Quick action by a Rochelle Township High School graduate led to a foiled robbery attempt in Oak Brook, a suburb of Chicago, over the holiday season.
Christian Rodabaugh, a 2018 RTHS graduate and enlistee with the U.S. Navy, had been on Christmas leave from the Naval Station Great Lakes Base and was shopping at Oakbrook Center mall when the theft took place. While the offender started fleeing on foot, a police detective asked for assistance from Rodabaugh who stopped the offender in a parking garage.
Rodabaugh has since received a letter of appreciation from the police department for his actions on Dec. 23, 2018.
“Over $800 of stolen merchandise was recovered and the offender was charged with Felony Burglary and Felony Retail Theft and taken to the DuPage County Jail,” said James R. Kruger, Jr., Oak Brook Chief of Police. “Without your bravery, quick response and assistance, the offender may well have escaped. Upon the recommendation of the Oak Brook Police Department Awards and Commendation Committee, I would like to issue this Letter of Appreciation and thank you for providing invaluable assistance to our Police Department.”
Rodabaugh is the son of officer Aaron Rodabaugh with the Rochelle Police Department and Pamela Rose, educator at Kishwaukee College and stylist at Ricco’s Salon.
“He is always helping. I can remember he had a track meet one year and the person to the right him who he was racing against tripped in his own lane and fell into my son’s lane. Instead of continuing the race he stopped and helped the kid up,” said Rose of her son. “That was a huge moment for me seeing him caring for others.”
Rodabaugh spoke modestly on the incident, shrugging off the recognition.
“I’m enlisted in the U.S. Navy and my father was an MP (military police) in the U.S. Marine Corps, now a police officer in Rochelle. So, when it came to that police officer asking for help, I just did what anyone should do. I just bolted after the guy … ended up cornering the guy in a parking garage and assisted the police officer when getting the guy in cuffs,” Rodabaugh said. “He and the other officers thanked me for my service and for the help, took down my information, and I went on with my day. Being military means protecting the people. And if I can help make a police officer’s job a little easier, I’d do it every time.”
“That is who he is and I am proud of him,” said his dad, Aaron.