by T. C. Mayfield, The Chicago Times

July 12, 2021

KANKAKEE, IL — On Monday morning, a Wilmington man is accused of stealing three vehicles in a 24-hour period.  Zachary Palmer, 21, was arrested and charged with three counts of possession of a stolen motor vehicle and felony theft, according to the Kankakee County Sheriff’s Department.

On Monday morning, officials in Grundy County used OnStar to locate one of the stolen vehicles off Illinois Route 113.  They quickly discovered that a second vehicle had been stolen from a nearby home.   When Palmer fled the scene, police launched a pursuit.

Palmer’s vehicle collided with several other vehicles and side-swiped a Grundy County sheriff’s cruiser before colliding with a school bus.  According to authorities, there were no children on board the bus.

“We would like to remind residents in the area that criminals like Palmer prey on crimes of opportunity.  He is suspected in a number of car thefts, all of which were left unlocked with the keys readily available.  We continue to ask the community to help us by simply locking your cars and putting valuables out of sight.” Sheriff Mike Downey stated.

Palmer was released from prison on June 2 after serving time for multiple thefts of motor vehicles.

Palmer is also expected to face charges from the Illinois Department of Corrections and Iroquois County on multiple warrants.  He is also linked to a slew of other car thefts in Kankakee, Will, and Grundy counties.