On June 17, River Forest and Forest Park police units worked in conjunction to apprehend a suspect involved in a May 26 attempted burglary on the 100 block of Marengo Street.

Arthur Lee Jones, 59, of Hazel Crest and a passenger were allegedly staking out condominium buildings near Central Street and Ashland Avenue, in Jones’ blue Buick, when a River Forest officer recognized Jones and his vehicle from a Forest Park police report.

Forest Park and River Forest authorities curbed the vehicle close to their original position, and Williamson and Jones were taken to Forest Park headquarters.

Prior to the incident, Forest Park police had sent out descriptions of Jones after viewing a surveillance video of him entering the abovementioned location. Moreover, Jones was seen wearing khaki pants, a white shirt and a tie, and a dark beige baseball cap. In the backseat of Jones’ car, police found a hat that bore a strong resemblance to the one worn by the suspect in the video.

“Guys will dress up like gentlemen…so people will be less apt to call the police,” said Forest Park Det. Sgt. Michael Keeting, explaining that local law enforcement agencies are seeing a wave of well-dressed burglars and robbers that don fancy garb to appear less suspicious. “Between the two of these guys they have 27 burglary convictions,” said Keeting.

During an interrogation, Jones acknowledged that he broke into the residences on the 100 block of Marengo Street on May 26, to satiate a heroin addiction.

Nothing was taken from the unit that Jones broke into – he said he heard a noise as he was prying the door open and decided to leave.

After Jones’ confession, an assistant state’s attorney approved charges of burglary and attempted residential burglary.

Lakers argument turns violent

A verbal spat between two former lovers over the Los Angeles Lakers basketball team catalyzed an alleged domestic battery incident on the 200 block of Brown Avenue on the night of June 17.

Police were dispatched to the location after receiving a domestic disturbance report. Michael Neal’s girlfriend related that she and Neal, 37, of Chicago, had been watching TV at her residence, and Neal eventually grew increasingly angry over an argument pertaining to the L.A. Lakers.

According to the police report, when she asked Neal to leave her apartment he refused, at which point she announced she was going to contact authorities. As she reached for the telephone, though, Neal pulled it off of the wall.

The victim informed police that Neal then dragged her from the living room by her sweatshirt, and pinned her to a chair by her neck, subsequently choking her. As he was holding her down, the victim said Neal broke a wine glass and threatened to hit her with it. Somehow, she was able to scurry away; and, borrowing a neighbor’s cell phone, the woman then contacted police, according to the report.

When police arrived, the victim relayed the above information, and stated that Neal was probably at the Harlem Avenue CTA green line station. Neal was apprehended in the parking lot of the 7200 Circle Avenue Dunkin Donuts He was arrested and charged with domestic battery and interfering with the reporting of domestic battery.

Drug-fueled misbehavior

A Forest Park man who had allegedly been smoking crack, ran into police headquarters on the night of June 14 and cried out that his life was in danger because of a number of gun-toting gang members at and near his house that wanted to kill him. What’s more, his paranoia caused him to attack both his wife and a police officer.

Alvin Herbert, 50, of Forest Park, was offered a police escort back to his house at 516 Desplaines Avenue, after he claimed his life was in danger, according to a police report.

On the way back to his home, Herbert told the accompanying officer that he had been smoking crack with his neighbor and that he thought the would-be killers might be staked out there.

When the officer and Herbert arrived at Herbert’s residence, Herbert’s wife stated that she did not want him inside because she did not want to expose her children to Herbert’s drug-induced behavior, the report stated.

Without warning, Herbert lunged at his wife, striking her in the chest with his fist, according to police. Herbert continued to attempt to attack her, though, and eventually threw a punch at the officer, who stood between Herbert and his wife.

The officer wrestled Herbert to the ground, and as he reportedly continued to struggle, the officer struck him on the head with an open hand. At this point he stopped fighting and was taken into custody.

Herbert was charged with domestic battery and battery to a peace officer.

Man stealing for his son

An Elburn man allegedly attempted to steal $22.45 worth of Snickers candy bars for his son’s birthday from the 7216 Circle Avenue CVS Pharmacy on the eve of June 19.

An officer initially observed Michael Lacina’s vehicle parked in a handicap spot in CVS’s parking lot, and approached the vehicle. Inside, seated in the passenger’s seat, was Lacina’s sister, who claimed that her brother had just run inside to purchase something and would be right out.

As the officer informed her that Lacina would receive a ticket, Lacina walked out the door with a shopping basket full of stolen Snickers’ bars, and after seeing the police, attempted to walk past the vehicle as if it were not his, according to the report. Lacina eventually came back to the car, where police confronted him about the stolen items. According to police, Lacina eventually admitted to the theft after police told him there was surveillance of him entering and exiting the store. When he was taken into custody, Lacina told authorities that his son was having a birthday party and that he didn’t have any money, so he opted to steal the candy bars as a present.

Wrong plates

A Maywood teen driving a car with plates registered to another vehicle was pulled over at 711 Desplaines Avenue on the morning of June 16. Gregory Ward was seen driving a white 1992 Pontiac with Illinois plates registered to a gray 1985 Chevrolet. The plates were also suspended for non-insurance. When Ward was stopped, he informed police that the plates were only placed upon the vehicle so he could drive it for the day. He said he was recently arrested for driving on a suspended license but didn’t believe it was suspended, and he was en route to the Secretary of State to check on the matter, according to the report. Ward was arrested and charged with driving with a suspended license, and given two citations for moving violations.

DUI, other violations

On June 14, 31-year-old Cicero resident Benito Ruiz was stopped on the 1400 block of S. Harlem Avenue for improperly changing lanes, according to a police report. The officer that approached reported that Ruiz appeared intoxicated. After admitting that he had consumed six beers, Ruiz was asked to perform a number of field sobriety tests, all of which he failed. He was then taken to headquarters and charged with DUI, improper lighting and failure to signal.

Adarius James, 29, of Maywood, was stopped on Madison Street near the intersection of Clinton Avenue in Oak Park on the morning of June 18. The officer reported that he knew beforehand that James’ license had been suspended, so he halted the car at the above intersection. When contact was made with James, the driver admitted having a suspended driver’s license for transporting open alcohol. He handed the officer an insurance card instead of a license; however, once the company was contacted, a representative stated that the policy had expired on June 8, 2010. Moreover, a computer check of James’ name revealed that his license was suspended for DUI. James was arrested and charged with three vehicle code violations and driving with a suspended license.

In the wee hours of June 20, 27-year-old Chicagoan Ashlin Johnson reportedly crashed his car into a Pace bus sign near 7219 W. Madison Street and was slapped with a DUI. When officers responded to the crash report, Johnson was asked about his activities the night before. When he informed police that he had been out at a nightclub in Chicago, he was asked to perform field sobriety tests, and was arrested after failing them.

A subsequent search of Johnson’s car revealed an open 750 milliliter bottle of Crown Royal whiskey. At the police station, Johnson was also charged with improper lane usage and transportation of alcohol.

These items were taken from the records of the Forest Park Police Department between June 13 and June 20, 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

Fax thief

A man robbed Berkshire Nursing Home, 8200 W. Roosevelt Rd., of a $600 fax machine on the morning of June 14.

A Berkshire administrator gave police a surveillance video of a man that came into the nursing home, walked around for about 30 minutes, and eventually approached the unattended receptionist’s desk, where he unplugged the fax machine and brought it to the front door.

The thief set the fax machine down beside the door, casually pulled his car up, and placed it inside his vehicle, according to the report. He left in an unknown direction.

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.