Alerted by a special Oak Park police tactical team, Forest Park police arrested a man early Friday morning whom they suspect is responsible for some two dozen business burglaries in Oak Park over the past two months. Oak Park Deputy Police Chief Robert Scianna said Forest Park police stopped Alden Jackson, 41, in the 7200 block of West Madison around 4:20 a.m. Nov. 4 after Oak Park police radioed that Al’s Grill, 1100 W. Madison, had been burglarized.
After searching Jackson and finding a bottle of tequila in his coat pocket, Officer Ken Gross of the Forest Park Police department radioed the Oak Park department that they should look in at New Rebozo Restaurant, 1116 Madison. Oak Park officers found the restaurant’s rear door pried open.
“It’s almost a cliché,” said Scianna. “(Jackson) was carrying a sack over his shoulder containing (items taken in two burglaries).” Among the items Forest Park police reportedly recovered were bottles of liquor taken from New Rebozo, and over $1,200 in cash from the JJ Fish restaurant on Harlem Avenue in Forest Park. Police also recovered a pry bar as well as a walkie talkie and a crack pipe, according to a police report filed with the Forest Park Police Department. Scianna said Monday that Jackson, who has been arrested before for commercial burglary, and has served time in prison, confessed to the burglaries in which they recovered direct evidence.
According to a Forest Park police report, Jackson told police he entered New Rebozo seeking food, but found only liquor. He then began craving crack cocaine, and moved on to JJ Fish where he emptied the register and took additional cash as well as a deposit slip belonging to the restaurant’s owner. He told police that he is addicted to crack and spends whatever money he has on the drug.
Jackson, however, denied any involvement in two other burglaries committed nearby and around the same time that night, as well as any earlier burglaries. Forest Park Police found pry marks on the door of the Subway restaurant next to JJ Fish, but reported that the perpetrator was apparently unable to gain entry. Forest Park Lt. Steve Knack said police are looking into the possibility that Jackson was also involved in recent burglaries of the Okay Cleaners next to JJ Fish and the Starship Subs restaurant on Madison Street.
Jackson, whose address is listed as 9515 Clyde Ave. in Chicago, told Forest Park police that his girlfriend lived nearby on the 400 block of Marengo in Forest Park.
Scianna said investigators will continue to attempt to connect the pry bar allegedly taken from Jackson with marks left in those other burglaries. Jackson’s shoes were also confiscated by Forest Park police to be compared to foot prints left at the sites of the burglaries.
Due to a tactical response plan in place since a week ago Friday, Oak Park police were within two blocks of Al’s Grill when the alarm came in. A special tactical team directed by Oak Park Deputy Chief Carl Liedy was focused on businesses along the length of Madison Street, nine of which had been burglarized since Sept. 3.
Scianna praised Forest Park police for their fast response, and his fellow deputy chief for service above and beyond the call of duty.
“Ken Gross is an exceptional officer,” said Knack, his supervisor with the Forest Park police. Knack said Jackson was still in custody awaiting a hearing as of Tuesday morning.