Check out this year’s Forest Park Community Guide!

Online edition –>

A man accused of swiping a $28 bottle of gin from a liquor store on Madison was charged with a felony in the case, according to a department report, because on 23 other occasions he’s been convicted of theft.

The incident began just before 11 p.m. April 19 when police were called to Thornton’s gas station on Harlem. A clerk at the store wanted Marcelia Bradford arrested for trespassing. Bradford was in the store some 30 minutes prior and had stolen a candy bar, the clerk told police, and an officer warned him then not to return to the store.

When the officer arrested Bradford, a bottle of gin was found in the suspect’s cargo pants. Suspicious of where it came from, the officer drove to a nearby liquor store at 7200 Madison and before he could ask the cashier a question, she said “Ah, I knew he took something,” according to the officer’s report. The two watched a video from an in-store security camera and the officer allegedly saw Bradford hiding the gin in his pants.

Bradford, a 39-year-old Chicago resident, declined to give a statement to police. Of his 23 prior convictions for theft, Bradford’s most recent came in June 2008, according to police.

… Better yet, 39 convictions

A Forest Park resident was arrested April 23 for stealing more than $428 worth of Prilosec from Kmart on Roosevelt, according to a department report. However, police discovered that 37-year-old Antonio Finley is unlikely to be deterred from repeating this behavior. Finley has 39 convictions for larceny.

Because of the retail value of the heartburn medication Finley is accused of taking, he was charged with a felony.

Apartment burgled

An apartment at 1117 Harlem was burglarized, according to police, and it appears the culprit made off with a video game console, some costume jewelry and a couple jackets.

Police were called to the home on April 17 just before 11 p.m. and quickly deduced that an unlocked window was the point of entry. A smear of blood was found on the windowsill and on a bedroom light switch. The three people sharing the apartment said the gaming console, a leather jacket and a fur coat appeared to be the most valuable items missing.

No arrests had been made at the time the report was filed.

Money for coffee

A man whom police claim has a reputation for posing as a homeless man and panhandling was cited April 18 for disorderly conduct and, of course, panhandling.

Louis Bova, 81, of Melrose Park, was outside of Dunkin Donuts on Madison shortly after 9 a.m. when a patrolling officer spotted him. The officer stopped his car and got out to speak with Bova, who was standing there holding an empty cup. Bova allegedly told police he was trying to get a cup of coffee.

The officer asked whether Bova had any money of his own and the man indicated that he did. He reached into his pocket and pulled out $23 in cash.

Booming tunes

Kenny Diaz, a 20-year-old village resident, was ticketed for playing his car stereo too loudly on April 18 after an officer reportedly heard the bass coming from Diaz’s car. It was just after 6 p.m. near the intersection of Lincoln and Brown when the officer noticed Diaz, according to a report. Diaz allegedly made eye contact with the officer and turned the music down. However, Diaz turned the music back up when he thought he was out of earshot.

A Holland, Mich., man was ticketed for same offense April 19 while driving east along Madison. Scott Mattson, 24, was stopped shortly before 1 a.m.

These items were taken from the records of the Forest Park Police Department between April 17 and April 27, 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.