A Forest Park detective said the calling card for a pair of suspected burglars may link the men to more than 40 burglaries in the village.

On March 19, local police arrested two suspects in connection with an alleged break-in at a condo building near Marengo and Washington, and initially thought the men were responsible for nearly a dozen other similar crimes in Forest Park. But Sgt. Mike Keating, who head the department’s detective unit, said suspects Derrick Herron, 46, and Donald Ingram, 47, had a habit of using pillowcases to lug their loot. This practice was once popular among residential burglars, said Keating but has fallen off in recent years.

“I call them the Pillowcase Bandits,” Keating said of the suspects.

Ingram and Herron were allegedly spotted by a resident of the condo building who became suspicious when the men parked behind the property. That witness called police and authorities found stolen items and pry tools often used in residential burglaries inside the vehicle, according to a statement released by the department.

Ingram, of Chicago, was charged with two felony counts of theft, one count of attempted residential burglary, two counts of burglary and one count of residential burglary.

Herron, of Park Forest, is facing two counts of theft, one charge for possession of burglary tools, one count of burglary, two residential burglary charges and one charge for attempted residential burglary. He was also on parole at the time of his arrest for a previous residential burglary conviction, police said.

Parolee arrested for heroin

A 20-year-old woman from suburban Lake in the Hills was taken into custody on drug charges and an outstanding warrant after police found her slumped over in an idling vehicle, according to a department report.

Leanne Spatafora was allegedly found unconscious in the driver’s seat of her purple Dodge caravan March 22 when a passerby called police at about 7:30 that evening. Authorities found the van parked at Lehmer and Thomas and knocked on the window. Spatafora was roused easily enough, and when she was asked to step out of the car, police allegedly saw several small plastic bags with tin foil inside them. Immediately, the officer suspected drugs may be in the car and began questioning the woman.

“She freely admitted that after work she drove to the area of Cicero Avenue and Maypole to purchase drugs,” police said in their report.

Spatafora was charged with felony drug possession and taken into custody on a warrant issued by the state corrections department one day prior.

Burglary on Roosevelt

A business in the 7900 block of Roosevelt was burglarized March 16, according to a department report, and the culprit made off with at least two computer monitors worth an estimated $665.

Police responded to an alarm at the building shortly after 6 a.m. and found a small glass window near a door had been smashed. The two computer screens were cut from the power cords attached to them, according to police, but it was not immediately clear whether any other items had been taken.

Investigators also found a flashlight that was apparently left behind by the burglar, but no fingerprints were recovered.

Drugs, bullet prompt charges

Two Chicago men were arrested just before midnight on March 19 after police became suspicious that there were drugs in the car they were traveling in.

Tavares Jones, 24, and Jeffrey Bryant, 27, were stopped on Harlem because the car did not have a license plate attached to the front bumper. When the officer went to the driver’s window and asked for his license, Bryant opened the window only a few inches and the smell of marijuana was strong, police said. Bryant refused to roll the window down any further, and then locked the car’s doors when police asked them to get out. At the same time, according to the report, Bryant called 911 and spoke to the Forest Park dispatch.

With additional officers at the scene, the suspects unlocked the car doors and were taken into custody. A search of the car allegedly turned up 4 grams of marijuana and a single .38 caliber bullet. Because Bryant has a felony conviction for aggravated battery, he was charged with unlawful possession of ammunition, in addition to resisting police and possession of marijuana.

Jones was also charged with resisting an officer and possession of marijuana.

These items were taken from the records of the Forest Park Police Department between March 16 and March 23, 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

Tip hotline

Anyone with information regarding the cases mentioned in this report, or on another matter, is encouraged to contact the Forest Park police department’s hotline at 708-615-6239. Information may be left anonymously.