who told him he had a bottle of vodka. He left the library to meet the friend, drank half the bottle of vodka at Vintage Rides and returned to the library around 6:20 p.m. to get his bag.

According to the report, a woman returning books at the library Friday evening said she saw Oppenhagen “angry and irate,” banging on the windows and shouting “let me in,” around 6 p.m.

She said Oppenhagen then grabbed a rock and walked around the side of the buidling and got a bike. As she left, she heard a loud noise and saw a shattered window next to the man's bike on the ground, police said.

A library employee also reported Oppenhagen after she saw him trying to get into the library after it closed.

When Oppenhagen got into the library through the broken window and realized police were outside, he used a tape dispenser to try and break another window to escape. When the tape dispenser was unsuccessful, Oppenhagen climbed through the window he broke, further cutting his leg after climbing in, and ran from police, according to the police report.

He ran to the intersection of Cross Street and Wesley Avenue, where police caught and arrested him. He was transferred to Central DuPage Hospital.

The cost of damage to the library windows is $1,500 to $2,000, police said.

He was booked at the Wheaton Police Department and taken to DuPage County Jail that night.


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Police Blotter information is provided by . Charges are not evidence of guilt. They are a record of police actions taken on a given day, and persons charged with a crime are presumed innocent until proven guilty in court. If you or a family member are charged or cited and the case is subsequently adjudicated, we encourage you to notify the editor. We will verify and report the outcome.

John Mihas September 05, 2012 at 05:35 PM
Karl Brubaker September 05, 2012 at 06:33 PM
We were told 100 times that this place would never be a problem. Shocking that they lied. DuPage PADS 705 West Liberty, Wheaton, IL 60187
Charlotte Eriksen September 05, 2012 at 08:50 PM
Told by who?
Karl Brubaker September 06, 2012 at 12:01 PM
In 1986 PADS was attempting to open the shelter. Many of us fought tooth and nail against the plan. We were assured by the PADS Organization that this would be a transitional facility, closely guarded, locked in the evening and no weapons, drugs or alcohol would be allowed. Of course if you have questions you immediately "Hate the homeless" and the facility opened despite our concerns. Our argument was that a great percentage of homeless people are mentally ill. Again, we were shouted down because we "hate homeless people". http://mentalillnesspolicy.org/consequences/homeless-mentally-ill.html
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