Cars left running become cars stolen

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Compiled by Nona Tepper

Staff Reporter

Cars left running become cars stolen

A vehicle was stolen from the Citgo gas station at 7323 Randolph St. about 1:05 a.m. on Nov. 6. The driver said he left the engine of his 2015 Hyundai Santa Fe running while he checked the air in its tires, according to the police report. The man told officers he had his key fob in his pocket. As he checked the tires, four men in a silver Nissan, or possibly an Altima, pulled up to the station. One of the men jumped into the Hyundai and drove north on Belvidere Avenue. Citgo employees said their video surveillance system was not functional at the time of theft. 

An officer around 2 a.m. spotted the stolen car at a Citgo parking lot, 4804 Madison St. in Chicago, according to a separate police report. Two men were in the car. They traveled west on Madison Street, turned onto south Lavergne Avenue and then east on Monroe Avenue before disappearing from sight. 

Officers later spotted the car traveling south on Cicero from Jackson. Police tried to stop the vehicle, but drivers refused to slow down. The stolen Hyundai was then later seen in the area of Madison and Lavergne. Officers followed the car on I-290 near Central Avenue, but were still unable to catch the car. Police have reported the vehicle as stolen in their database.

Suspects allegedly stole another vehicle from a car wash about 12:30 a.m. on Nov. 7. A car wash employee cleaned the 2011 Chrysler Town & Country at 7200 Randolph St. and left its doors open while drying the vehicle about 12:30 p.m., according to a police report. A silver Nissan Altima pulled up to the lot. A man exited the Altima and stepped into the Chrysler, driving south into the 7-11 parking lot, then south onto Harlem Avenue. 

Officers later spotted the stolen Chrysler about an hour later at the intersection of Monroe and Lavergne, according to a separate police report. Seeing the officers' emergency lights, the driver of the Chrysler reversed quickly on Madison Street, lost control and struck three parked cars before stopping at 5033 Monroe. Four men fled on foot from the car. 

A juvenile, identified as a suspect, was found about two hours later at 115 N. Lavergne Ave. Officers charged him with possession, criminal trespass and theft of a stolen motor vehicle, as well as property damage. He was released to his mother five hours later. 

A vehicle was stolen at Thornton's gas station about 2:30 p.m. on Nov. 12. The car owner went inside 601 Harlem Ave. to pay for his gas but left his car running, according to the police report. While he paid, he saw a man enter his rental car and flee south on Harlem Avenue. The man was black, about 6 feet tall, about 20 years old. The car's owner said he still had the key fob and the car was nearly out of fuel. 

Hertz rental agency, which owned the car, said they tracked the vehicle to the intersection of Jackson and Hamlin in Chicago. Officers later found the car abandoned at a gas station at Pulaski and Ohio in Chicago. Police drove the car back to the renter, who said his wallet was missing from the vehicle. 

Stolen car with gun

A man threatened a woman with a gun and stole her car on Nov. 8. A man was driving his girlfriend back to her parked car, which was parked in a lot at Van Buren, according to a police report. He arrived at the lot, parked his car and talked with his girlfriend. He then noticed a white Jeep pull behind the car. A man dressed in a grey hoodie, in his late '20s, walked up to the driver's side window. He held a black semi-automatic handgun, joined by two other men dressed in grey hoodies. 

The gunman told the driver he would need her vehicle and instructed the couple to remove their belongings from the car. He told them he would return the car to the Forest Park CTA station by Nov. 9, then proceeded west on Van Buren.

Stolen from vehicle

A cellphone charger, cash and radio transmitter were stolen from a car parked at home on Nov. 10. The victim said he walked out of his house at 7406 Randolph St. and noticed a man sitting in his Kia, according to the police report. He was described as about 20 years old, weighing about 160 pounds and about 5-feet-11, wearing grey pants and a dark hoodie. When he saw the homeowner spotted him, he got out of the car and fled on foot west toward Desplaines Avenue. There were no signs of forced entry to the vehicle, although the homeowner believes the Kia was locked.

These items were obtained from police reports filed by the Forest Park Police Department, Nov. 6-12, and represent a portion of the incidents to which police responded. Unless otherwise indicated, anybody named in these reports has only been charged with a crime. These cases have not been adjudicated.

Compiled by Nona Tepper

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