SUV stolen from gas station, recovered in Chicago

A 43-year-old Chicago man, whose 2007 Mitsubishi Outlander was stolen from a Forest Park gas station on Feb. 4, was able to recover his vehicle less than an hour later when police located it in Chicago.

The victim told police he filled his car with gas at Thorntons, 601 Harlem Ave., at 5:15 p.m. and then left it running and unlocked while he went inside the minimart to pay for the gas.

As he exited the minimart, the victim observed someone entering his vehicle and driving off southbound onto Harlem Avenue. The victim jumped on top of the vehicle in an attempt to stop the offender, but he fell off as the vehicle turned eastbound onto the Eisenhower Expressway.

Police said surveillance cameras showed that a red Chevy Impala arrived at the gas station just minutes before the incident and that while the offender exited the front passenger door, another man exited the rear passenger door and went into the minimart.

After the offender left the scene with the stolen vehicle, the other passenger re-entered the Impala, which then drove off.

The victim was able to allow police to track the vehicle’s location via GPS to a location in Chicago. They relayed that information to Chicago police, who located the vehicle at that location 20 minutes later. The owner of the vehicle met with Chicago police to recover the SUV.

While the vehicle was undamaged, a Dell laptop computer valued at $480 was taken from inside.

A resident of the 1100 block of Troost Avenue called police on Feb. 3 to report that his 2010 Chevy Cobalt, which had been parked in its assigned spot behind his building on Feb. 1, was missing.

The victim stated that he was also the victim of a recent burglary and that the keys to the vehicle might have been taken at that time.

Telephone scam

A 19-year-old woman was scammed out of hundreds of dollars after receiving a telephone call from someone claiming she’d been awarded a $9,600 grant. The caller said the victim, a college student, could claim her grant after paying $650 in taxes by buying gift cards at a pharmacy and giving the caller activation codes.

The victim did so, but was then told she needed to pay a $525 activation fee to obtain the grant money. The victim then went to police to report what she believed to be a scam.

Vehicle break-ins

Police responded to Walmart, 1300 Desplaines Ave., on Feb. 3 at about 6:50 p.m., after a woman reported that someone broke into her 2014 Chevy, which was parked in the lot, between 5:45 and 6:40 p.m.

Taken from the vehicle was a set of Philips headrest TV/DVD monitors and a bag of clothing. The total loss was estimated at about $355.

A 46-year-old Forest Park man called police on the morning of Feb. 3 to report that, during the overnight hours, someone entered his unlocked vehicle, which was parked in the 1100 block of Dunlop Avenue, and removed a wallet, which contained identification and a Visa card.

A 27-year-old woman called police on Feb. 1 about 9:10 p.m. to report that while she was working out inside Planet Fitness, 7530 Roosevelt Road, someone gained entry to her vehicle, which was parked in the lot, and removed two purses and a jacket. Police did not observe any signs of forced entry. 

Reckless driving

Forest Park police charged a 21-year-old Chicago man with reckless driving, speeding and other traffic offenses after a police officer clocked him driving 67 mph in a 25-mph zone while northbound on Circle Avenue from Madison Street on Feb. 3 about 1:35 a.m.

Asked why he was driving so fast, the driver reportedly told the arresting officer that he didn’t have a good reason.

Bike stolen from library

A 24-year-old Forest Park man reported he left his red Schwinn Continental bike, valued at about $200, unlocked in the bike rack at the Forest Park Public Library, 7555 Jackson Blvd., on Feb. 2 about 3:30 p.m.

When he returned to it at 4:40 p.m., the bike was gone.

Don’t sleep on the train

A man called Forest Park police on Feb. 2 about 1:20 a.m. from the CTA Blue Line terminal at 711 Desplaines Ave. to report that he fell asleep aboard an outbound train and that, while he was asleep, someone took a messenger-style shoulder bag, which contained a copy of his birth certificate, paycheck stubs and other papers.

These items were obtained from police reports filed by the Forest Park Police Department, Jan. 30-Feb. 5, 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