Thousands in stolen scrap metal found in mob boss` business - FOX 35 News Orlando

Thousands in stolen scrap metal found in mob boss` business: EXCLUSIVE

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By FOX 32 News Investigative Reporter Dane Placko & the Better Government Association

CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) - FOX 32 and the Better Government Association have learned that police from several west suburban villages have recovered stolen metal that was sold to a recycler with some notorious connections.

Three years ago, FOX 32 and the BGA watched as John "No Nose" DiFronzo—the reputed head of the Chicago outfit--and his brother, Peter DiFronzo--who is also an alleged made member of the mob--spent hours visiting D & P Construction and JKS Ventures in Melrose Park. The two businesses are owned by Peter Difronzo's wife.

When FOX 32's Dane Placko asked the alleged boss of bosses what he was doing there at the time, DiFronzo responded with, "Me? Nothing. Nothing."

Despite the mob connections, the companies have never run afoul of the law. But, now police from 10 western suburbs are investigating whether JKS Ventures bought stolen metal from sewer cap thieves trying to hustle a fast buck.

Over the weekend, Forest Park police arrested Leon Jackson after they say he was spotted stealing sewer caps and grates. They found eight of the heavy metal covers in the back of his truck. Police say he was heading to JKS Ventures, where they found four more pieces belonging to the village.

Then on Wednesday, acting on a tip, police from Westchester recovered 34 of their sewer caps and grates at JKS Ventures, each valued between $150 and $200.

Westchester Police Chief April Padilak told FOX 32 News that there was still a large pile of stolen metal--as much as 100 pieces--so they've contacted nine nearby communities that have recently suffered a rash of thefts. Those include: Hillside, Broadview, Forest Park, Elmhurst, Northlake, Itasca, Wood Dale, Western Springs and Lagrange Park.

Police from those villages have been visiting JKS looking for their stolen sewer covers.

"These are generally municipally-owned things," explains Bob Herguth of the Better Government Association. "So if somebody's coming to sell them to you and they don't belong to a municipal government, you gotta wonder what's going on here."

A woman working at JKS says they were the ones who called police when someone tried to sell them some stolen sewer covers. But, police say that only happened after the company was warned not to buy any more.

On January 1, a new law goes into effect in Illinois, requiring recyclers to take photographs or video of all sellers and the metal they're selling and there will be increased penalties for recyclers who buy stolen goods.


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