Forest Park police arrested two men they caught inside Famous Liquors at 5:48 a.m. May 20. The two Chicago men, ages 21 and 23, were observed by officers inside the liquor store after allegedly using a sledgehammer to smash a hole in a cinderblock wall – three times.

“The first two times, they tried to get in through the back off the alley, but they were blocked both times by a big cooler pushed up against the wall,” said Deputy Chief Thomas Aftanas. “That’s when they decided to try to get in through the old Classic Electric building next door.” 

Police found a broken window in the unoccupied building at 7700 Madison St. and a hole in the wall of the liquor store directly across from the window.

About 5:18 a.m., an infrared motion sensor alerted police, who checked doors and found them locked. 

But when a second motion sensor was tripped, police returned to the store and peering through the windows observed scattered bottles on the floor. An officer then made eye contact with a man standing inside the store who immediately fled toward the back doors.

Police chased two men on foot who ran out the back of the store, jumped a chain link fence and ran south through yards. They took Charles E. Clark, 23 and Marshall L. Delaney, 21, into custody. 

Police recovered a black plastic bag filled with around 60 packs of cigarettes, 21 lighters and three bottles of Hennessey and Courvoisier cognac. A liquor store manager was also missing his laptop, he said.

Police did not find the tools used to smash through the walls, Aftanas said.

“It’s our belief there was a third offender who got away, in a vehicle with the tools,” Aftanas said. 

Clark had previously been arrested and convicted of auto theft and was on parole, Aftanas said. The two were charged with burglary and criminal trespass, Aftanas said.

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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