Many Grayslake residents didn't know what to make of the scene at Mill Creek Park Thursday afternoon when the parking lot filled with police cars, fire trucks and other specialized vehicles.
Had a child or dog fallen into the small creek at Atkinson Road and Washington Street near the Cherry Creek subdivision? Was it a training session?
As it turns out, the event, which occurred shortly after 12 p.m., was not an emergency.
Grayslake Police Chief Phil Perlini told Patch that the Lake and McHenry Counties Sonar Team, which includes members of area police and fire departments, was conducting equipment training, but also looking for something specific--a firearm that was possibly used in last month's home invasion in College Trail.
The victims, twin brothers, told police they were robbed at gunpoint at their home the night of Sept. 28, and that one of the suspects was known to them.
Police conducted a large-scale search, which included a helicopter and thermal imaging cameras, for three suspects who fled on foot after crashing their car into an electric pole on Atkinson Road near Brae Loch Road.
The three suspects were located and arrested after a 5-hour search, while the fourth suspect turned himself in a couple days later.
Two of the suspects, ., 25, of Mundelein, and Richard A. Kellogg, 18, of Waukegan, were each charged with Armed Robbery, Unlawful Restraint and Residential Burglary.
Police conducted a thorough search of the area where the suspects crashed their car and fled, but never located any firearms the victims claimed the suspects used.
"That creek was the only place bugging me," said Perlini, who decided during a fire chiefs' meeting Thursday to take advantage of the mild weather and assemble the Lake and McHenry Counties Sonar Team to conduct a water search.
It was also an opportunity for the team to have more training with their specialized equipment, said Perlini.
"It made sense to us to do it. It was a nice day. We had been talking about it for weeks because it was close to where we found the (suspects') car. We were doing our due diligence," said Perlini.
After the park was emptied of residents, team members entered the waist-deep Mill Creek in waders, then brought out sonar devices. The process took about an hour and a half, said Perlini.
"We scooped up a bunch of rocks, but no gun."
Search participants included the Grayslake Police Department, Grayslake Fire Protection District, Barrington Countryside Fire Protection District, Buffalo Grove Fire Department, Lake Forest Fire Department and the Wauconda Fire District.
3 Home Invasion Suspects in Custody of Grayslake Police After 5 Hour Search Friday Night
Victim of Friday's Home Invasion in Grayslake Speaks to Patch
One Suspect Charged in Grayslake Home Invasion
Police: Grayslake Home Invasion Suspect Charged After Turning Himself In