Building tenant charged with tavern break-ins

A 34-year-old man living above a Madison Street tavern is accused of breaking into the bar twice within a week, stealing thousands of dollars from video gambling machines and more than 30 bottles of liquor.

Police reportedly caught Patrick J. McManus in the act of forcing open a gambling machine inside Chalk, 7414 Madison St., on May 23 about 3:40 a.m. after getting a 911 call from an employee who was having a smoke outside minutes after locking up the business for the night.

The employee reported hearing banging and “clanking” noises coming from inside the bar. Looking through the front window of the bar, the employee saw an interior door quickly swing open, prompting the employee to call police.

Officers arrived and reportedly found McManus on a chair next to a damaged video gambling machine. The machine’s coin box was placed on another chair behind him, according to the police report.

An employee told police that McManus had been in the bar about six hours before it closed that night, drinking and gambling. He reportedly had forced open a door inside an interior lobby that provided access to the bar, a door that the business owner had just repaired after a burglary during the early morning hours of May 21.

In that incident, police had found the same door forced open and more than $8,000 taken from gambling machines which had been pried and drilled open. More than 30 bottles of liquor had been stolen from a basement storage area during the May 21 burglary, police said.

Police interviewed McManus after that incident, and he reportedly told them he was asleep but woke up about 3 a.m. at which time he said he observed five people in the alley. He told police he tried to get them to leave the area.

While repairs were being made to the gambling machines following the May 21 break-in, according to the police report, McManus hung around the bar “assisting” and “generally attempting to be helpful.”

Police searched McManus’ apartment above the bar and reported finding numerous liquor bottles, hand tools and a large pile of cash on a table in the living room. Officers reported recovering more than $6,000 in cash as well as pill bottles and plastic bags containing various types of prescription narcotic pills, cannabis and two handguns.

In addition to burglary, police charged McManus with five counts of possession of a controlled substance and possession with intent to deliver and possession of burglary tools.

Driver charged in DUI that
injured panhandler

Forest Park police have charged Mario H. Campos Valverde, 51, of Willow Springs, with felony drunken driving for allegedly driving his 2004 Mitsubishi Endeavor up onto the median on the Harlem Avenue bridge over the I-290 expressway and striking a 55-year-old man who was panhandling from the median on May 21 at 12:50 a.m.

The Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office approved felony DUI charges against Valverde on May 23, according to police. He was also cited for traffic violations.

Surveillance video from a CTA camera at the Blue Line station entrance reportedly showed the victim holding a sign and a white cup, soliciting vehicles from the center median. 

At 12:46 a.m. an SUV is seen traveling at a high rate of speed southbound on the raised median in the direction of the victim, who suffered a fractured neck and injuries to his back, spleen and kidneys.

Strong-arm robbery

Forest Park police responded to the CTA Blue Line terminal at 711 Desplaines Ave. on May 25 about 11:50 p.m. after a 22-year-old Bellwood woman called 911 to report she’d just been robbed.

The victim told police she was on the train platform when she was approached by six men, one of whom grabbed her wallet from her pocket. The men were last seen running southeast from the CTA terminal toward The Park.

Theft from construction truck 

The foreman of a construction crew working in the vicinity of Roosevelt Road and Lathrop Avenue on May 22 called police to report that an unknown person stole a Stihl saw with a diamond blade between 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. from an unlocked storage bin in the bed of a pickup truck. The saw was valued between $800 and $1,000.

BBs shot at house

A resident of the 1200 block of Circle Avenue called police on May 22 after discovering the glass front door of her residence shattered. Police also discovered two BB holes in a window north of the front door and five BB holes in an adjacent window.

These items were obtained from police reports filed by the Forest Park Police Department, May 21-25, 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