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Arlington Heights tipster receives reward in sex assault case

A tip led to the arrest of Frank Mendez, 51, for sexually assaulting an elderly woman last summer. | Cook County Sheriff

A tipster who helped Arlington Heights police find a man accused of sexually assaulting an elderly woman in the northwest suburb last summer was rewarded $700 Monday.

Frank Mendez, 51, was initially charged Sept. 24 with a felony count of criminal trespassing in the 700 block of Patton Circle a month before, according to Arlington Heights police.

During the investigation, an Arlington Heights resident called the Crime Stoppers hotline and helped a sketch artist create an image of the suspect, police said. This image helped police additionally charge Mendez with the Aug. 20 sexual assault.

Police allege that Mendez used an unlocked window to get into the 97-year-old woman’s home on the same night near Central Road and Dwyer Avenue, about a half-mile away from the original break-in.

The woman was taken to Northwest Community Hospital in Arlington Heights, where she was treated and later released, police said.

Police called the resident’s tip a “vital lead” in the case.

Mendez, of the 2000 block of West Algonquin Road in Mount Prospect, faces charges of aggravated criminal sexual assault, home invasion and aggravated battery.

Mendez was ordered held on $5 million bond Sep. 27, according to the Cook County’s sheriff’s office. He is next scheduled to appear in court Feb. 4.