Warrant stop reveals cannabis, codeine

A check of a Mercedes Benz parked at 7-11 about 10:35 p.m. on April 12 revealed that its owner had an active warrant out from the Cook County Sheriff’s Department. 

Officers approached the driver, Austin Burch, 26, of Chicago, asking him if there was anything illegal inside the vehicle. 

Burch replied that there was some cannabis. He was placed in custody for the active warrant. A search of the vehicle revealed six bags of cannabis — containing 78 grams of marijuana total — and an unmarked bottle of codeine. A search of Burch revealed $196 cash. Police seized his vehicle and the cash, per the Cannabis Control Act. 

He received a felony charge for delivery/manufacture of cannabis over 30 grams, possession of controlled substance, possession of cannabis over 30 grams, and was processed on the in-state warrant. 


Police find cocaine at traffic stop

Police performed a random check of a Ford Focus traveling west on Madison Street about 1:44 a.m. on April 13 and found the state had suspended the vehicle’s registration due to lack of insurance. 

Officers curbed the vehicle on the 400 block of Marengo Avenue and, upon approaching the car, smelled cannabis. The driver was unable to provide his driver’s license or insurance. The vehicle’s backseat passenger, Terrell Banks, 22, submitted his ID. 

The driver told police they had been smoking a “blunt” before being stopped but there was no more marijuana in the car. While speaking with the driver, officers observed Banks attempt to sweep a cannabis blunt under the front seat.  

Police searched the car and found a cannabis blunt and five bags containing rock cocaine. 

Banks received a felony charge for manufacture of delivery of a controlled substance and possession of a controlled substance. 

The driver was charged with operating a vehicle with a suspended license for non-insurance, driving with license suspended, and operating an uninsured vehicle. 


Early morning hit-and-run

Police watched a Dodge Caravan run a red light at the intersection of Randolph Street and Harlem Avenue about 2:37 a.m. on April 12.

Officers curbed the vehicle at the intersection of Harlem Avenue and North Boulevard in Oak Park. The driver, 22, of Chicago, told police he was just involved in an accident and was attempting to catch the other driver. Officers noticed chipped paint on the passenger side of the man’s vehicle.

At first, he told police the accident occurred at the 7-11 parking lot, 205 N. Harlem Ave. He then said the accident occurred on the side streets near the 7-11, not the lot. The man couldn’t remember the names of any streets involved.

A 7-11 clerk told police he did not hear or witness any accidents. Police canvassed the area and observed a parked Chevrolet with “severe” rear-end damage and paint chips that matched the Chicago man’s vehicle. 

He initially denied hitting the parked car, saying he was cut off by a Nissan and then hit the alleged car in its rear. He then changed his statement to say he was cut off by the Nissan and possibly side-swiped the parked Chevrolet. Eventually he stated that he had hit the parked car, but because he’d never been in an accident before, he drove away.

The passenger told police he didn’t see anything that occurred because he was on his phone the entire time. Officers saw a noticeable bump on his forehead. The passenger said his head hit the windshield — which had a large crack — after the accident. Paramedics arrived on the scene and checked out his injuries.

The driver was charged with leaving the scene of a personal injury accident, and received two Illinois vehicle code violations.


Car stolen

Sometime between 8 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. on April 12, someone stole a Ford Edge from the 7500 block of Jackson Avenue.

The victim was unable to provide police with a vehicle identification number or a temporary license plate number for the car. He told police he bought the car for $8,000 in December 2018 from JK Auto Sales, a now-defunct car dealership in Melrose Park. He said the salesman was named Jose, who provided him a temporary license plate that was good for three months.

He said he tried to contact Jose repeatedly to obtain the title and registration, but the man never answered. Eventually the victim drove by JK Auto Sales and found it was an empty lot. He reported the incident to the Melrose Park Police Department and the Secretary of State.

Police advised the victim to go to the Secretary of State and obtain a vehicle identification number and temporary plate number and then return to the station. 

These items were obtained from police reports filed by the Forest Park Police Department, April 7-14, 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.

Nona Tepper