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‘Pigeon drop’ leaves woman holding the red bandana

Two smooth-talking men in three piece suits approached a woman around 4:30 p.m. on Nov. 7 near the Charter One Bank on North Avenue in Oak Park and explained to her that one of them had $35,000 and could not return to his home country with the large sum of money or he would be killed. Police reports did not indicate the alleged country of origin.

The first man told the woman if she provided him with $1,000, he would give her the $35,000. She agreed to the arrangement and drove in an “older model station wagon” with the two men to her Charter One bank branch in Forest Park in the 7500 block of Madison Street.

One man accompanied the woman into the bank branch. She told police she handed the man an envelope with $1,000 plus an additional $75. The man and his partner gave the woman a red bandana tied in a bundle and told her not to open it on the street because it was filled with a large amount of currency. After the offenders left the scene, the woman opened the bandana to find it filled with shredded paper.

The scammers were described as two African-American men, one slender and approximately 50 years old wearing a brown three-piece suit and a Kangol hat. The second was described as a medium-build African-American man, around age 65 in a light brown suit.

Catalytic converters stolen

Police responded to U-Haul in the 7200 block of Harrison Street the morning of Nov. 8 after employees on the early shift discovered overnight three catalytic converters had been removed from trucks and vans in the parking lot. Surveillance video showed a single male suspect entering the yard around midnight and then leaving in a dark-colored sedan. U-Haul estimated the loss at $5,400.

Elderly man foiled in air-conditioning unit theft

Police arrested a 71-year-old man from Cicero in the 1300 block of Harlem after a neighbor heard a banging noise and discovered the man standing in the neighboring yard tampering with an air conditioner compressor while carrying a snip-pliers with a red handle around 10:50 p.m. on Nov. 8.

The neighbor remembered that someone had tried to remove the same compressor unit on Oct. 24. The neighbor confronted the elderly man and asked what he was doing in his neighbor’s yard. “Pissing,” the man replied, and quickly entered a beat-up 1994 red Ford F 150 LXT pickup and drove away down the alley with a woman in the passenger seat. The man entered the pickup’s license plate information into his cellphone and then called police.

Officers traced the truck’s vehicle registration number to an address near 13th Street and 60th Court. Forest Park tactical officers knocked on the apartment door of the residence matching the vehicle registration and located the man and his wife. They also positively identified the pickup truck and found a pair of red snip-pliers in a tool chest in the truck.

The neighbor was transported to Cicero and identified the man. He was charged with misdemeanor attempted theft and misdemeanor criminal trespass. He posted $1,500 bond and was released

These items were obtained from the records of the Forest Park Police Department, Nov. 5-8, 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 Jean Lotus