Out-of-towners caught shooting heroin in Walgreens lot

A manager at the Walgreens, 7200 W. Roosevelt Road, was informed by a concerned patron that the occupants of a red 2006 Toyota RAV4 in the parking lot appeared to be taking drugs around 10 a.m. on May 2.

The manger summoned Forest Park police, who arrived in a squad car. The officer reportedly observed the Toyota’s occupants making furtive movements and saw the front seat passenger abruptly exit the car. As he got out, a twisted aluminum can, typically used to cook illegal narcotics, fell from the car onto the parking lot.

Rame Gjukaj, 22, of Westmont was stopped by the officer, who also noted a baggie on the sidewalk marked with a superman logo. It was filled with a white powdery substance that later field tested to be heroin, said police.

The officer asked Gjukaj to place his hands on the vehicle, but the driver, Mazvydas Deltuva, 21, of Willowbrook, allegedly continued to make furtive movements in the car, even after being asked to keep his hands on the steering wheel.

Police searched the car and reported finding an uncapped hypodermic needle, another aluminum can and eight more baggies in an empty cigarette box. Police arrested the two, plus a third passenger, Matthew Vanek, 23, of Hinsdale.

At the station Gjukaj reportedly told police he was on and off heroin for three years. He told police he had recruited two acquaintances, Deltuva and Vanek, to accompany him to Chicago to buy heroin from a dealer for $100. The two friends were allegedly going to be paid in trade for a small amount of drugs for their help.

Vanek allegedly admitted he set up the transaction, but said he had not taken any of the heroin. Deltuva reportedly told police he shot heroin for the first time that day.

The three were charged with possession of a controlled substance.

Vehicle thefts

A 1985 Chevy Impala was reported stolen from a parking lot behind the 1100 block of Hannah overnight on May 2.

A woman reported her maroon 1976 Oldsmobile Cutlass was stolen from the Walmart parking lot, 1300 Desplaines Ave., while she was inside the store around 9 a.m. on April 30.

According to the police report, video surveillance showed two men in a Chevy SUV following her vehicle into the parking lot. While she was inside, they entered her vehicle using unknown means, started the Cutlass and followed the SUV northbound out of the lot, possibly exiting on Roosevelt Road.

72 mph in 30 mph zone

A Forest Park officer curbed a 2000 Chevy Silverado after he reported clocking it at 72 miles per hour in a 30 mph zone around 2:50 a.m. on April 29 near Harlem Avenue and the I-290 exit ramp.

The driver, Emilio Abasta, 29, of Berwyn, was found to be driving with a revoked license. Abasta was charged with felony driving with a revoked license and misdemeanor speeding.

Walmart employee arrested in voiding scam

Forest Park police were called to Walmart, 1300 Desplaines Ave., on April 29 top assist in the investigation of an employee that store officials said had been voiding merchandise returns and pocketing the money.

According to the police report, David Williams, 48, of Chicago, was allegedly able to obtain approximately $992 over the last month and half. A customer alerted Walmart security to the odd behavior after he complained that Williams offered to give the customer cash for a pair of returned shoes.

The customer returned the shoes and filed a complained with the management. Williams was charged with felony retail theft.

Catalytic converter theft

A catalytic converter was discovered removed from a 2005 Honda Element parked in the 7600 block of Van Buren Street on May 3 around 11 a.m.

Speeding Ford causes accident

Forest Park police arrested the driver of a Ford Focus said by witnesses to be speeding southbound on Harlem around midnight May 2 and crashing into a Pontiac Grand Am in the 600 block of Harlem Avenue.

The driver of the Ford, Deangelis N. Bronner, 24, of Maywood, allegedly was yelling obscenities and threatening the passengers of the Pontiac when police officers arrived.

Bronner allegedly yelled, “It’s their fault!” and “I’m going to fight them!”

Police tried to restrain Bronner, who reportedly pulled away from them and continued to resist until a Taser was produced. Police reported that Bronner smelled of alcohol and appeared intoxicated.

Police reported recovering from Bronner’s vehicle an open 375 ml bottle of tequila with contents almost gone and several small clear plastic cups. Bronner was brought to the station, but declined to submit to a breath test.

In addition to being charged with driving under the influence, Bronner was charged with failure to reduce speed, illegal transportation of open alcohol, having no driver’s license on his person, no proof of insurance and two misdemeanor counts of resisting arrest.

Bike stolen

A woman told police she heard noises in her garage in the 1000 block of Harlem Avenue around 4:15 p.m. on May 4 and said she saw a man she didn’t know exiting the side door with her blue Denali 10-speed bicycle.

She chased the man, who rode away southbound down the alley. The man reportedly turned to her, smirked and continued to flee. Police were unable to find the offender.

Lawn chairs stolen

A resident of the 300 block of Circle Avenue told police four cast-iron swivel lawn chairs were removed from the backyard overnight on April 28. The victim said someone returned to the yard between May 1 and 5 and removed the more lawn chairs of the same description. Value of the loss was estimated at $2,000.

Phone and iPod stolen from open convertible

A man told police he parked his Volkswagen convertible with the top down in the 1500 block of Hannah Avenue around 5:45 p.m. May 5. When he returned to his car, he told police he discovered his Samsung Galaxy cell phone and iPod Shuffle had been removed from the vehicle.

These items were obtained from the records of the Forest Park Police Department, April 30 – May 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.

Jean Lotus

Jean Lotus loves community journalism. She covers news, features, two school boards, village council, crime, park district and writes obits for Forest Park Review. She also covers the police beat for...