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Benedictine monk charged with trying to abduct a girl in Antioch

Thomas M. Chmur| Antioch police photo

Thomas M. Chmura | Antioch police photo

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Updated: May 30, 2013 2:51PM

A Benedictine monk from Wisconsin has been charged with trying to abduct a 14-year-old girl in Antioch last week.

Police in the far north suburb said Saturday that Thomas M. Chmura, 57, a monk who has been living at St. Benedict’s Abbey in Benet Lake, Wis., for 32 years, was arrested Friday night and admitted he’d been offering rides to teenage girls the past six weeks.

Chmura was ordered held Saturday in lieu of $50,000 bail, charged with attempted child abduction and disorderly conduct.

Police said the 14-year-old girl was walking along Skidmore Drive in the Lake County suburb Thursday when a man pulled up in a Ford station wagon and asked if she needed a ride, telling her, “Come on, you’re so beautiful, let me drive you home.” When she refused, they said he told her, “Get in the car,” but she ran, and he drove off.

The girl told her mother and someone at Antioch High School and provided the police with a detailed description of the man and his car.

Friday afternoon, an off-duty officer saw a station wagon matching the girl’s description stop abruptly on North Avenue alongside three girls walking on the sidewalk, saw that the driver matched the description given by the 14-year-old and tried to follow the car. The officer lost the car, but got the license plate number.

Friday night, officers spotted the vehicle driving on Route 83 and arrested Chmura.

“I shudder to think what we would be looking at had she got in that car,” Antioch police Chief Craig Somerville said.

Contributing: News Sun

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