A Chicago man was arrested and charged with a felony, early Nov. 2, after he allegedly sawed the catalytic converter off a car parked on the 800 block of Elgin Ave.

Police reported that the owner of the vehicle reportedly spotted suspect Derick Gray, 29, from afar, walking around the suspect’s car and another that was parked nearby. When the victim arrived, he found his exhaust pipe dangling from the car.

He called police and reported the incident; a short while later, Gray, who was driving with a passenger, was pulled over and interviewed.

The reporting officer took note of the fact that Gray’s clothes were covered in leaves and dry dirt, “as if he was rolling on the ground prior to being arrested.”

The officer reportedly found the catalytic converter and several different saws inside the car Gray was driving.

He and the passenger were arrested and brought to headquarters, although the passenger was eventually released without charges.

Gray was charged with felony criminal damage to property, following Assistant Cook County State’s Attorney Craig Engebretson’s approval. He was also charged with driving with a suspended license, and operating an uninsured motor vehicle.


Begging with drug paraphernalia

A Romeoville man was arrested on drug and panhandling charges, late Nov. 1, after police spotted him begging at the Harlem Avenue I-290 intersection and found drug paraphernalia following a search.

Twenty-three-year-old Daniel Ford was arrested when police found a syringe and an aluminum can with a burnt underside (typically used to prepare heroin).

Ford has been arrested by Forest Park police for similar charges in the past and was taken into custody and charged with possession of drug equipment and solicitor complaints.


Felony retail theft 

Police arrested a Chicago man on the night of Nov. 3 and charged him with a felony after he allegedly tried to steal a mobile phone from the local Kmart.

Anthony Flowers, 33, a self-admitted heroin user, was reportedly caught by police after Kmart security spotted him cut open the packaging of a Boost cellular phone and stuff it in his pants then tried to leave without paying.

After observing Flowers in the act, Kmart security called police to the 7620 Roosevelt Rd. store.

An officer apprehended the suspect and, in addition to the stolen merchandise, police also found about one gram of heroin in his possession.  

Flowers was taken to headquarters where he agreed to be interviewed by police.

According to the report, Flowers said he knew a friend who had stolen a phone from Walmart, so he wanted to see if he could do the same, only from Kmart. Flowers also said he used heroin prior to his attempt at retail theft.

Despite his foiled attempt to swipe the phone, Flowers was charged with felony retail theft, following approval by Assistant Cook County State’s Attorney Engebretson. He received the upgrade because of a past conviction for armed robbery, police reported.

Flowers was also charged with possession of a controlled substance and for having an in-state warrant for an unspecified charge.


Felony upgrade

Police arrested a Chicago man on the afternoon of Nov. 4 and charged him with a felony after learning that he was driving on a license revoked because of a DUI conviction.

Fifty-five-year-old Francisco Contreras was reportedly giving his friend a lift when an officer stopped him at the intersection of Cermak Road and Desplaines Avenue. The officer pulled Contreras over after running the registration and learning that Contreras’ license is revoked for DUI

The passenger in the car told the officer that Contreras was driving him home to help with some construction work.

Instead, Contreras was arrested and told police that he was aware his license is revoked for DUI, but that he needs to use the car so he can travel to and from side jobs he works.

Contreras ended up being charged with felony driving with a revoked license after Assistant Cook County State’s Attorney Aisha Cornelius OK’d the upgrade.


A jealous window-smasher

A Chicago man who allegedly broke the window of a car parked on the 7600 block of Roosevelt Road was arrested when police followed up on a call reporting the incident and located the suspect in the Portillo’s parking lot.

Byron Smith reportedly smashed the car window and then fled the scene, according to the police report.

Going off a description provided by the caller who reported the incident, police located Smith nearby in a Gold Nissan Altima.

When an officer approached him, Smith admitted to breaking the window, but said “I was not going to steal anything. That’s just my girl’s car, and I think she’s inside with another guy, so I was just going to break it.”

Smith was charged with criminal damage to property.


These items were obtained from the records of the Forest Park Police Department, Oct. 31-Nov. 6, and represent a portion of the incidents to which police responded. Unless otherwise indicated, anyone named in the report has only been charged with a crime.

-Compiled by Nick Moroni