Nude, drunk and underage in the cemetery

Forest Park police patrolling Woodlawn Cemetery, around 1 a.m. on Sept. 25, reported hearing female voices in the dark in the northeast corner. When an officer turned on a spotlight, he observed two young women running away naked. Several other subjects were discovered behind a tree, in various stages of undress with clothes scattered around, surrounded by empty liquor bottles. After six underage juveniles from Cicero, three females and three males, were corralled, they told police they had come to the cemetery after hours with liquor to visit the grave of a friend who had died. “Several of the subjects let loose their inhibitions and they got undressed,” police reports stated. The six were issued local ordinance citations for underage possession of alcohol and warned no one was allowed in the cemetery after hours and if they returned they would be charged with trespassing.

Burglary from auto

  • A Chevy Cavalier, parked overnight in the 1100 block of South Dunlop Avenue Sept. 23-24, was broken into. Women’s clothing was removed from the car and strewn on the nearby parking lot, and the glove compartment was ransacked. A wallet containing a library card and insurance cards was removed. The owner said she was unsure whether she left the car locked or unlocked.
  • A victim told police his 1998 Ford Escort was broken into, overnight Sept. 28-29, in the 7500 block of Roosevelt Road. Offenders had tried to strip the steering column and remove the radio but fled the scene before the radio could be removed. No estimated loss was given.

Bike stolen

A locked bicycle was reported removed from the bike rack near the Harlem Avenue Blue Line station sometime during the day Sept. 27.

Too many dogs

A woman who said she had a job taking care of dogs was issued a local ordinance citation for bringing three dogs to the Forest Bark Dog Park at Lehmer and Circle avenues around 9 a.m., Sept. 25. The 60-year-old Forest Park woman had a white collie mix, a black terrier and a black mix with her at the park. Reports said she has been warned before not to bring more than two dogs.

New Dodge Charger impounded

A 28-year-old Maywood man’s brand new black 2013 Dodge Charger was impounded by Forest Park police after an auto accident with no injuries around 2:45 p.m., Sept. 25. The Charger car struck a 2004 Saturn near 420 Desplaines Ave. Police investigating found the driver of the Charger to be driving with license suspended and the car was impounded.

Obsolete music devices and cash removed

A 50-year-old victim told Forest Park police he was shopping at Old School Records around 6:30 p.m., Sept. 25, when a 57-year-old Chicago man entered the store and allegedly rifled through his bag, removing several cassette tapes and $5. The offender then fled the record shop, but police stopped a man matching his description a block away. The cassettes and money were not on his person. A search of the area yielded no results. Police charged the Chicago man with theft.

Driver swap doesn’t fool cop

A Forest Park officer driving his fully marked squad car was cut off by a white Chevy Impala with a distinctive black driving stripe around 1:30 a.m., Sept. 28, in the 1200 block of South Harlem Avenue. The officer reported the Impala changed lanes, crossing into the squad car’s lane almost striking the police vehicle. The officer pulled over, made eye contact with the driver, a bald male around 30 years old. The Impala stopped abruptly at the intersection and the squad car carried through to the other side and waited. When the Impala passed the officer again, a female, age 47, was behind the wheel. The man, who had been driving before was now sitting in the back of the car.

The officer curbed the car as it turned into a gas station at 14th and Harlem. When asked to step out of the vehicle, the man denied ever driving the Impala. A name check revealed his license was revoked for several previous DUI violations. He was found to have 11 previous convictions for driving with license revoked and was discovered to be on parole from the Illinois Department of Corrections. Police recovered two open bottles of liquor from the car: a 750 ml bottle of Hpnotiq and a 375 ml bottle of Hennessy Cognac. A “one-hitter” marijuana pipe was also recovered from the alleged male driver of the car. The car was turned over to the woman, who was the registered owner of the Impala. The male driver was issued citations for improper lane usage and illegal transportation of alcohol.

‘Deer in the headlights’ look

Officers stopped at Thornton’s Gas Station, 601 Harlem Ave., around 5:45 p.m., Sept. 28, and observed a 2000 Nissan sedan parked away from the gas pump with a 21-year-old man speaking to a passenger through the car window. Via the LEADS computer system, the officer found the car was registered to an owner in Geneva and knowing that drug customers often come from the western suburbs to buy controlled substances, approached the Nissan. The two men gave the officer a “deer in the headlights” look, according to reports, and the officer observed one man to have track marks on his inner arms, consistent with intravenous heroin use. While speaking with the two men, the officer observed in plain view numerous small zip-lock baggies on the front passenger floor board of the Nissan and a spoon laying upside down with a burnt underside. The officer observed the two men were shaking and breathing quickly. They said their male and female friends were in the gas station bathroom. When the friends exited the gas station convenience store, the officer noted they also gave him the “deer in the headlights” look. Officers performed safety patdown checks and recovered more zip-lock baggies containing an off-white powdery substance suspected to be heroin. Police arrested the four, a 28-year-old male from St. Charles, a 21-year-old male from Batavia, a 25-year-old female from Geneva and a 19-year-old male from Geneva. They were charged with possession of controlled substances, open alcohol, and drug paraphernalia.

‘Slider’ theft at Thorton’s

A woman told police she parked her 2009 Chevy Malibu at Thornton’s around 10:15 p.m., Sept. 28, and entered the convenience store. When she returned, she told police she found her passenger-side door ajar and her iPhone 5 and driver’s license missing from the passenger seat. Loss was estimated at $399.

Landscaping equipment recovered

Traveling on patrol in the early morning, a Forest Park officer saw a white van exit the closed Fitness Factory lot around 5 a.m., Sept. 29. Knowing the factory to be closed, the officer became alert and then noticed a man on the west side of the 2000 block of Desplaines Avenue in the McAdam Landscaping company property. As the squad car approached, the officer observed him leaning over some landscaping equipment which the officer suspected had been removed from McAdam. The man slipped away and vanished.

At that point, the officer observed the white van, stopped in the middle of Desplaines Avenue. The officer spoke to the female driver, who appeared familiar to him. She had been among the drivers stopped at the Forest Park police safety checkpoint on Sept. 27. The officer remembered a crowbar had been visible on the floor of the van during the checkpoint.

After shining a light in the truck and failing to find the man who had been crouching near the landscaping equipment, the officers sent the van on its way. A K-9 police dog was brought to the landscaping company and officers found a 51-year-old Chicago man hidden behind shrubbery. He told them he was just the lookout and the man they wanted went northbound. Police found six McAdam landscaping trailers that appeared to be missing bolt locks on the doors or had pry damage. A crowbar was located near the stolen landscape equipment. The equipment haul included a weed whacker, a trimmer, a long-handled trimmer, a backpack leafblower and two portable gas stoves. The Chicago man was found to be on parole from the Illinois Dept. of Corrections. He was charged with felony burglary.

These items were obtained from the records of the Forest Park Police Department, Sept. 23-29, 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

Forest Park police nab DUI driver, 9 others in 3-hour safety check

The Forest Park police held a safety checkpoint in the early hours of Friday, Sept. 27 in the 900 block of Harlem, said Deputy Chief Tom Aftanas. In three hours, officers made 10 arrests and issued the following violations and citations:

  • 1 DUI arrest (also included 1 misdemeanor cannabis charge and 1 misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia charge)
  • 1 local ordinance for possession of cannabis
  • 1 warrant arrest
  • 3 suspended/revoked license arrests
  • 4 No valid license arrests
  • 11 citations for no valid insurance
  • 8 violations for improper lighting
  • 5 citations for improper registration
  • 3 citations for no seatbelt
  • 3 citations for defective windshield
  • 1 citation for expired license
  • 1 citation for license not on person

Nearly 40 percent of fatal motor vehicle crashes in Illinois involve driver impairment with alcohol or drugs, police said when they announced the safety check in early September.

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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