On June 24 at 1:52 a.m. witnesses reported that a tall man in a black T-shirt and cream-colored pants was destroying the Red Eye newspaper box at the southeast corner of Des Plaines and Washington by kicking and stomping it. Witnesses also saw the man remove a sewer cover cap at the same corner and leave it open, then walk toward a restaurant near Randolph. Police spotted a man matching the description leaving a building in the 7400 block of Randolph and asked him for ID; they noticed he had dirty hands and pants. Corey C. Elich, 21, of Oak Park, reportedly had a strong odor of alcohol and was swaying. Footprints on the Red Eye paper box matched the size 12 sneakers worn by Elich. A Chicago Tribune Co. spokesman said the value of the damaged vending box is in-between $500-$600. Elich was charged with reckless conduct and criminal damage to property.

Berwyn man cited for marijuana

On June 22 at 2:53 p.m. in the 8000 block of Roosevelt, police stopped a blue 1994 Ford Econoline van because the driver wore no seatbelt. While talking to the driver, the officer noticed a strong odor of cannabis, and asked Nicholas A. Hernandez, 31, of Berwyn, if he happened to have anything illegal on or with him. Hernandez allegedly replied, “Yeah, I got some weed and a pipe in a black bag behind the driver’s seat.” Police recovered a pink Ziploc bag containing two grams of marijuana and a multi-colored glass pipe containing marijuana residue; Hernandez was cited for possession of marijuana and paraphernalia.

‘The weed is mine!’

On June 21 at 2:55 p.m. police smelled marijuana coming from the passenger side of a vehicle stopped at Roosevelt and Dunlop for speeding. A check of the name of passenger Kermit A. Pullen, 34, of Broadview, revealed he had two active pot-related arrest warrants out of Cook County. Police asked him to exit the vehicle; when he did, they saw in plain view in the passenger door compartment a clear plastic bag containing 17 smaller Ziploc bags of marijuana. When police asked whose it was, Pullen reportedly volunteered, “The weed is mine!” The driver was sent on his way with a sharp warning. Pullen was arrested, processed on the county warrants and charged with possession of marijuana.

CVS, K-mart thefts reported

On June 23 at 7:54 p.m. police stopped a man who reportedly fled CVS on a bicycle after taking merchandise. A security officer who watched the incident on security cameras at the store in the 7200 block of Circle Avenue said the man put eight deodorant sticks down his camouflage pants and walked out without paying; he positively identified Randy McKenzie, 43, of Cicero, as the offender. Total value of the deodorant was $54.32. McKenzie allegedly told police only that “I wasn’t in the store.” He was charged with one felony count of retail theft.

On June 25 at 1 p.m. police went with the manager of CVS to the CTA platform at 1 S. Harlem and detained a man who was sitting on an outbound train with two plastic bags reportedly containing $166.04 worth of store merchandise. Ziad W. Abuzir, 27, of Burbank, was charged with one count felony retail theft. The store gave police surveillance video of the incident.

On June 25 at 6:03 p.m. Steve Aguirre, 33, of Chicago, was stopped in a van in the CVS parking lot in possession of bags containing 19 items of store merchandise with a total value of $287.13. Aguirre was charged with one felony count of retail theft.

On June 25 at 10:46 a.m. a security agent at K-mart, 7630 Roosevelt Rd., was watching the overhead cameras when he noticed a woman wandering the aisles place several boxes of Nicorette gum in a large blue canvas bag inside a shopping car. He then saw her remove the “soft tag” security devices from the outside of the boxes and leave them on store shelves. The officer radioed to a second agent, who stopped the woman as she walked out with the concealed items. The Nicorette boxes, valued at $414.92, were recovered. Charisse Langston, 49, of Chicago, was charged with felony retail theft.

On June 26 at 6:42 p.m. police detained Larry A. Luster, 37, of Chicago, outside CVS, and recovered 15 bottles of body wash – store property worth $77.85 – from a Dunkin Donuts bag Luster was carrying. Luster was charged with one felony count of retail theft.

On June 26 at 7:19 p.m. police near the CTA terminal on Harlem stopped a man identified by CVS store security as having stolen a bottle of liquor. When detained, Thomas M. Tovar, 24, of Forest Park, reportedly said “For what, man?” and twice tried to pull away from police. A 750 ML bottle of Jagermeister was recovered from Tovar’s pants. Police said Tovar appeared to be under the influence, with glassy eyes and slurred speech; they charged him with retail theft.

License ‘messed up’

On June 27 at 3:49 p.m. an officer saw a green Toyota Camry turn east onto Bataan Drive without signaling. Driver Abel Hernandez, 48, of Maywood, could not provide ID or insurance. A check of his name showed he had been charged four times with driving on a suspended license after the original suspension for DUI. Asked why he was driving, Hernandez allegedly stated he knew his license status was “messed up,” but said he “had to drive to a meeting.” He was charged with felony driving despite a revoked license, as well as failure to signal and driving uninsured. The Camry was impounded.

These items were taken from the records of the Forest Park Police Department between June 18 and June 25, 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 Amy Malina

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.