On July 6 at 10:06 p.m., police watching Thornton’s gas station, 601 S. Harlem, because of recent local armed robberies saw a tan Infiniti park away from the gas pumps. A man appeared to be slumped over in the front seat. The report said the driver went into the gas station bathroom for approximately 10 minutes, and then returned to the car. Police approaching the men in the car noticed the occupants were sweating profusely, had trembling hands and the passenger had needle tracks on both arms. When asked if he possessed anything he shouldn’t, passenger Ryan S. McVickar, 32, of Aurora, reportedly told police he had “nine bags and needles.” Police recovered a bag from his pocket containing nine smiley-face-labeled foil packets of heroin, total weight 10 grams, along with a silver cooking spoon and two syringes. McVickar was charged with possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Three people may be involved in the July 3 armed robbery of the Mobil gas station, 949 S. Harlem. Clerks called police at 2:40 p.m. to report the loss of about $500. One of the clerk/victims said he was inside stocking shelves when one of the offenders requested a pack of cigarettes. But as the clerk complied, the offender pointed a black semi-automatic handgun at him and told him to keep quiet and open the register, according to police reports. Once the drawer was open, the robber grabbed all the cash and fled. The second man stood lookout outside the door throughout the incident. Both men fled on foot northbound through the parking lot.
On July 6 at 12:30 a.m. the clerk at the convenience store at 205 Harlem told police he was robbed at gunpoint while restocking baked goods. The first offender showed a black semiautomatic pistol and said, “Give me the money, give me the money,” while knocking the goods from the clerk’s hand. After forcing the clerk to open the register, the robbers stole $300-$400 and several packs of cigarettes. The robbers were described to police as black males, 25-30 years old, 5-foot-11 and 160 pounds. The gunman reportedly had facial hair and wore a white shirt and black pants; the second robber wore all black.
Michael Simmons, 51, of Bellwood, was charged with felony retail theft on July 2. The incident at 11:40 a.m. began with six battery packages allegedly concealed on Simmon’s person at CVS, 7216 Circle, and ended with a stop of his white Lincoln Continental after Simmons reportedly ignored police lights and sirens, failed to signal a turn and blew through a stop sign. Simmons had a prior retail theft conviction.
On July 9 at 11:14 a.m., a security agent at CVS told police she saw a woman concealing merchandise in her purse and in a diaper bag under her baby stroller. Police arrived in time to see the woman exit without paying; the items, which had a value of $41.07, were recovered. Montoya S. Perry, 18, of Forest Park, was arrested, and she and her infant child were taken to the station, where she was charged with retail theft.
On July 10 at 1:17 p.m., police arrested a woman stopped outside CVS with drugs and stolen store merchandise concealed on her person. Rhonda M. Rogers, 47, of Oak Park, was charged with retail theft and possession of a controlled substance. Police reportedly found $89.95 worth of CVS merchandise in her pockets, including Oil of Olay products hidden in her panties; a pat-down recovered a box of razor blades and a foil packet of off-white powder heroin.
On July 9 at 10:51 p.m., an officer saw a green Honda two-door at Harlem and Jackson abruptly change lanes without a signal. Police stopped the Honda at Maple and Garfield. The driver, Silvestre Vargas, 34, of Berwyn, had neither a license nor insurance. After arresting Vargas, police located a still-cold, partially consumed, can of Bud Light along with numerous empty cans of beer inside the car. When the officer asked Vargas if he had been drinking, he reportedly replied “Si.” Vargas was charged with improper lane use, no license, no insurance and transportation of open alcohol.
These items were taken from the records of the Forest Park Police Department between July 4 and July 11, 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