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Two men were charged with burglary after they were caught red-handed while trying to enter a Desplaines Avenue apartment on April 28.

Police first got word of a suspicious man attempting to enter an apartment on the 7200 block of Jackson Avenue. The man, witnesses said, had left the scene in a white GMC van after being confronted.

Police soon found the van parked on the 500 block of Desplaines and noticed two men, later identified as Byron McClain, 32, and Douglas Jones, 31, looking into windows nearby. Jones seemed to be trying to pry the lock from the apartment door, while McClain seemed to be serving as a lookout.

Several officers arrived at the scene, ordering the men down from the porch. While surrendering to police, Jones laid down a black screwdriver, and McClain laid down a pair of gloves and another screwdriver.

Officer Young Lee found several cell phones, check books, DVDs, clothing, jewelry, purses etc. in the van. One of the check books had an Oak Park address, and Oak Park police said the owner of the check book had been the victim of a burglary the previous day. The victim was brought to the scene and identified several items as her own.

According to Sgt. Michael Keating, the total value of the stolen items was estimated at $500. He said the suspects had also been caught on a surveillance camera at an Oak Park pawn shop pawning items that had been stolen in Oak Park.

Jones was charged with felony counts of attempted burglary and possession of burglary tools, while McClain, was charged with attempted burglary.

Police catch mail thief

Police received reports of a suspicious person looking in mailboxes on the 7200 block of Franklin Street on April 24. A man fitting the description provided by witnesses was found at the Osco at 7216 Circle Ave., but denied knowledge of the mail and said he was shopping with friends.

The man, later identified as Anthony Johnson, then entered his friend’s car, which police discovered had its license plates suspended due to parking tickets. Sgt. Eric Bell followed the car, while Officer Nick DeFors found seven pieces of mail from the block where the thefts were reported in the garbage can outside the store.

The car was eventually stopped on the 1100 block of Washington Street in Oak Park. The driver, Leslie Robinson, had a revoked license. After the witness identified Johnson, he, Robinson, and another passenger were arrested for mail theft investigation. Seven more pieces of mail were found in the car.

Johnson admitted taking the mail, stating that he had been an alcoholic for 10 years and regularly steals mail, selling pieces of mail containing Social Security numbers, and bank and credit card statements to a connection on Chicago’s West Side.

A postal inspector said Johnson had not stolen enough mail to warrant federal charges, but he was charged with felony counts of theft and theft of government property.

Gun found during traffic stop

Officer Marcin Scislowicz pursued a car that had been driving erratically on the afternoon of April 25, observing that the driver appeared to be attempting to hide something in the car. He eventually curbed the car in River Forest at Keystone Avenue and Washington Street.

According to a police report, the driver, Edward Hodges of Chicago, would not make eye contact and his hand appeared shaky after he had been pulled over. Asked if he had anything illegal in the car, he told Scislowicz he had a pistol in his waistband. Hodges was removed from the car and put in custody, and police found a black .22 caliber revolver, fully loaded with nine rounds, as well as a bag of suspected marijuana.

He was charged with unlawful use of a weapon and possession of ammunition, failing to stop at a stop sign and possession of a controlled substance.

Man assaulted after declining
to listen to offender’s rant

A man told police that he was attacked on the afternoon of April 26 after telling a man who approached him and began ranting about “Darwinian theory” that he was not interested in speaking to him.

He told police that he was walking southbound on Thomas Avenue in Forest Park with his two children at the time. When he declined to speak to the man, identified as Daniel McDonald, he said McDonald became enraged and spit in his face. McDonald then allegedly tried to punch him and missed, but then jumped towards him and began wrestling with him, biting his leg in the process and drawing blood.

He then ran into a home on the 500 block of Thomas, and when police arrived he remained on the back porch of the home, screaming obscenities. Police tried to contact other residents of the home but could not, and Sgt. Michael Keating and Officer Marcin Scislowicz decided to force entry. McDonald was taken into custody and charged with aggravated battery, aggravated assault and resisting arrest.

 These items were taken from the records of the Forest Park Police Department between April 22 and 29 and represent only 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 Seth Stern