A man who thought he was helping a friend access his Instagram account got his own account stolen and then became the target of an extortion scheme.

On April 27, the victim was contacted by a man he thought was a friend he lost touch with, who asked for help to getting access to his Instagram account. The victim was told to log into his own account and then follow a series of directions, which he did. The “friend” then asked for an access code, which the victim provided.

At that time, the victim locked out of his Instagram account, and the offender demanded $700 to get the access to the account back.

Although the victim complied, the offender reportedly didn’t return the access to the account. At that time, the victim cut off contact and reported the incident to the police, who advised him to contact Instagram tech support to report his account stolen and regain access.

Catalytic converter thefts continue

A catalytic reported was stolen from a 2013 Ford E250 van parked behind the St. Bernardine Church rectory, 7246 Harrison St., exactly a week after a report of someone stealing a converter from a car parked at the church parking lot in the 800 block of Elgin Avenue.

The latest theft was reported on April 25, but the police report indicates that it’s not clear at what point the van’s catalytic converter was stolen.

Another catalytic converter theft occurred about a block south, at a residence in the 7300 block of Lexington Street. Someone stole it from a 2006 Mazda Tribute sometime between April 23 and April 24. The owner didn’t report the theft until April 27.

Work-from-home scam

A Forest Park woman who believed she was applying for a work-from-home job at a health instance company got scammed out of more than $8,500, according to police.

The victim told police she was told the company would be sending her checks and instructed her to deposit them in the bank. The woman was then instructed to wire back the amount of money she deposited to cover the cost of the equipment she’d need to do the job.

She received the first check on April 21 and wired $6,000. In all, according to the police report, wired over $8,500. The victim said that the wire transfers were done online and she had copies of the transactions.

The victim reported the incident to her bank, which said she needed to file a police report in order for them to investigate the incident. They also advised her to contact the FBI and the Illinois Attorney General’s office.

Apartment burglary

A 52-year-old woman called police on April 29 to report that someone had broken into apartment in the 1000 block of Desplaines Avenue, unit she had just rented. The victim was in the process of moving into her new apartment and had left at 11:30 a.m. When she returned at 1:30 p.m., she discovered that someone pushed the door in, damaging the door frame in the process. Nothing was reported missing.

DUI suspect flees police traffic stop

A 26-year-old man suspected by police of driving under the influence eluded arrest despite attempts by police to switch off the vehicle’s ignition and a subsequent attempt to subdue him using a Taser. Police say they know who was behind the wheel, but as off May 3 still had not taken him into custody.

On May 1, at around 11:28 p.m., a police officer on patrol reported observing a 2013 Hyundai Genesis exit the Eisenhower Expressway at Harlem Avenue and disregard the red light while turning southbound. The vehicle failed to signal two lane changes as the driver turned west on Roosevelt Road and then north on Circle Avenue.

When the officer pulled the driver over, he claimed that he didn’t know where he was and that he was following GPS directions. Two more police officers arrived to assist at which time they reported observing a red cup, which they suspected contained alcohol, inside the vehicle.

The driver reportedly refused to exit the vehicle and then locked the driver’s side door. An officer climbed in through the passenger side door and turned off the ignition, but the driver turned the ignition back on and shifted into drive.

The officer was able to get out of the vehicle and tried to deploy his Taser twice, to no effect. The driver then accelerated northbound on Circle Avenue, reportedly blowing the next two stop signs and turning east on Harrison Street, where the officers lost sight of the vehicle.

These items were obtained from police reports filed by the Forest Park Police Department, April 25-May 1, 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 Igor Studenkov