Walmart employee charged with theft

A Walmart cashier was charged with one count of felony retail theft after allegedly failing to ring up nearly $500 in merchandise on two days in late January.

The suspect, later identified as Elijah B. Gowdy, 30, of Chicago, fled as police arrived to take him into custody on Feb. 16 at 7:42 p.m. at the store, 1300 Desplaines Ave.

But thanks to surveillance video provided by the store manager, police were able to get a description of Gowdy, who was apprehended after exiting a CTA bus at the CTA’s Desplaines Avenue Blue Line station.

Gowdy, who had on his Walmart uniform at the scene, was arrested and transported to the Forest Park police department.

Walmart’s manager showed police video of Gowdy allegedly using his finger to cover up the barcode as items were being scanned, resulting in certain items not being rung up.

On Jan. 29 he failed to properly ring up $227.82 worth of items during one transaction, and on Jan. 31 he failed to properly ring up $229.08 worth of items, which is a total loss of $456.90, police said.

After his arrest, Gowdy reportedly said other Walmart employees pressured him into not ringing up all the items at the checkout and that they even showed him how to not properly ring up items.

He has a court date at the Maybrook courthouse on Feb. 27.

Drug house shut down

Police from Forest Park and the West Suburban Drug and Gang Enforcement (WEDGE) task force on Feb. 20 raided an apartment in building in the 900 block of Ferdinand Avenue, 50 feet away from Forest Park Middle School, to shut down what they said was a drug selling operation.

Carlos D. Sanders, 41, of Forest Park, was charged with manufacture/delivery of between 30 and 500 grams of cannabis within 1,000 feet of a school, manufacture/delivery of cannabis, possession of cannabis and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Police executed a search warrant at 4:57 a.m. and reported recovering about 130 grams of cannabis, some of it packaged for delivery. Officers also recovered about $1,000 in cash, along with numerous items used in the packaging of cannabis for sale.

Among the cash was a $20 bill marked to identify it as money used by police to perform controlled buys as part of the police investigation prior to obtaining a search warrant.

Criminal trespass to vehicle

A 23-year-old Maywood man was charged with criminal trespass to a vehicle after police reported that they stopped him on Feb. 19 at about 2:10 p.m. while driving a 2013 Mazda that had been reported stolen.

An officer on patrol observed that the vehicle had California registration and entered the license plate information into the computer. The vehicle came back as stolen out of Chicago.

According to the police report, the vehicle was owned by a rental company and the driver was a former employee, who had been terminated on Feb. 6. A company official told police there was no rental contract on the vehicle.

The driver said he had paid $60 to use the vehicle “off the books” and that he had the permission of a manager, for whom he could not provide a full name or contact information, according to police.

Police returned the vehicle to the rental company and charged the driver with misdemeanor trespassing.

Catalytic converter stolen

A 25-year-old Forest Park woman was shocked on Feb. 13 to find that the catalytic converter had been sawed off from the chassis of her 2005 Chevy Malibu.

Small metal shavings on the ground near her car led her to believe unknown subjects had used a saw to remove the catalytic converter while it was parked on the west side of her building in the 1000 block of Desplaines Avenue.

She reported the incident to officers Feb. 16 at 11:25 a.m.

Burglary from vehicle

A 20-year-old man contacted Forest Park police on Feb. 20 after finding that a wallet containing $200 had been stolen from an unlocked 2007 Chevrolet , which was parked in the 7500 block of Roosevelt Road from 7:30 to 9:15 p.m.

The victim told police that he didn’t need his wallet and left it on the passenger seat of the vehicle. When he returned, he found his wallet missing and the rear driver’s side door unlocked.

The black leather wallet has a U.S. Army Logo and a chain attached to it.

 These items were obtained from police reports filed by the Forest Park Police Department, Feb. 16 to 22, and represent a portion of the incidents to which police responded. Unless otherwise indicated, anybody named in these reports has only been charged with a crime. These cases have not been adjudicated.

Compiled by Nick Samuel