Cellphone distraction leads to pot arrest

Around 4:30 p.m., Oct. 6, a Forest Park officer on patrol curbed a 2000 Chevy Impala traveling in the 900 block of Harlem Avenue after observing the driver chatting on a cellphone. While speaking to the 25-year-old Forest Park man, the officer noted a strong odor of cannabis from inside the vehicle. 

“I have a bowl and some weed,” the driver admitted. He produced a glass pipe and two small plastic bags containing a green leafy substance. He was issued local ordinance tickets for use of an electronic device while driving and pot possession.

Gabbing on a phone while driving a 2013 red Dodge at 3:45 p.m., Oct. 8, brought a 47-year-old Chicago female driver to the attention of Forest Park cops on patrol, who also figured out she had a suspended license. She was issued a ticket and, with an on-the-spot I-Bond, drove away with a court date.  

Heroin bust

Police were summoned around 5:25 p.m., Oct. 6, after a call came into dispatch saying the driver of a white 2001 Hyundai Sonata was slumped at the wheel, leaving the car stopped in the roadway at Jackson Boulevard and Madison Street. The officer saw the vehicle, but by then it was moving, traveling southbound on Jackson. A motorist waved down the officer and said it was she who had called. The vehicle parked in the 500 block of Jackson. The officer made contact with the male driver, 24, from Oak Park. A 26-year-old Hickory Hills woman was fast asleep in the passenger seat. 

The driver said he had blown a front tire in Maywood. His driver’s license was found to be suspended. Officers removed him from the vehicle and tried to wake the woman. She told the officer she had been ill but declined medical attention. When she got out of the Sonata, officers saw her remove two knotted baggies from her bra and hide them in her left shoe. Cops recovered the bags, which were filled with a rock-like chalky substance that later tested positive for 1 gram of heroin and one pink capsule, identified as Dormin, 25 g. The man refused to speak to police and was issued a ticket for driving with license suspended. The woman told cops she had been clean for six months and is being treated with methadone. She said her male friend had urged her to “hide the dope.”

Police impounded and towed the Sonata. The couple’s dog was removed from the car and brought to Animal Care League in Oak Park. The woman was charged with felony possession of a controlled substance. 

U-Haul heist

A U-Haul truck was discovered missing around 9 a.m., Oct. 7, from the parking lot at 7209 Harrison St. The 26-foot GMC 6000 was worth approximately $40,000, managers told police. Surveillance video showed two men entering the maintenance yard around 10:43 p.m. the previous night by climbing through a hole in the north fence. While one man drove the truck, the other removed a padlock from a gate and opened it, allowing his partner to drive through. The second man then hopped into the cab and surveillance video showed the truck turning onto Harlem Avenue and onto the I-290 expressway eastbound ramp. 

While police were interviewing employees, a phone call came in from an officer in St. Joseph, Michigan, who said an abandoned U-Haul truck had been found on I-94 outside St. Joe’s around 12:25 a.m. Michigan police told Forest Park cops they responded to an alarm from a tire store in town and found the tire service center’s overhead garage door smashed but no offenders on the scene. Surveillance video showed a large U-Haul smashing down the door and two male suspects getting out. The suspects removed one tire from the store, but a sounding alarm caused them to flee. Other St. Joseph cops said they noticed the abandoned truck parked at the side of the highway. The only evidence left in the truck was an “old, oily empty tool bag” in the front cab. St. Joseph police did not make any arrests in connection with the return of the truck.

Toothpaste thief nabbed

A purple jumpsuit was the sartorial clue that led Forest Park police to an alleged shoplifter who was swiftly walking away from the CVS at 7216 Circle Ave. around 6:30 p.m., Oct. 7. Store managers said they saw the 58-year-old Chicago woman, wearing the aforementioned jumpsuit, stuff 10 boxes of toothpaste into her purse and leave the store. Police recovered the toothpaste, which totaled $45.20. The woman was taken to the station, where the Cook County Assistant State’s Attorney gave the OK for felony retail theft charges to be filed against her.

Overweight truck

A Forest Park officer on patrol on the I-290 expressway observed a 1995 International Harvester semi, strapped with pallets of sod, which appeared to be overloaded. The Chicago driver, age 30, could not produce a Class A commercial Illinois driver’s license and said he didn’t have one. He did have a New Mexico passenger license, which was insufficient. Cops weighed the truck at the State Police truck scale near First Avenue and found it weighted more than 26,000 pounds, with the trailer accounting for 1,000 pounds. The driver was issued a ticket for not having a commercial driver’s license, no safety sticker adhered to the rig, and failure to obtain an Illinois driver’s license. A properly licensed driver came to bring the rig home. 

Dog bites cop

A loose dog running free in the 7300 block of Harvard Street around 9 a.m., Oct. 8, bit the hand of a Forest Park officer who tried to restrain him until his owner could arrive. The dog bite broke the skin and caused his hand to bleed. Forest Park paramedics treated the dog bite back at the station. The dog’s owner, a 44-year-old Oak Park man, was issued local citations for dog at large and possession of a “biter animal.” The pet’s rabies tags were current. 

Traffic stop reveals warrants, probation

Police stopped a 2002 Ford Explorer with an expired registration as it drove past Harlem and Cermak in North Riverside around 8:40 p.m., Oct. 8. The male driver had an active warrant for his arrest from the North Riverside Police Department. A female passenger in the car was found to be on federal probation for money laundering. Reports said she had been caught at O’Hare Airport with more than $90,000, police said. A quick sniff of the Explorer by the department’s K9 dog came up negative for narcotics. The driver was held for North Riverside police.

Van stolen

A woman came to the Forest Park police station to tell officers of the theft of her 1997 brown Chevy Venture. The vehicle was distinctive because it had plastic in the passenger’s side window, attached with duct tape and was decorated with “ribbon style” magnets and stickers on the back, which also was heavily dented. The van, she said, disappeared from the village lot located at Circle Avenue and Roosevelt Road between Saturday, Oct. 4 and Sunday, Oct. 5. She said she was the only person with access to the keys. Officers entered the stolen van information into the LEADS national stolen property computer program. Police said they would keep an eye out.

 These items were obtained from the records of the Forest Park Police Department, Oct.5-10, 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.

Compiled by 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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