Pines/Oak Leaf cited as chronic nuisance property

Police issued a local ordinance citation to Elmhurst resident Tony Kaldis, owner of the Oak Leaf/Pines restaurants at 7412 Harrison St., for complaints of a fight in the parking lot around 1:30 a.m., Nov. 20. According to police reports, the twin restaurants were categorized as “nuisance properties” after Kaldis “continually refused to work with FPPD to abate ongoing problems.” Police were called to break up a brawl in front of the restaurants around 2:30 a.m., Nov. 16, that involved almost 100 people.

“The problems even prompted a community meeting [May, 2012] wherein Kaldis offered no resolutions to the issues,” the police report said. Kaldis has been issued more than 12 local ordinance citations and has been convicted numerous times but has not paid any fines associated with those convictions, police said. Officers were summoned again around 3:30 p.m., Nov. 20, after neighbors complained of loud music.

DUI driver sideswipes car

Forest Park police arrested a 28-year-old Forest Park man driving a 2002 Volkswagen Passat whom they observed crossing double yellow lines and swerving around 12:30 a.m., Nov. 18. As the officer followed the Volkswagen, it sideswiped a Honda CRV parked in the 300 block of Circle Avenue and then continued to travel northward. Officers curbed the car in the 200 block of Circle and arrested the man, who failed field sobriety tests. He refused to take a Breathalyzer test and was charged with DUI, leaving the scene of an accident, no valid driver’s license, no insurance and not wearing a seat belt.

Parked car smash-and-grab

With a piece of concrete, someone smashed in the window of a 1999 Chevy Cavalier parked overnight behind the 1100 block of Dunlop, Nov. 17. Removed from the vehicle were gym shoes, a phone charger and miscellaneous change. The victim told police this was the second time her vehicle had been burglarized.

Catalytic converter theft

Someone cut the catalytic converter off a 1999 Jeep Cherokee parked behind the 200 block of Marengo sometime between Nov. 17 and 23. Estimated loss was unknown.

A 2004 Jeep Cherokee, seized by Forest Park police and parked in a lot in the 500 block of Desplaines Avenue, was found Nov. 17 to have had the catalytic converter sawed off with a cutting tool. Police did not know when the crime occurred. Loss was estimated at $450.

Under-ringing merchandise

Security officers at Walmart summoned Forest Park police to assist in the arrest of a 19-year-old cashier from Chicago who was allegedly seen on surveillance video as she deliberately under-rang a total of 14 items on Nov. 13 and 14. The estimated store loss was $71.31. The woman was issued a local citation for theft and was terminated from Walmart and told not to return to the property.

Walmart also charged another cashier, age unknown, from Chicago with under-ringing 26 items, causing a total loss to the store of $666.40. She was charged with one count of felony theft under-ring.

Garage burglary

A specialized 10-speed bike worth $500 was removed from a garage via an open front door between 6:30 and 7:30 a.m., Nov. 18, in the 7500 block of Harrison Street.

Observant neighbors stop burglary

A woman in a basement apartment in the 900 block of South Elgin Avenue told police she heard a knocking sound around 2:30 p.m., Nov. 18, outside her window and peeked out to see two unfamiliar men standing in a gangway between the buildings. One was allegedly removing a screen from a ground-floor window and the second was standing “nervously,” possibly acting as a lookout. The witness called police, then called another neighbor and asked her to keep an eye from her apartment on the two men. Police arrived to find one man, 18, from Forest Park, in the act of tampering with a window screen. The second, 17, was standing next to him. Police in a marked squad car summoned the men over, but they exited the gangway and began to walk quickly up Elgin. Another Forest Park squad car picked them up, and they were identified by the two witnesses.

The 18-year-old told police the two were walking to the CTA and he decided to “get some money” by trying to enter an apartment. Both men said they had made “a mistake.” Police contacted the assistant state’s attorney for felony review, but they did not find sufficient evidence to charge the 17-year-old, who was released without charge. The 18-year-old was charged with one count of attempted residential burglary.

Bank-owned house stripped by burglars

Police were assigned to investigate a burglary at a bank-owned house in the 600 block of Harlem Avenue that had been burglarized sometime between Oct. 25 and 29. A contractor, hired by the owners, said someone had entered the vacant house and removed numerous pipes, faucets, and an affixed toilet and vanity. Drywall was cut open and copper piping was torn out. Police said the burglar(s) probably entered through an unlocked window.

Stings at cigar, tobacco shops

Forest Park police cited an employee of Casa De Puros cigar store, 7410 Madison St., for selling a $6.81 “American Classic” cigar to an underage agent working with police on tobacco stings around 4 p.m., Nov. 20. The agent, age 15, showed an ID to a 51-year-old Riverside man who identified himself as the new manager. The manager told police he thought the “yellow strip” on the ID meant the holder was over 18. He was issued a local ordinance citation for selling tobacco to a minor.

Later that evening, the officer and youth agent entered Tobacco and Snack, 315B Harlem Ave., and the youth purchased a “Swisher Sweet” cigar for 50 cents. When told he had sold to a minor, the 34-year-old shopkeeper said he was “just a cashier” and didn’t card the youth because he “looked old enough.” He was issued a local ordinance citation for selling tobacco to a minor.

Burglary

Someone entered an apartment in the 7300 block of Adams Street between 5:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m., Nov. 20, by prying open the deadbolt on the front door. The female victim told police she arrived home to find her jewelry boxes open, her bedroom ransacked and her laptop missing. She told police a similar burglary had occurred recently to the apartment below hers. Estimated loss was not provided.

Someone broke into a building in the 900 block of Marengo Avenue during the day, Nov. 22. The tenant at the residence came home to discover the front door open and two bedrooms ransacked. An HP laptop and a bottle of men’s cologne had been removed from the building, the victim said. However, he thought more items might be discovered missing later due to the disarray of the bedrooms. Police noticed a Smith and Wesson automatic handgun magazine on the floor. The tenant advised police he owned the magazine only and not the gun it went with.

After-hours clear-out at Chalk

Police cited Chalk owner Matthew Mathey, 43, of Westchester for remaining open and serving liquor after closing time at the Chalk bar, 7414 Madison St., after patrolling officers observed about 20 patrons still in the bar at 2:04 a.m., Nov. 21. As police cleared out the bar for the next half hour, Mathey allegedly argued with officers and shouted obscenities, reportedly telling police to “go do some real police work and find the people tagging the back of my building.”

This story has been updated to correct the time police arrived at Chalk Nov. 21.

These items were obtained from the records of the Forest Park Police Department, Nov. 18-24, 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

Tip hotline

Anyone with information regarding the cases mentioned in this report, or on another matter, is encouraged to contact the Forest Park police department’s hotline at 708-615-6239. Information may be left anonymously.

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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