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Charles N. Barnato, 27, and Justin M. Leach, 25, led police on a chase that began in Forest Park and ended in a residential neighborhood in Oak Park on March 9, after the pair allegedly robbed Mom’s Place Restaurant at 819 S. Harlem Ave.

Leach, of the 7600 block of 5th Avenue in Kenosha, Wis., allegedly gained access to Mom’s Place Restaurant at approximately 10 p.m. on that date.

A witness, who called police, said she was talking on the phone when she heard glass break and saw a man, wearing a black jacket, with a gray hooded sweatshirt and a red baseball cap, break the window at the restaurant and enter. She then said she saw the man exit the building and enter a red Chevrolet Cavalier.

Officers responding to the burglary said they observed a 1997 red, four-door, Chevrolet Cavalier driving eastbound on Lexington Avenue.

The car allegedly disobeyed a stop sign at Harlem Avenue and continued eastbound entering Oak Park.

At this point, according to police reports, the officers activated their emergency lights and siren and attempted to stop the vehicle. An officer in the police car said the passenger in the Cavalier allegedly matched the description of the burglary suspect.

The Cavalier allegedly refused to stop
and accelerated, turning southbound on Wisconsin Avenue and then made its way to head southbound on Maple Avenue.The car then turned eastbound onto Fillmore Street where Oak Park detectives joined the pursuit.

Finally, the car led police northbound onto Scoville Avenue, where the street dead ends. The car stopped and two men allegedly ran out of the car and continued to flee on foot.

In the car was a female, from Upper Kenosha, Wis., who allegedly knew the suspects.

Officers conducted a yard-to-yard sweep of the area.

The alleged driver of the Cavalier, Barnato, of the 500 block of Clinton Place in River Forest, was captured while hiding in an evergreen tree in a backyard on the 1000 block of South East Avenue.

Leach, the alleged burglar, was captured on the 1000 block of Scoville Avenue.

Leach allegedly gave Forest Park officers a voluntary written statement on March 10 admitting he had committed the burglary and implicating Barnato.

That same day, the woman found in the backseat of the Cavalier allegedly wrote a written statement saying she heard the two men talking about the burglary but refused to take part in it. She said she asked the men to drop her off, but they refused, telling her to lie on the back seat of the car.

The woman was released.

Burglary to business

 • An ADT alarm system alerted police to a possible break-in on the 1500 block of Harlem Avenue on March 13 at 4:30 a.m.

Officers arrived at R-Place Tavern and discovered the rear window to the bar broken in and the rear door partially open.

Officers searched the perimeter and, when the owner arrived, he said nothing appeared to be missing.

Officers believe the unknown person or persons broke in using the rear window because the door had a bar across the inside that made it impossible to break into. The tavern’s motion sensor alarm triggered, alerting police, when the offenders entered the bar area while the audible alarm appears to have scared the would be robber away.

Criminal defacement and criminal damage to property

• Unknown persons used red spray paint to write “SWA” on the service door to a garage on the 1000 block of Hannah Avenue on March 12, between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

• Unknown persons also used red spray paint to draw an unknown diagram on the rear of a wood fence on the 900 block of Hannah Avenue, between 5 p.m. on March 11 and 5 p.m. on March 12. The offenders also used red spray paint to write “NWA” on the rear of a nearby brick fence.

• The CTA also had trouble with graffiti at their train depot at 1 S. Harlem Ave. On March 8 between 9:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. the CTA manager on the premises reported that unknown persons spray painted the letters “MUL” on car # 2478 in the train yard. The offenders gained access to the yard by cutting a hole in the chain link fence. The night before the same manager reported the same letters were painted onto car #2496 at approximately the same time.

On March 10, two days later, at approximately 12:30 a.m. the manager saw flashlights and camera flashes coming from the west side of the yard. The manager said he saw three men run westbound from the scene. Three train cars were “tagged,” totaling $2,000 in damage.

Burglary to vehicle

 • A woman from Normal, Ill. reported that unknown persons shattered the front passenger side window to her black, four-door, 2001 Ford Expedition and removed a black suitcase. The burglary occurred on the 7600 block of Roosevelt Road on March 8, between 8 p.m. and 9 p.m.

The suitcase contained jewelry. Also removed were CDs, a Sanyo cellular phone, a Kenwood amplifier and a Kenwood kicker box  valued at over $2,000.

While inspecting the woman’s Expedition, officers noticed a red, four door, 1997 Ford Explorer also with a shattered front window.

The owner reported a Pioneer in-dash- AM/FM radio, a Pioneer kicker box and assorted DVDs and CDs missing.

These items were taken from the records of the Forest Park Police Department between March 6 and March 14 and represents a portion of the incidents to which police responded. Anyone named in this report has only been charged with a crime. The cases have not yet been adjudicated.
“compiled by Melissa Lou