Car thief caught by car’s owner

Christopher Brooks, a 38-year-old Chicago man, was charged with felony aggravated assault and possession of a stolen vehicle after he tried to steal a 2010 Blue Ford XLT around 5:20 p.m. on July 21. According to the police report, Brooks allegedly got into the running Ford, idling in an alley on the 7400 block of Madison Street. The car’s owner had just gone inside a business nearby when he heard car tires screeching and rushed out into the alley. Brooks drove in reverse, crashed into a ComEd pole and then drove forward, but the car’s rear axle was broken. He fled on foot and was caught a short time later, on the 7400 block of Washington Street, by the car’s owner.

As officers walked Brooks to a squad car he reportedly said, “You all have cars; why can’t I have a car?”

Motor vehicle theft

Someone stole a 2005 Honda Insight parked at a gas station pump on the 200 block of Harlem Avenue around 1:45 p.m. The car’s owner, a 76-year-old man, told police he went inside the gas station to use the bathroom and when he returned, the car was gone. The Honda was turned off at the time but the keys were inside the car and windows were down, the owner said. 

Cars burned in garage fire

A garage fire on the 600 block of Thomas Avenue totaled two cars, a 2015 Chevrolet and a 2012 Nissan, parked inside and damaged adjacent garages on the 600 block of Thomas and the 600 block of Beloit Avenue. Nearby power lines were also damaged. The fire happened around 6 a.m. on July 23. No injuries were reported and the cause of the fire is still under investigation. 

Burglary from motor vehicle

A 28-year-old Forest Park man told police July 18 someone stole an amplifier and subwoofers from his 2012 Dodge Charger. The burglary happened sometime between 9:30 p.m. on July 17 and 5:30 a.m. on July 18. The man told police his girlfriend forgot to lock the car. There were no signs of forced entry. An address was not listed on the police report.

A 46-year-old employee doing utility work on an electrical pole near Harlem Avenue and Fillmore Street was robbed of a company-issue Android tablet sometime between 1:00 p.m. and 1:15 p.m. on July 18. 

Criminal damage to property

Someone smashed one window of a parked 2018 Chevrolet Equinox at Currie Motors, 8401 Roosevelt Road. The incident occurred sometime on the night of July 18.  


A 44-year-old man told police someone stole a $225 bike from his garage on the 200 block of Elgin Avenue. The incident took place sometime between 6:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. on July 20. 


A pair of unknown individuals, a woman and a man, stole $1,000 from an 81-year-old business owner on the 400 block of Desplaines Avenue, July 21 around 9:45 a.m. According to the police report, the women went behind the service counter and took some merchandise without paying. After the pair left, the business owner realized $1,000 was missing from his money deposit bag. The business owner did not tell police why he let the woman behind the counter. 

Underage drinking

A 19-year-old River Forest man was cited for underage drinking on July 23 around 5 a.m. near Hannah Avenue and Madison Street. A private overnight security guard with the company running Music Fest reportedly saw the 19-year-old behind a business on the 7400 block of Madison Street. 

The guard reportedly approached the teenager, who “appeared intoxicated” and told him to leave the area. The 19-year-old refused to leave and reportedly said, “You want to buy some crack?”

A fight broke out and the security guard told police the teen punched him in the face. The 19-year-old later told police he worked as a cook at a Madison Street business and had gotten into an argument with his boss earlier that night. He also told officers the security guard hit him first. 

Stolen car found

Officers found a stolen 2016 Nissan Sentra rental car abandoned on the 1100 block of Elgin Avenue around 4:15 p.m. on July 21. The car was reported stolen out of Chicago on July 19. 

These items were obtained from police reports filed by the Forest Park Police Department, July 17-23, 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 Thomas Vogel