Cops: Car thief drives off with hood up

A 16-year-old Chicago boy faces auto theft charges after he allegedly sneaked up to a gray Chevy Impala, whose owner was giving a jump to a disabled vehicle, got in and drove away on Dec. 24 about 2:30 a.m.

A police officer on patrol at the time reported a disabled SUV parked on the north side of the 7400 block of Roosevelt Road, and the owner of a Chevy Impala parked next to it was using jumper cables to get the SUV’s engine started.

A few minutes later the police officer drove by again and saw that both vehicles were still there with their hoods up. The vehicles’ owners were standing on the sidewalk. 

The officer also reported seeing a figure sneaking across the street from south to north. He allegedly opened the driver’s side door of the Impala, got in and drove off westbound on Roosevelt — with the car’s hood still up.

The officer pulled up to the two men on the sidewalk, and asked them, “Was that supposed to happen?”

When the owner of the Impala yelled, “No, that dude just stole my car!” the officer followed in pursuit. According to the police report, the subject who allegedly stole the Impala tried to close the hood by slamming on the brakes.

The driver then turned onto northbound Lathrop Avenue, running every stop sign between Roosevelt and Harrison, according to police, before turning eastbound on Harrison and up onto the north parkway before swerving back onto the roadway.

Blowing every stop sign while heading eastbound, said police, the driver lost control of the Impala at Circle Avenue, where it crashed into a metal light pole, knocking it down.

The driver then exited the Impala and ran from the scene through an alley, where he was taken into custody by police.

According to police, the alleged car thief has six previous arrests, including one in November for identity theft.

He was charged with unlawful possession of a stolen motor vehicle and criminal trespass to a motor vehicle. He was also issued 12 traffic citations, including seven for disobeying a stop sign.

 Attempted robbery

Forest Park police charged a 17-year-old Maywood boy with robbery and battery after he allegedly attacked a 13-year-old Forest Park boy inside a bathroom at the Forest Park Public Library, 7555 Jackson Blvd., on Dec. 21 about 6:05 p.m. and tried to steal his cellphone.

A library security guard who was near the bathroom at the time heard some commotion and went in to find the victim lying on the floor with three subjects standing around him. The three subjects left the bathroom and left the library in the company of a teenage girl.

Police detained the four subjects in the parking lot of a building in the 600 block of Lathrop Avenue. After interviewing all of the people involved and viewing video evidence, police charged the 17-year-old with robbery and battery. The other three subjects were not charged.

 Packages stolen

A resident of the 1100 block of Elgin Avenue reported on Dec. 21 that someone stole a package that had been delivered to her sister’s residence about 11 a.m. FedEx confirmed the delivery, but when the woman’s sister returned home at 4 p.m., the package was missing.

The package contained a pair of children’s boots valued at roughly $110.

 Police responded to the 1100 block of Troost Avenue on Dec. 23 about 10:20 a.m. to report that around 7:30 p.m. the night before he observed a group of five juveniles walking northbound down the block.

A “couple” of the juveniles reportedly walked up to the front porch of a neighbor’s residence and grabbed a sealed package and proceeded to walk northbound again. The witness told police he yelled at the kids and began to chase them, but they scattered and disappeared.

The victim stated he was expecting a package with three items valued at $60. 

A resident of the 7400 block of Washington St. called police on Dec. 24 to report that a package delivered to his apartment building on Dec. 22 had been stolen.

The delivery company reportedly told the victim that someone in the building had signed for the package and provided the victim with a name and phone number. When the victim called the number, the person who answered acknowledged taking the package and said he’d leave it for the victim by the garbage dumpster.

When the victim could not locate the package there he called the subject back. The subject told him he had left the package where he said he would.

 These items were obtained from police reports filed by the Forest Park Police Department, Dec. 21-27, 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 Bob Uphues