No one was injured when a car hit a house in the 400 block of Circle Avenue, Saturday afternoon. Forest Park police said the driver of a Chrysler swerved to avoid a Toyota Camry turning northbound onto Circle from Adams Street and lost control of her vehicle. The Chrysler hit the side of the house, causing a gas leak. The car was towed. Photo courtesy James Balodimas

Flashing gang signs at police

Forest Park police recognized a 22-year-old Forest Park man riding a child’s bicycle around 2 p.m., Aug. 19, in the 1400 block of Elgin after he flashed an upside down Latin King street-gang sign at an officer (indicating disrespect toward a rival gang). When police stopped him and asked where he got the bike, he reportedly said, “It belongs to my homie,” and “Me and my homie share bicycles.” He declined to identify the “homie” in question. He did announce that he was a member of a rival gang by saying, “Four-Corner Hustlers, Solid!” Officers performed a safety pat-down and recovered a ziploc baggie containing 71 small baggies with cannabis seeds weighing .7 grams inside a few of them. The bike serial number came back clear. He was issued a local ordinance ticket for possession of pot.

Denver boot removal teams

Police observed a group of men clustered around a maroon van in the 400 block of Marengo Avenue around 5:40 p.m. Aug. 19 who appeared to be attempting to remove a Denver Boot wheel-locking device. Police observed a Forest Park boot, several wrenches, chisels and a vice grip and hammer and a grinder which was still warm to the touch. An orange extension cord was leading from the back of an apartment building to the van. Security video from neighboring buildings showed the three men tampering with the boot prior to its removal. Two Chicago men were placed into custody. One man told police he was offered $25 to cut the boot from the van by the owner. The Assiastant State’s Attorney’s office gave felony approval for the charges of criminal damage to government property and theft over $300.

Police arrived in the 900 block of Thomas around 3:40 a.m. Aug. 24 and saw a woman pounding the wheel of a parked vehicle with a sledgehammer. She was attempting to remove a Denver boot wheel-locking device, police said. The woman and a companion appeared intoxicated. The 24-year-old Chicago woman was charged with felony criminal damage to government property.

Dog suffers in parked car

Police were summoned to the Walmart parking lot around 5:15 p.m., Aug. 20, after customers noticed a dog unattended in a parked Chevy in 88-degree heat. When police arrived, observers had opened the door and put the dog on a leash. He was panting uncontrollably and appeared lethargic. The windows of the vehicle were cracked about an inch, according to reports. Following unsuccessful attempts to contact the owner over the intercom at Walmart, police transported the dog to the Animal Care League in Oak Park. The owner, a 38-year-old Cicero woman, arrived at the Forest Park police station looking for her dog around 6:40 p.m. She was issued a local ordinance ticket for animal cruelty.

Breakfast bird at McDonald’s

A McDonald’s customer summoned police around 8:30 a.m., Aug. 21, because of rude behavior from a 48-year-old panhandler with whom he’d had unpleasant dealings in the past. The 63-year-old said he had run-ins with the Oak Park panhandler who asked him for money previously. The customer cited an incident in July where the panhandler allegedly threatened him. According to reports, the man was having breakfast when the panhandler recognized him, approached his table and extended his middle finger into the diner’s face. Police took the offender into custody, at which point he said, “He can’t stop me from coming in here to talk to my friends.” When asked whether he intended to buy food, the arrested man said, “No.” He was charged with one count of disorderly conduct.

Catalytic converter theft

A victim told police, Aug. 21, that the catalytic converter had been sawn off his 2003 Dodge van parked in the 1100 block of Elgin at some point during the past two weeks. Two other converters were removed on the same block, overnight Aug. 11-12.

Auto burglary

Someone broke into a 2001 Chevy Cavalier, overnight Aug. 21-22, in the 1000 block of Troost by prying open the driver’s side door. Removed were $500 worth of power tools, medications, credit cards, music CDs, flashlights, a backpack and $10 in change.

Burglar enters through balcony window

A woman in a second-floor apartment in the 7700 block of Van Buren told police she awoke at 11 p.m., Aug. 23, when she heard a box fall in her hallway. She said she saw an unknown man enter her room and turn on the bedroom light switch. When he saw the victim in her bed, he fled the apartment via the sliding patio door of the balcony. The woman said a wallet containing money, IDs and credit cards was missing from her purse. The fleeing burglar dropped an Apple laptop computer on the kitchen floor as he fled.

Crossing guard observes mail theft

A crossing guard noticed an unknown man lingering on a corner at Circle Avenue and Harrison Street, speaking on a cellphone around 3 p.m., Aug. 22. The guard told police the man walked onto the porch of a house in the 1000 block of Circle, sticking his hand in the mailbox and removing a handful of envelopes. The guard said she knew the residents of the house and chased the man eastbound through backyards in the 900 block Circle/Marengo alley. The witness saw the man throw several envelopes into a trashcan and then flee. Police found a man who fit the description walking in the 600 block of Circle. The 52-year-old Chicago man denied stealing anything, although he admitted being on the porch. He was charged with one count each of theft and criminal trespass.

Weed recovered, in large amounts

Police stopped a 2003 Chevy Impala in the first block of North Harlem Avenue after they observed the driver fail to signal when he turned. Smelling a strong odor of cannabis, police searched the vehicle and recovered 40 grams of cannabis packaged in small zip-lock bags. The 27-year-old Bellwood man was charged with traffic violations, revoked driver’s license, possession of cannabis (over 30 grams) and possession with intent to deliver.

Police stopped a 2013 Nissan Maxima, the afternoon of Aug. 23, after observing the river illegally cross the double line to enter the turn lane westbound on Roosevelt Road at Harlem Avenue. Police curbed the car in the Walgreen’s parking lot. Officers observed one of the passengers throw a white cardboard box into the back seat. Noticing the Maxima smelled strongly of burnt marijuana, police asked the vehicle’s occupants to exit the car. They recovered a large plastic bag containing 113 grams of a green leafy substance that tested positive for cannabis and a large plastic baggy containing 49 capsules of a tan, crystal substance labeled “Molly/MDMA,” which are street terms for ecstasy. Ricardo Reyes, 18, of Berwyn, told police he bought the pot for $1,000 to sell to his friends. He said he received the ecstasy through the mail in the cardboard box from a dealer in California. He was charged with possession of a controlled substance and possession with intent to deliver. The other car occupants were released without charge.

Bike theft roundup

A women’s bicycle was stolen from an unlocked garage in the 1400 block of Marengo Avenue, the afternoon of Aug. 22.

A secured bike was stolen early in the morning, Aug. 23, from behind the 100 block of Belvidere Avenue.

A secured bike was removed from outside the Happy Chef restaurant around 3:15 p.m., Aug. 25, while the owner was inside picking up his takeout order.

Handful of Hawaii

During a sidewalk sale, the owners of Krenek’s Antiques in the 7500 block of Madison Street said a man had been eyeing the Hawaiian shirt display for an inordinately long period of time. Just as the clerk approached to ask if he needed help, the man allegedly grabbed a fistful of shirts on hangers and fled down Madison Street. A witness observed him running down the street and called police. The man was arrested in the 7400 block of Washington and taken to the police station. Having a prior robbery conviction in 1995, Zane Wilbourne, 51, of Forest Park was charged with felony theft.

These items were obtained from the records of the Forest Park Police Department, Aug. 19-25, 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...

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