Police recovered a Jeep Grand Cherokee that had been reported stolen more than six months ago when a patrolling officer spotted that vehicle being driven with dealer plates from 2009. Police also found two police scanners, ski masks, hand-held radios, gloves and a binder full of police and emergency radio frequencies inside the vehicle, according to a department report.
It was shortly before 3 p.m. on Feb. 19 that an officer noticed the Jeep traveling south along Harlem. A quick check of the expired dealer plate revealed its registration status had been revoked, and police stopped the car near the junction with Interstate 290. The driver, 41-year-old Darius Meaux, of Chicago, handed over his driver’s license and explained he got the car from his wife, who owns a car dealership. He couldn’t explain why his wife would have given him an expired tag, nor could he answer why the registration would have been revoked, according to police.
Upon checking the Jeep’s vehicle identification number from the inside of the driver’s door, the officer realized the Jeep was reported stolen on June 30.
With Meaux out of the car, backup units on the way, and a passenger still seated in the front seat, the officer attempted to get Meaux into handcuffs. Meaux allegedly resisted, which made it difficult for the officer to also keep an eye on the passenger still in the car. After the officer wrestled Meaux to the ground and punched him in the face, the suspect “immediately began complying” with instructions to stay still.
It was during a subsequent search of the car that police found all the items inside. Oddly, the scanners had both the antennas and batteries removed. But when police put the scanners back together, they allegedly found that one of the devices was tuned to receive police broadcasts from Forest Park.
Under questioning at the station, police allegedly learned from Meaux that he bought the Jeep in October and assumed it may have been stolen. The dealer tags were from his wife’s auto dealership, but he took them without anyone knowing. He allegedly claimed that he and his friend like to listen to the scanners for fire department calls, but “was unable to give a reason” for having the gloves and ski masks.
He was charged with a felony for possession of a stolen vehicle, driving with a revoked license, resisting arrest and an improper registration. Meaux’s passenger, Keith Chidster, 39, also of Chicago, was charged with trespassing because he was a passenger in the stolen car.
Woman charged with theft
A 23-year-old woman from Maywood was arrested for shoplifting after she allegedly used a diaper bag to steal $116 worth of household items, food and toiletries from a grocery store on Roosevelt. Police were called to Ultra Foods at about 2:30 p.m. on Feb. 17 after an employee there claimed to have watched Isis Johnson hide the items in the pink bag. Johnson then used shopping bags from the grocery store to further conceal her heist, according to a department report.
She was charged with one count of retail theft and given an April court date.
Pokémon cards still hot
A Maywood man claimed he was just “playin’ around” when he was allegedly caught trying to steal more than $100 worth of Pokémon trading cards from Kmart on Feb. 19.
According to a department report, 40-year-old Eric Terrell was spotted by a security guard at the store on Roosevelt using a shopping flier to conceal several packages of the cards within a shopping cart. When the guard stopped Terrell from leaving the store, he found nine packages of the cards, which had a total retail value of almost $114.
While in custody at the police station, Terrell allegedly told investigators that he did not mean to take the items, and that he intended to give them to his grandchildren.
Not his first time
Frederick Moore told police he knew that his driver’s license was under suspension when he was stopped on Feb. 18 for not having a young child in the car secured in a safety seat, but claimed that a family member would have been stuck without a ride if he didn’t drive. Moore, 46, also allegedly told police that he knew the license plates on his Cadillac Deville actually belonged on an Acura.
While at the police station, after being arrested on charges related to those offenses, however, police discovered that Moore had been charged 11 times with driving on a suspended license. Police charged Moore, a Chicago resident, with a felony for repeatedly driving on a suspended license.
These items were taken from the records of the Forest Park Police Department between Feb. 14 and Feb. 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