A 21-year-old woman from Bartlett and her boyfriend were arrested in Forest Park on drug-related charges after police stopped the vehicle they were traveling in for not having a license plate affixed to the front.

According to a department report, the couple pulled into a gas station on Harlem on Nov. 18 when authorities noticed the missing registration. When police stopped the gray Pontiac on the entrance ramp to the Eisenhower Expressway, both the driver and his passenger were shaking “uncontrollably and both were extremely nervous.”

The driver of the car, 23-year-old Steven Garbarz, also from Bartlett, was asked to step out of the car. Police searched him and found nothing illegal, according to the report. His girlfriend, however, allegedly admitted to police that she had drugs hidden inside her bra.

Errika McLaughlin had three bags of heroin hidden insider her bra, according to police, and had tried to conceal similar amounts of the drug along the floor of the car. Police also found a marijuana pipe in the vehicle’s glove box.

While at the police station, McLaughlin allegedly told authorities that she has been using heroin for roughly a year and regularly meets a dealer by the name of “Geo” at a gas station on Cicero Avenue in Chicago. She reportedly claimed ownership of the drugs and the pipe.

Police interviewed Garbarz, who told a similar story, then released him with a traffic citation for the missing license plate.

McLaughlin was charged with felony drug possession and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Possible scam foiled

A resident on the 900 block of Hannah reported to police that he may have been the target of a so-called Gypsy scam.

Shortly before 2:30 p.m. on Nov. 20, a man in a gray jacket came to the back door of the home and rang the doorbell, according to a department report. The man at the door said he worked for the water department and needed to get inside the house to check the meter. The resident told police he asked for credentials and the man at the door responded that his truck was in the alley. All he needed to do, he allegedly said, is turn on the kitchen faucet.

The resident let the man into his house, watched him as he turned on the faucet and quickly left the house toward the alley. The front door of the home was locked and he was certain that no one else entered, he told police.

“It should be noted that this house configuration is such that any occupant can see the front door and the front room clearly from the back door, so it’s not an ideal setup for a scam to work,” police said in their report. “This, along with the locked front door, may be why this scam was aborted prior to execution.”

Warnings not heeded

William Higbee, 59, has been told on numerous occasions that he is not welcome at the McDonald’s on Desplaines and Madison, according to police. An employee at the fast-food outlet called the department Nov. 20 to complain that Higbee was harassing customers and employees. The responding officer noted in his report that he had told Higbee just two days ago not to return.

Higbee was told that he was under arrest for trespassing, but shoved the officer in the chest and tried walking away, police said in their report. He was taken into custody on the trespassing charge, and an additional count of resisting arrest.

Prior convictions prompt felony

A 21-year-old Cicero woman was charged with felony theft Nov. 18 after she allegedly tried to take $96 worth of merchandise from the Wal-Mart located at Desplaines and Roosevelt.

A security detail at the story told police that he watched as Angelica Garcia removed several items from the store’s shelves and hid them inside a baby bag and a plastic shopping bag. The woman then tried to leave without paying for the items, the store’s security told police.

While at the police station, Garcia allegedly refused to speak with officers about the incident. Given she has three previous convictions for retail theft, the most recent dating to July out of North Riverside, Forest Park authorities sought a felony-level charge from the assistant state’s attorney.

These items were taken from the records of the Forest Park Police Department between Nov. 15 and Nov. 21, 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