Police were able to track down a stolen car while the responding officer was still taking a report from the woman who watched as her Dodge Intrepid was driven away by an unknown man.

Shortly before 8 p.m. on Nov. 17 police were called to the 800 block of Marengo Avenue where a woman said her car was stolen just three minutes earlier. The victim told police she was dropping her 2-year-old daughter at her grandmother’s home and left the 1998 red four-door running as she walked the girl to the door. When she got back outside, the woman said she saw a man in a cream colored shirt get into the car and flee, according to a police report.

A Chevrolet Malibu also sped quickly away, she reportedly told police, leaving her to believe the thief had an accomplice.

As officers continued to interview the woman a radio call went out to area departments with a description of the Dodge.

“As I was speaking with the victim Oak Park officers?advised that they were following a red Chevy Malibu eastbound on Ridgeland Avenue from Harvard Street, which had been reported stolen out of Berwyn on Nov. 16,” police said in their report.

A brief chase between the Oak Park officers and the Malibu ended in a crash at Humphrey and Harvard streets where police were then led on a foot chase. Darius Gould, 19, of Chicago was eventually taken into custody.

After positively identifying the stolen Malibu as the one speeding away with her own car, Oak Park police radioed that they found the woman’s Dodge Intrepid abandoned in the 1100 block of South Mason in Chicago.

Based on statements reportedly made by the first suspect in the case, police later arrested Anthony Marks of Chicago. Marks’ age was not included in the department’s report.

Porn tapes lead to drug charges

A man claiming to work security for the city’s public school system was arrested on drug possession charges while allegedly trying to purchase bootlegged pornographic videos.

At about 2:30 p.m. on Nov. 18, police became suspicious of 37-year-old Vernon Mems of Chicago when he pulled into a Harlem Avenue gas station and was met by another man carrying a white, plastic grocery bag. The man with the grocery bag, 29-year-old Andre Mendenhall of Berwyn, got into the passenger seat of Mems’ car, according to police.

Inside of Mems’ 2001 Lincoln Continental police allegedly found five bags of marijuana with a total weight between 2.5 and 10 grams. Both men denied ownership of the drug, according to a police report.

Also allegedly found in Mems’ car were 34 bootleg DVDs and CDs in the front seat, another 30 in the backseat and 44 bootleg recordings in the trunk.

Both men were charged with possession of a controlled substance and driving violations for having a suspended license and suspended registration.

Purse snatchers remain at-large

Police received several reports of purse snatching at different locations, two of which may have occurred within several hours of one another.

On Nov. 24 a woman told police that while shopping at Kmart on Roosevelt Road, her purse was stolen from her shopping cart. The woman was not able to provide police with a description of the alleged thief.

Three hours later on the same day, police received another report of a similar incident at Wal-Mart. The victim again said she placed her purse in the shopping cart while browsing the aisles and at some point it was taken from the cart, according to a police report.

Several days earlier on Nov. 17, a more brazen individual allegedly grabbed a purse from its owner, dragging the woman across a drugstore parking lot as she refused to let go of the item. At 6:30 p.m. the victim was walking home from Harlem Avenue toward Marengo Avenue and cut through the parking lot of CVS where an unknown man grabbed her purse. The woman reportedly held onto the strap and was pulled to the ground, scraping her knee.

According to the police reports, no suspects were identified in any of the cases.

These items were taken from the records of the Forest Park Police Department between November 17 and November 26, 2006, 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 been adjudicated.

Compiled by Josh Adams