A mid-afternoon robbery of a fast food restaurant on Roosevelt Road saw the perpetrator make off with a couple hundred dollars, but left authorities with a surveillance tape to aid their investigation.

Shortly before 3 p.m. on April 15 a masked man jumped the counter at Taco Bell, threatening employees with what appeared to be a handgun. The unknown offender kept his right hand in the pocket of his jacket, perhaps concealing a weapon, according to a police report on the incident.

One witness to the robbery reported seeing the suspect sitting in the restaurant for a half hour before approaching the counter. A surveillance camera recorded the incident and was recovered by police. The suspect is described in the police report as a black male about six-feet tall and 20 years old. He was wearing a black hooded sweatshirt, puffy vest and a thermal face mask, according to authorities.

Fake $50s in circulation

Two women are suspected of pushing counterfeit $50 bills at a local drugstore, and according to police, are believed to have used the fake money on more than one occasion.

On April 10 authorities were called to the Walgreens pharmacy at 7200 Roosevelt Rd. after the suspects attempted to make a purchase using the alleged counterfeits. According to police, it was the fourth time the women had been in the store with their suspicious money. After a store employee notified the assistant manager, the suspects fled the scene before police arrived.

Four $50 bills used in the scam carried the same serial number, EK12513257A, and had a hologram of Abraham Lincoln, who appears on the $5 bill, not the $50 bill.

Proven hot spot for drugs

Between April 9 and April 14, Forest Park police arrested five suspects on drug related charges, all of whom were apprehended in the parking lot of Thornton’s gas station on Harlem Avenue.

At 9 p.m. on April 9, police became suspicious of a Nissan Maxima parked along a privacy fence on the property when the occupants remained in the vehicle for several minutes. After approaching the car, authorities allegedly found nine hypodermic needles, three “cooking spoons,” a pair of lighters and six foil packets of heroin.

Amanda Johnson, 20, of Glendale Heights, allegedly confessed to buying the drugs earlier in the day for $10 per. A passenger in the vehicle, 29-year-old Jeremy D. Bond of Lombard., reportedly told police that he already injected three packets of heroin and did not have any left.

Johnson was charged with possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia. Bond was released without charges.

On April 12 at 4 p.m., police were again suspicious of a vehicle parked at the gas station located at 601 Harlem Ave., and upon inquiry, discovered several foil packets of heroin and a loaded syringe. Steven D. Christiansen, 25, of St. Charles., allegedly confessed to buying eight packets of the drug and was in the midst of injecting himself with the syringe when police arrived.

On April 14 police arrested three more suspected drug users at the gas station. Leonel Cardenas, 25, of Bensenville., and Lucia Gutierrez, 21, of Addison., were both arrested on drug related charges at 2:15 a.m. Gutierrez was charged with marijuana possession, however, allegedly confessed to injecting heroin in the bathroom of the gas station.

At 6:45 p.m. that evening, Lorenzo J. Stephens, 25, of Chicago, was charged with possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.

Pothead blames memory loss

A 20-year-old charged with criminal trespassing and drug possession had apparently been warned to stay away from the Ultra Foods store on Roosevelt Road after being fired, but returned carrying a sizable quantity of marijuana, according to police.

Christopher Echevarria of Berwyn, told police he went back to the grocery store on April 13 to pick up his final paycheck. Employees at the store recognized their former colleague and detained him until police arrived. While in custody of the store’s loss prevention agent, Echevarria was searched for weapons and any store property, according to police.

“I forgot I had that on me,” Echevarria allegedly said of the mariguana discovered in his pocket.

The suspect said he needed his paycheck to pay for the pot, which he reportedly purchased from a dealer in Cicero. Echevarria was also charged with possession of drug paraphernalia.

These items were taken from the records of the Forest Park Police Department between April 9 and April 15, 2007 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