A toothpaste thief’s luck ran out after he was arrested and slapped with felony retail theft on the afternoon of June 7.

CVS security contacted police after watching surveillance footage of Kenyatta Cage, 37, of Chicago, stuffing nine tubes of toothpaste in his pants.

When Cage left the 7216 Circle Ave. store, police were contacted.

Police officers met with a security guard on the platform of the CTA Green Line Terminal on Harlem Avenue and Lake Street. Cage had been tailed to the location by a CVS security guard that was awaiting police intervention.

At first Cage attempted to flee, but was caught by an officer. Cage was arrested and taken to headquarters.

While discussing the incident with the responding officers, Cage admitted stealing the items, but claimed the thievery occurred at another location. When authorities informed him that his actions were caught on video, Cage replied, “Whatever I got to do to not get another retail theft.”

An assistant state’s attorney was contacted and approval was granted for felony charges, due to a previous 2009 retail theft conviction.

DUI, hit-and-run, drug possession

Police stopped a Villa Park man with a blood-alcohol content level five times the legal limit after he had allegedly been the offender in a hit-and-run incident near Roosevelt Road and Harlem Avenue on the afternoon of June 10.

Sixty-two-year-old Lawrence Tankus’ red Corvette was pulled over on Harrison Street close to Thomas Avenue, after a radio announcement linked his car to the hit-and-run.

Upon speaking with Tankus, the officer claimed he could smell alcohol emitting from the driver; and, what’s more, a plastic bag of what turned out to be one gram of cocaine was sitting on the front passenger’s seat.

Tankus was ordered out of the car, and when it was apparent that he was unsteady on his feet, he was placed into custody. A subsequent search of his vehicle revealed two open 375-milliliter bottles of Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey, one of which was almost entirely consumed.

Tankus was taken to the headquarters, where the victim of the hit-and-run positively identified Tankus as being the fleeing driver involved in the incident.

During processing, Tankus was reportedly drifting in and out of consciousness, so an ambulance was called to transport him to Oak Park Hospital. While there, blood and urine tests were conducted and the doctor on call informed police that Tankus’ blood alcohol level was .413. The legal limit for driving a vehicle is .08.

Tankus was charged with DUI, moving violations, and possessing a controlled substance.

Felony charge for attempting to elude an officer

A sleeping driver attempted to elude police after an officer stirred him to check on the man’s wellbeing on the afternoon of June 11.

An officer reportedly spotted a vehicle on Harrison Street near the intersection of Ferdinand Avenue with its hazard lights activated, and subsequently pulled behind the vehicle.

In the driver’s seat was a napping Gregory Strauss, 28, of Hanover Park, who did not initially respond to the officer’s questions regarding Straus’ condition.

Moreover, the officer reported observing that the car was in drive, and that Strauss was preventing its movement only by placing his foot over the brake.

Strauss finally was awoken once the officer reached in the partially opened window in an attempt to unlock the door.

At this point, the officer claimed the vehicle began to slowly roll forward, as Strauss disregarded orders to halt the vehicle. The officer was forced to break the front and rear driver’s side windows in an attempt to grab control of the vehicle; however, he was unable to do so, and Strauss sped away.

A report was put out over the radio, though, and Strauss was curbed and apprehended by another officer on the 1000 block of Ferdinand.

Strauss received a felony charge for aggravated fleeing and eluding a police officer, and was also slapped with traffic sign violations, seatbelt violations, operating an uninsured vehicle and parking violations.

Not exactly a clean getaway

Forty-one-year-old Aaron Topps of Chicago allegedly stole two bottles of Tide detergent from the 7216 Circle Ave. CVS Pharmacy on the morning of June 7.

Police were initially dispatched to a theft in progress at CVS; however, when a description of Topps aired on the police radio, another cruiser spotted a man that resembled Topps running on the 7200 block of Franklin Street. Topps was apprehended and brought back to CVS where the detergent bottles (collectively valued at $17.98) were returned.

Topps was arrested, and during questioning at the station, informed police that he steals detergent and sells each bottle for $12. Topps explained that half of the proceeds go to his children, and the other half supports his heroin addiction.

Topps was charged with felony retail theft due to a 2009 conviction for the same offense.

Self-touting gang member pushes, threatens CTA employee

A self-proclaimed Black Gangster Disciple gang member was arrested in the wee hours of June 9, after he was accused of attacking a CTA security guard at the CTA Blue Line station on Desplaines Avenue.

Police were called after the guard was allegedly physically provoked into a scuffle with Aqtron Plowden, 39, of Chicago, who refused to pay an additional fare to ride again after the train had reached the end of the line.

The security guard told police that Plowden had already given him a hard time about exiting the train, and when Plowden was informed that he would have to pay another fare to continue riding, he became belligerent, and tried to force himself back on the train. The security guard physically attempted to block Plowden; however, Plowden allegedly pushed the CTA employee, all the while yelling obscenities, announcing his supposed Black Gangster Disciple affiliation, and, subsequently, causing a disturbance.

After police had arrived, a name check of Plowden informed them that the Chicago Police Dept. had an active arrest warrant that was issued after Plowden failed to appear at a hearing associated with charges of criminal trespassing. He was subsequently taken into custody, and the security agent was apparently going to waive the charges, however Plowden reportedly decided to state the following: “Just wait. I’m gonna get right out and I’m coming back for you.” The guard then changed his mind.

Plowden was charged with battery, disorderly conduct, criminal trespassing and the in-state warrant.


On the night of June 8, Ronald Megginson, 63, of Berwyn, was involved in a car accident that led to a DUI charge. When police arrived at the scene of the accident on Roosevelt Road near Marengo Street, an officer reported smelling alcohol on Megginson’s breath. Moreover, the officer claimed Megginson’s speech was also slurred and his eyes were bloodshot. When police asked Megginson to perform a field sobriety test, he vehemently refused and barked, “Just arrest me!” He was obliged, and taken into custody where he was charged with DUI, operating an uninsured motor vehicle and improper lane usage.

These items were taken from the records of the Forest Park Police Department between June 6 and June 13, 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 Nick Moroni

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.