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Police open false police report investigation into Ald. Moreno’s ‘stolen car’

Ald. Joe Moreno | Sun-Times file photo

Chicago police on Tuesday opened an investigation into whether Ald. Proco “Joe” Moreno (1st) filed a false police report last month claiming his car had been stolen.

The investigation was opened after a report aired Monday night on WGN-TV in which Moreno shared information with a reporter that “was not previously communicated to police,” Chicago Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said Tuesday.

“Based on new information, Chicago police detectives have now opened a false report investigation,” he said.

After the stolen vehicle report, police pulled Moreno’s car over early Monday and arrested Liliya Hrabar, who was charged with criminal trespass to vehicle, a Class A misdemeanor. That charge was dropped Tuesday, according to the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office.

Hrabar told WGN that she and Moreno have an on-and-off dating relationship and that he loaned her his car. She provided screen shots of several text exchanges with Moreno to back up her account.

On Tuesday, Hrabar spoke with the Sun-Times and said she does not know why Moreno told the police his black 2006 Audi A6 had been stolen.

“He loaned me the car on Jan. 3. He told me to come to his house. He gave me the keys. He brought me to the garage, opened the door, told me to drive safe and told me not to smoke in his car,” Hrabar said.

A Chicago police spokeswoman said Moreno reported the car stolen the next day — on the afternoon of Jan. 4 — from the 1300 block of North Leavitt Street.

“He said he just discovered that his vehicle was missing,” police spokesman Michelle Tannehill said, reading form a police report.

Hrabar said she was arrested early Monday morning when police pulled her over in the 4800 block of West Armitage Avenue while she was driving back to her Northwest Side home after attending a concert.

“Can you imagine, six police cars around me. I thought it was a joke. I kept telling police ‘Where’s the camera? This must be a joke.’ I was crying. … I had a panic attack,” she said.

Moreno did not return a telephone call from the Sun-Times on Tuesday, but he told WGN the whole thing was a misunderstanding.

“There’s a misunderstanding that she had (the car) for longer than she wanted to and I was having a hard time getting ahold of her,” he told WGN.

Hrabar told the Sun-Times that Moreno’s explanation was bogus and they were in touch regularly the entire time she had his car.

“He asked me just the other day how I’m doing and he said he’s busy with the election and we’ll see each other after the Feb. 26 election,” she said.

Hrabar, 35, said she’s from Ukraine but has been living in Chicago for 14 years. She said she met Moreno through an event connected to her work as an insurance broker.

“He never asked for the car back,” she said. “I called and texted him from the police station but it was three in the morning and he was asleep but when I finally did reach him he said he’d call and have this all worked out.”

In a report that also aired Monday night a WBBM-Ch. 2 reporter asked Moreno: “You weren’t trying to falsify a police report?”

He responded: “Absolutely not, I did exactly what I was supposed to do.”

He said he was simply helping out a friend who was a single mother and down on her luck and needed a car.