Nine ticketed in rowdy funeral procession

Nine drivers were issued local ordinance violations for passengers hanging out the windows, traveling into oncoming lanes of traffic, and “general disorder” during a rowdy funeral procession.

Just after 2 p.m. on May 3, a string of cars traveled west on Roosevelt Road to Oak Ridge Cemetery in Hillside, violating Forest Park’s funeral ordinance, which states “each driver in a funeral or other procession shall drive as near to the right hand edge of the roadway as practical and safe.” Police also found drivers in violation of the village’s negligent driving ordinance.

Officers captured vehicle registration numbers from red light camera video at the intersection of Harlem Avenue and Roosevelt Road. Police mailed vehicle owners the village tickets.

Bitcoin scammers steal $4K

A 24-year-old woman transferred $4,000 in bitcoin to a scammer, after a misleading telephone caller said she was being investigated by the “Social Service Administration” for fraud.

The woman received the call about 4 p.m. on May 6. The caller told her there was a warrant out for her arrest. He said she could avoid arrest by making restitution to local law enforcement. The caller then transferred her to someone who falsely identified himself as Ryan Russell from the Forest Park Police Department.

Russell told the woman to withdraw $1,000 from her bank account and take a $3,000 cash advance from her credit card. He said to lie about the transactions if questioned by bank officials and was on speaker during the bank exchange. He told her to then purchase $4,000 worth of bitcoin, transfer them to his account and wait for a confirmation call at 9:30 a.m. on May 7.

The woman did as directed, but the call never came.

Phone stolen from jacket pocket

A woman’s phone was stolen from her pocket as she stood outside her house on the 7200 block of Roosevelt Road around 9 a.m. on May 10.

The woman logged in to her “Find My iPhone” mobile application, which tracked the phone to the corner of Harlem Avenue and Lake Street. The woman went to the bus stop there and asked the people waiting if they had her phone. All denied having her phone and boarded the bus.

The woman then went to the police station, where officers used the app to track the phone to the parking lot at Proviso East High School. Police arrived at the location and found Susana Barajas, 52, of Melrose Park, standing there. They asked Barajas if the phone was hers and she quickly stuffed it into her purse. Officers sounded the “Find My iPhone” ring feature, and the phone started ringing from inside Baraja’s purse.

Police told Baraja she was under arrest. Baraja yelled and pulled away from officers, who eventually handcuffed her but she still had the purse squeezed between her legs. They took the purse and recovered the phone inside, which had a screensaver photo of the victim.

Barajas told police she found the phone outside her work and that she planned to return it. She received a felony charge of theft, as well as two charges for resisting and obstructing a police officer. 

Phone stolen at soccer game

A woman, 46, told police her phone was stolen from the Park District of Forest Park about 6 p.m. on May 9.

The woman said she was watching his daughter’s soccer game at 7501 Harrison St. After the game, she noticed her phone was gone. She called the phone and spoke with a man who told her to meet him at the intersection of Central Avenue and Roosevelt Road to return the phone. He then said to meet at McDonald’s to receive the phone. He said he worked late and would just drop the phone off at the McDonald’s “lost and found.”

The woman replied that McDonald’s did not have a lost and found. She has not spoken to him since. The “Find My iPhone” mobile application revealed the phone to be at an address in Cicero.

Tools taken from storage locker

Sometime between 6 and 8:15 a.m. on May 2, someone stole a power drill set, multi-tool and saw from a storage locker on the 200 block of Marengo Avenue. The tools are valued at approximately $242. Burglars pried open the plastic doors to gain access to the storage container.

Glove compartment rifled

Between 4 p.m. on May 8 and 8 a.m. on May 9, a burglar stole the registration, insurance and vehicle manual from a Mercury parked on the 1100 block of Dunlop Avenue. The victim was unsure if she locked her doors.

These items were obtained from police reports filed by the Forest Park Police Department, May 7-13, 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

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