Observed by store employees over a surveillance system, 38-year-old Warren J. Cook, of Chicago, is facing a felony theft charge for stealing more than $1,500 worth of jewelry from Kmart, according to a police department report.

Cook was in the Roosevelt Road store on March 4 shortly after 4:30 p.m. to return several items, according to a statement he later gave to authorities, when he noticed the lock on the jewelry display was askew. With no one standing at the counter, Cook allegedly told police he was simply taking advantage of an opportunity that had presented itself.

Employees, meanwhile, were monitoring Cook on a surveillance camera and watched as the suspect placed seven pieces of jewelry inside his jacket, according to police.

When police were called to the store, they learned that Cook’s friends were waiting in a car in the parking lot. None of those individuals were charged in the incident, but police discovered several boxes of DVDs in the trunk, which Cook allegedly confessed to stealing from a Wal-Mart store.

DUI suspect rejects safer options

Though police made several attempts to stop the allegedly drunk man from driving home, 26-year-old Israel Tapia-Paramo refused to take a cab and then smacked into two cars while maneuvering through a parking lot, according to the department.

Tapia-Paramo, of Oak Park, was causing problems at a Roosevelt Road bar shortly before 2 a.m. on March 7 when police were called. The bartender told authorities he was concerned the over-served patron would drive. Police found Tapia-Paramo in an alley behind the bar and reported the man became belligerent, refusing to answer questions.

After stating he preferred to walk rather than take a cab, Tapia-Paramo allegedly got into his 2006 Acura where he was quickly followed by police squad cars. Tapia-Paramo backed out of the parking lot, striking a parked car and then one of the police cars.

The suspect allegedly refused to take any field sobriety tests, nor would he submit to a breath exam. He was charged with failing to yield and driving under the influence.

Electronics stolen in burglary

A Thomas Avenue home located on the 1100 block was burglarized, according to police, with the thief making off with a number of electronics.

The owner of the home told authorities he left the house at 6:15 p.m. on March 5 and returned shortly after midnight to find the rear kitchen door had been broken. Among the items reported missing were a Bose sound system, headphones, a DVD player, a gold watch and a digital camera.

No suspects were immediately identified.

Seatbelts prompt inquiry

Two men in their early 20s were taken into custody on a host of charges following a traffic stop on the afternoon of March 4. According to a department report, officers first noticed the driver and the passenger in the Dodge Charger were not wearing their seatbelts, and upon checking the vehicle’s plates, discovered the tags belonged on a 2007 Jeep.

Keith L. Jones, 22, of Broadview, was charged with driving with a suspended license, driving without insurance or proper registration, not wearing a seatbelt and possession of marijuana.

Chris L. Buchanan, the 21-year-old passenger in the vehicle, was also charged with possession of marijuana, not wearing a seatbelt and attempting to obstruct a police officer when he initially provided authorities with a false name, according to the department. Buchanan, of Berwyn, was also taken into custody on an outstanding warrant issued out of Maywood.

Brandy for breakfast

A traffic accident shortly before 11 a.m. on March 3 at the intersection of Madison Street and Thatcher Avenue ended with charges of driving under the influence being filed after authorities allegedly learned that one of the motorists had been drinking since 9 a.m.

Lewis Newell, Jr., 64, of Chicago, was met by police at a nearby hospital where he was being treated for injuries and the officer immediately suspected the man might be intoxicated. While at the medical facility, Newell allegedly admitted that after waking up at about 7 a.m. he drank a half pint of brandy before leaving the house to pick up his wife. It was on the return trip that he was traveling east along Madison Street when another vehicle pulled out in front him, he said, and the accident occurred.

A blood sample for the purpose of determining his sobriety was taken at the hospital and sent to a state crime lab. Upon his release from the facility, Newell was also charged with failing to reduce his speed, driving on a suspended license and driving without insurance.

These items were taken from the records of the Forest Park Police Department between March 2 and March 9, 2008, 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