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Within an hour of taking a report from a Bergman Court resident that her car had been stolen, the same officer spotted the 1999 Pontiac Grand Am driving north along the 200 block of Circle Avenue. After trailing the car for several minutes and calling for backup to help box the vehicle in outside of 315 Marengo Ave., authorities found a loaded gun in the front seat and learned the three teenagers inside the car were planning a robbery.

The ordeal began at about 9:30 p.m. Nov. 29 when a woman at 23 Bergman Court told police her son had stolen her car. Shortly thereafter the green Grand Am was spotted and 18-year-old Lavelle C. Chapel was in the driver’s seat. Sitting in the front passenger seat was 17-year-old Derek E. Dill, of Bellwood. A 15-year-old was also in the car.

Authorities discovered the .45 caliber handgun as they were taking the suspects into custody. According to a department report, the gun was found on the floor in front of the passenger seat by Dill’s feet.

Once in custody, Chapel allegedly confessed to taking his mother’s car so that he could hang out with Dill. After picking up Dill and the 15-year-old, Chapel drove back to Forest Park where the 15-year-old pulled the revolver out from underneath his coat and handed it to Dill. The minor said he was out of money and suggested they rob someone.

It was as they were talking this idea over that police stopped the stolen car, according to statements allegedly made by Chapel.

Dill also told police that he is a member of the Black P Stones gang and has been feuding with members of the Bellwood Four Corner Hustlers. Vice lords in that gang have shot at him, Dill said, and he has since started carrying a gun of his own. According to the report, Dill said the handgun was his.

Chapel was not charged in connection with the stolen vehicle but was cited for driving without a valid license. Dill is facing two felony weapons charges. It was not clear whether the minor was charged in the incident.

Cab drivers threatened with gun

Two cab drivers were robbed at gunpoint outside of the Blue Line station on Desplaines Avenue, according to police, and the offenders made off with their wallets and an undisclosed amount of cash.

According to a department report on the alleged incident, both drivers were sitting in their Pinoy cabs at about 1 a.m. on Nov. 27 when they were approached by two unknown men. According to the report, one of the offenders pointed a black semi-automatic handgun at one of the drivers and demanded that he turn over his wallet. The suspect then got out of the cab and approached the driver of the second cab, where he also took the man’s wallet, according to police.

No injuries were reported in the incident and no shots were fired.

The suspects made off in a brown or beige Oldsmobile, according to the department report, and headed west on Interstate 290.

Jar of money swiped

A thief reportedly made off with $50 when he swiped a jar of $1 bills used as part of a promotional effort at a Madison Street business. According to a department report, the suspect was talking to an employee at 7206 Madison St. in the early afternoon of Nov. 26. When the employee left the customer to answer a phone call, she heard the suspect leave. She then noticed the jar of money missing from the counter.

Fight sends child fleeing

An early morning fight that resulted in domestic battery charges sent a child running from the apartment just as police were arriving at the scene.

Shortly before 1 a.m. on Dec. 3, officers were called to an apartment in the 100 block of Circle Avenue just in time to see a child run from the rear of the home yelling, “He’s beating up my mom.” Once inside, police could hear furniture being tossed and a woman screaming, according to a department report. In a bedroom authorities found Dejuran E. Hardy, 30, and a partially clothed woman who was “visibly distraught and crying.”

Hardy allegedly surrendered to police immediately and confessed to beating the woman.

“Yes officer, I pushed her and grabbed her; I know was wrong,” Hardy said, according to police.

The relationship between the suspect and the alleged victim was not made clear in the report. Paramedics transported the woman to Loyola Hospital where she was treated for injuries to her left eye and temple.

These items were taken from the records of the Forest Park Police Department between Nov. 25 and Dec. 3, 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.

-Josh Adams