Prank caller fails to fool police
A Schaumburg man suspected of shoplifting auto headlight bulbs from Walmart, 1300 Desplaines Ave., allegedly called 911 on Jan. 21 from his cellphone and told police dispatchers there were “two black men with guns” in the Walmart grocery section. Around 2:20 p.m., officers on the lookout for a fleeing alleged shoplifter observed a white 2012 Chevy Cruze matching the description of the getaway car. As they followed the Chevy traveling eastbound on Harvard Street toward Circle Avenue, dispatchers reported over the radio that a caller had reported two armed men in the Walmart. Some officers responded to Walmart, where they didn’t find anyone with guns. Other cops found the Chevy in an alley in the 900 block of Circle and saw 44-year-old James O. Tittle slinking away down the alley. He was taken into the station, where he admitted calling in the false report of armed men because “he wanted the police to go to the Walmart so he could escape and get away.” He was charged with felony retail theft and felony disorderly conduct.
Someone stole a package containing wine-making materials delivered from a company in Oregon from the porch of a residence in the 7400 block of Washington Boulevard. The package was removed sometime Jan. 10. Value was estimated at $40.
A secured child’s Stingray Lowrider bike was removed from the porch of a residence in the 7400 block of Randolph Street. Someone cut the cable and took the bicycle between 2 and 3 p.m., Jan. 20.
A catalytic converter was removed from a 2002 Jeep Cherokee parked in the municipal lot at 700 Lathrop Avenue sometime between 1 and 11:30 p.m., Jan. 22. No dollar amount was given for damage.
A beige, rusty 2001 Chevy Venture work van, parked running to warm up the engine in Bergman Court around 7:55 a.m. on Jan. 23, was removed from the property without permission. The victim calling police said the van was his work vehicle and contained numerous tools, drills, saws and saws-alls worth about $2,000. The owner did not witness the van being driven away. He did not have any clues as to who might have taken the vehicle. Police canvassed the area, but did not find the Venture.
A Forest Park patrol officer randomly checked the registration on a green 2007 Dodge Caravan traveling westbound on Roosevelt Road around 2:40 p.m., Jan. 24, and found it was reported stolen out of Chicago. The officer followed the minivan into a parking lot in the 800 block of Roosevelt Road in Maywood. He turned on his squad car’s emergency lights and unholstered his gun, then held the driver and three passengers at gunpoint until backup officers arrived. The driver, age 19 from Chicago, told police he had purchased the van the day before for $550. He said he was unaware the vehicle was stolen. His passengers collaborated the story. As he had never been issued a driver’s license, he was taken into custody and charged with driving with a license and criminal trespass to auto. His companions, including a 16-year-old cousin from Chicago, were arrested and charged with criminal trespass to vehicle. The owner claimed her vehicle and said someone she knew had taken the keys, but she didn’t know the driver and the other passengers and denied selling them the minivan. The adult passengers were released on I-bonds. The juvenile was sent to juvenile court.
Officers were summoned to the wing restaurant at 7246 Roosevelt Road around 10:40 p.m., Jan. 23, after neighbors complained about rowdy patrons, including some urinating in gangways. The establishment was “extremely crowded,” a police report said, because “a party promoter had booked, and was in the process of holding, eight separate parties.” More vehicles were pulling up. The restaurant manager was advised not to allow any more people in because the restaurant was already at over-occupancy level. The owner, Varun R. Goyal, of Morton Grove, was out of state at the time. He was issued a local ordinance citation for allowing the peace to be breached. The ticket was sent via U.S. Mail.
In the wee hours of Jan. 25, officers responded to noise complaints twice from neighbors in an apartment in the 7400 block of Roosevelt Road. The 23-year-old tenant in the apartment was issued a local ordinance citation for disorderly conduct.
These items were obtained from the records of the Forest Park Police Department, Jan 19-25, 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