After a string of burglaries at the close of 1956, Forest Park Review’s first headline of the new year was, “Thief caught red-handed.”
After reports of 20-22 robberies in Forest Park, River Forest and Oak Park area, Forest Park police broke the case when they responded to a burglar alarm wire that was triggered at 2:35 am. The alarm was close to the police station at Vern Muehlenhaupt’s tavern at 634 Des Plaines (tavern was demolished during the creation of the Eisenhower Expressway).
As it was reported in the January 3, 1957 issue of the Forest Park Review, Officers Wanie Ross and Howard Sawusch arrived at the scene where the burglar had gained entrance to the tavern through a window in the rear of the building. With back up from Officers Edward Schultz and Francis Kandler, they found the burglar hiding in the tavern. After he was apprehended, he admitted to several other local burglaries from the previous months, including the Terminal Restaurant, Ordnance Lounge, Forest Home Gardens, Midwest Beverage Co (where he got $2 in pennies and eight cases of beer).
He also admitted that he stole the whole cash register from the Armory Lounge (also referred to as the Ordnance Lounge 7427 Roosevelt road) on December 18th and had $25 in it. He reported that he removed the money and threw the register into the Desplaines river at Chicago Ave.
When the weather warmed up a team of divers went fishing for the register on March 9, 1957 and after 20 minutes recovered the register.