A witness caught them in the act and through the witness’ quick response and the dispatcher’s and officer’s efforts, a pair of alleged car thieves were caught within minutes of the crime.

James C. Rhodes, 35, of the 6700 block of Vail Drive in Westmont and Jackie R. Barner, 32, of Chicago were charged with burglary to auto on April 14 at approximately 6 p.m.

Officers stated they responded to the area of McGaffer’s Saloon and were flagged down by a witness who said he resided nearby and saw two males in a lot by three pickup trucks with tool chests in the truck beds. The witness said he saw the two suspects again a few minutes later, identifying Rhodes as the man who crouched between the trucks, while Barner ducked by the bus stop on Roosevelt Road. The witness told police he suspected it was a robbery and called 911. While on the phone the witness allegedly saw Rhodes move a blue, 1995, two-door Chevrolet Monte Carlo in near the trucks and the pair then allegedly began to place tools from the trucks into the Monte Carlo.

The witness then saw the Monte Carlo travel eastbound in the north alley off Roosevelt and south on Dunlop Avenue, then lost sight of them.

The information was relayed over the police band, which Forest Park shares with Oak Park and a few minutes later Oak Park police officers stopped a blue Monte Carlo, matching the description driving on the 5400 block of Roosevelt Road.

The officers allegedly saw power tools in the backseat of the car and took the suspect into custody, remanding them to Forest Park Police custody. Officers allegedly found a screw driver in Rhodes’ coat sleeve.

In Forest Park, the witness identified the alleged burglars and the victims allegedly identified their power tools.

Broken into were a white, 2004 Ford F-250, a white 2001, Chevrolet Pick-up and a black, 2000 Chevrolet Pick-up truck.

All three trucks had tool chests in the bed of the trucks. A hole was found punched into the die of the chest next to the lock of two of the tool chests. Nothing was taken from the F-250, but a Burndy hydraulic crimp press ($1,500) and an impact gun ($800) were taken from the 2001 Chevrolet. Also taken was a Huskie Robo Crimp ($1,000).

The third truck sustained the most damage, as the top of the chest was pried up. Taken were a tool board with hand tools, worth $600.

Possession of controlled substances

• Sara E. Owens, 21, and Reade C. Benavides, 39, both of the 17000 block of Jericho Road in Hinckley were arrested for alleged possession of heroin on April 17 at approximately 3:30 p.m.

Officers stopped the pair while they were driving in their 1995, blue and silver, Dodge pick-up truck. Police noticed a damaged windshield wiper.

When officers approached the driver, he allegedly observed the passenger, later identified as Owens, placing something from her hand into the front of her waistband.

The officer instructed Owens to remove the object from her waistband and called for backup.

Owens allegedly removed a cellophane cigarette wrapper containing three folded up foil packages which officers said resembled typical packaging for heroin. The packets contained an off-white powdery substance that field tested positive for presence of opium alkaloids, police report.

Police then asked the driver, identified as Benavides, is he had any drugs on him and he allegedly handed over three more foil packets from his front pocket. A further search of the car allegedly showed an eyeglass case containing one folded packet and three hypodermic syringes. In total six grams of heroin were allegedly confiscated off the couple who also, police report, admitted to being long-time users and to having purchased the heroin for $10 a bag on the West Side of Chicago.

Theft from backyards

• A series of backyard and front lawn burglaries have been occurring throughout the village. Two more were added this week when unknown offender(s) took a $4,000 statue from a fountain on a lawn on the 500 block of Marengo Avenue between April 13 at 10:30 p.m. and April 14 at 6 a.m. The 40-inch statue depicts a woman holding a pitcher and is signed with a “V” in the bottom.

The next day six metal lawn chairs ($500) were discovered missing from a rear yard on the 500 block of Ferdinand Street.

Criminal Damage to Cars

• Unknown offender(s) used a sharp tool to scratch the driver’s side door of a silver, 2004 Toyota Corolla while it was parked on the 1000 block of Desplaines Avenue between April 12 at 6 p.m. and April 13 at 9 a.m.

Also damaged were a white 2004 Hyundai, between April 14 at 10 p.m. and April 15 at 4 a.m., while it was parked on the 1400 block of Marengo Avenue. Unknown offender(s) punctured the sidewall of the passenger’s side front tire, using an unknown tool and causing between $80 and $100 worth of damage.

On April 17, a red 1991 Chevrolet Cavalier wagon was damaged between noon and 1 p.m. while parked on the 900 block of Circle Avenue. Unknown offender(s) broke the driver’s side window.

These items were taken from the records of the Forest Park Police Department between April 12 and April 18 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