Kane Co. satellite scrambler gets probation

Posted8/9/2010 12:01 AM

The northern Fox Valley's tinfoil bandit has been sentenced for scrambling satellites.

Lester A. Spruille, 25, was ordered Thursday to complete 36 months of probation for putting tinfoil over satellite dishes at gas stations in Carpentersville and East Dundee, according to Kane County court records.


Prosecutors said the tinfoil scrambled signals long enough for Spruille and a co-defendant to make more than $400 in bogus credit card purchases.

In May, Spruille, of Chicago, entered a cold plea to two counts each of theft and burglary and nine counts of fraudulent electronic transmission. His co-defendant, 25-year-old Lawrence Bradley of Blue Island, has pleaded not guilty to two counts each of theft and burglary.

Bradley returns to court Friday.

Tweet, tweet: The Kane County State's Attorney's office is now using Twitter to keep people up to speed on what's happening at the courthouse, and so is yours truly.

Like State's Attorney John Barsanti says, it's a free service that can bridge the Web-using public to information as it happens.

"I think everybody wants more information and transparency," Barsanti said. "Do with it what you will."

For the news feed from Barsanti's office, including news releases on major cases and court-related announcements, look up @KaneSAO.

For Daily Herald courts coverage, including updates from the field and breaking news, look up @DH jstockinger.

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Senior picnic: Area seniors are invited to a free picnic on Tuesday, sponsored by the Southeast Kane County TRIAD, a law enforcement consortium.

The picnic, from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at Phillips Park, 1000 Ray Moses Drive, Aurora, includes a free lunch, live music and bingo. There also will be prizes and raffles supporting TRIAD.

In addition, participants can get rid of unused, outdated medications by bringing them to the picnic for TRIAD to dispose of properly.

For details, call (630) 256-5000 or click the police department link at aurora-il.org.

Officer honored: An Aurora police detective was honored as his department's employee of the month in July for helping a fellow officer try to save a man's life.

City officials said Steve Stemmet was off duty July 7 when he noticed a police officer in Yorkville park his squad car quickly and run into a house, where a woman could be heard frantically screaming. Officials said Stemmet stopped, too, and assisted the other officer with a male patient until paramedics arrived. Unfortunately, the patient died.

"Investigator Stemmet's efforts to try and save the man's life reflect great credit upon himself and the Aurora Police Department, and are keeping with the highest traditions of our profession," Aurora Police Chief Greg Thomas said in a statement.

Stemmet has been with the Aurora police since March 1999.