Pickup slams into house on Thomas

Police were summoned around 1:50 a.m., Dec. 16, when a 1996 red Ford Ranger pickup driven by a 25-year-old Berkeley man crashed into the side of a house in the 400 block of Thomas Avenue. Officers noted a strong odor of alcohol on the driver who said, “I slided on the pavement,” then corrected his grammar. When asked for a license and proof of insurance, the man handed over an FOID card. He was unable to dig up proof of insurance in a handful of papers he retrieved from the floor of the truck, explaining, “I’m not organized.” The driver said he had been participating in a pool league at the Shortstop Lounge and had consumed “two Budweisers.” He failed field sobriety tests and was taken to the station. He refused a breathalyzer test but was charged with DUI, no insurance, driving too fast for conditions and failure to reduce speed.

 Armed robbery at liquor store

A man wearing a hooded sweatshirt and a black plastic bag covering something in his hand robbed Forest Park Liquors, 7429 Madison St. around 8:15 p.m., Dec. 16. The clerk told police he entered the store and said he was looking for some Patron. The employee told him he would need some ID. The man removed a Marley’s beverage from a cooler, waited until a customer left, then came around behind the counter and threatened the clerk, saying, “Open the register or I’ll shoot you.” The clerk opened the register, and the man grabbed cash from the Illinois Lottery cash register and told the clerk to “get down on the floor.” The robber took cash from the clerk’s left back pocket and grabbed a 10-pack of Newport cigarettes and fled. Surveillance video showed a black 4-door sedan pull up on Burkhardt Court and wait outside while the robber enters and exits the store. A witness said he noticed the car, which had two passengers.

 Water heaters stolen

A building manager at a vacant apartment in the 600 block of South Harlem Avenue reported two water heaters were removed with a cutting tool sometime between Dec. 3 and 15. The manager said thieves apparently entered through a rear door that had no deadbolt. No loss amount was given.


Two UPS packages were removed from a condominium building lobby in the 1000 block of Desplaines Avenue, Dec. 11 and 15. Hello Kitty pajamas and black women’s sparkly shoes were in the packages.

 Heroin bust

On Dec. 16 around 5:19 p.m., a patrolling officer observed a 2010 Buick Allure traveling on Roosevelt Road near Troost Avenue with headlights off. When the officer curbed the Buick, the driver, 25, from Lombard, seemed extremely nervous, his hands shaking. The officer noticed two orange hypodermic caps on the center console. The driver admitted he had something in his sock, which he removed, producing four plastic bags containing a chalky white substance suspected to be two grams of heroin. A fifth was empty but filled with residue. The man told police he bought the heroin from “somebody” at I-290 and Superior Street, and had shot up shortly before.

He was charged with possession of a controlled substance.


A house in the 1100 block of Elgin was burglarized sometime between 7:45 a.m. and 6:50 p.m., Dec. 12. Dresser drawers were ransacked and an iPad and jewelry worth $4,050 were reported missing. The owner speculated that she might have left the front door unlocked when she picked up the newspaper in the morning. 

A garage side door was kicked in in the 600 block of Beloit. A red Craftsman compressor worth $300 was missing.

Overnight Dec. 10, someone tried to tamper with the lock on the Currie Motors lot at 7901 Roosevelt Road. Two vehicles parked outside the gate were also damaged.

 Car burglary

The owner of a 2013 Toyota Yaris told police he parked his unlocked car, the evening of Dec. 16, in the 1000 block of Desplaines Avenue. When he returned to the car at 11 p.m., a $1,000 iPad left in the back seat was missing from its black leather case. A leather briefcase was still there, but the car had been ransacked.

 Speedy cannabis delivery

On Dec. 17 at 2:49 a.m., cops curbed a 2013 Audi heading north in the 100 block of Harlem clocked at 51 mph in a 30 mph zone. The driver, Ezra K Blackburn, 26, of Chicago, was found to be hauling 273 grams of cannabis, packaged for sale in various bags, Tupperware containers, and a backpack. He also had a wad of $2,690 in cash rubber-banded in his pocket. He was charged with speeding, driving without a license and possession of pot with intent to deliver. 

 Smashed boyfriend smashes window

A rebuked, intoxicated ex-boyfriend allegedly broke the apartment window of a building in the 7300 block of Circle Avenue around 9:11 p.m., Dec. 17. When taken into custody several blocks away, Devon A. Smith, 23, of Chicago, became combative in the Forest Park Police Station holding cell and kicked the door, causing the locking mechanism to split. Damage was reported at $1,188. He was charged with felony damage to government property.

 Underage drinker

Police saw a youthful-looking man quickly slip into the men’s room at Slainte, 7505 Madison St., around 12:50 a.m., Dec. 19. When he exited, he was carrying a plastic cup filled with beer. He was carded, which revealed he was a 20-year-old Oak Park resident. He was given a local ordinance citation for underage drinking. Another 20-year-old from Elmwood Park was also nabbed.

 Happy ending for Walmart cash 

A woman told police she accidentally left a bank envelope containing $440 in cash on the customer service counter at the Walmart, 1300 Desplaines Ave., around 7:30 a.m., Dec. 19. She said she had withdrawn the cash from the bank to make a payment on her Walmart credit card. After paying $50, she left the balance of the cash and walked away. Surveillance cameras showed another female customer, age 48 from Chicago, who had left her 1997 Ford Expedition in the repair shop, secreted the envelope into her purse. Police were able to track the woman down from her customer receipt and, after a phone call, she agreed to return the cash. She was cited with a local ordinance for theft.

 Employee theft

An employee at the Ferrara Candy factory called police around 3:20 p.m., Dec. 19, after he found his locker open and his coat tossed on the floor. Missing from a pocket was $180 and his Volvo car key.

 DUI crash 

On Dec. 20 around 3:10 a.m., the intoxicated driver of a 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee exited the westbound I-290 at Harlem and misjudged a too-wide turn, crashing his SUV into a standing 2003 Nissan Pathfinder waiting in the southbound turn lane. Passengers in the Nissan were taken to Loyola Hospital. The driver of the Jeep blew a .189 blood alcohol content on the portable breathalyzer test, more than twice the legal limit of .08. Derrius R. Thomas, 28, of Chicago was charged with DUI.

 These items were obtained from the records of the Forest Park Police Department, Dec. 15-20, 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


Email: jlotus@forestparkreview.com 

Twitter: @FP_Review

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...