Police arrested one of the two offenders who allegedly stole items from garages on the 500 block of Beloit Avenue. While they didn’t apprehend the second suspect, the arrest led to recovery of items from multiple garage burglaries throughout Forest Park.

A witness who called in to the police said he spotted the two suspects when he stepped out onto his balcony on May 12 around 2:17 a.m. He said he witnessed two men in the gangway to 524 Ferdinand Ave., then walking down the north-south alley behind Ferdinand Avenue, looking into garages and parked car windows, heading toward 500 block of Beloit Avenue. 

The police officer dispatched in response to the call saw a red 2002 Ford pickup truck parked in the alley and spotted two suspects exiting the apartment building on the 500 block of Beloit Avenue. The first suspect, a 39-year-old Chicago man, was carrying an air-conditioner. As the officer exited the vehicle, the first suspect dropped the air-conditioner and the suspects fled in opposite directions on Beloit Avenue.

Oak Park and Forest Park police officers arrived to assist. An Oak Park officer spotted the first suspect at the 7400 block of Madison Street alley, and several Oak Park police officers apprehended the suspect at 7450 Washington St. 

A search of the truck turned up multiple items. A local resident identified the air compressor, motorcycle helmet, and welding machine as belonging to her son, saying they were stored in her garage. The truck also had two air-conditioning units, multiple power tools, golf clubs, and “numerous other items.”

The alleged culprit said he stole three air-conditioners from three garages, but claimed the garages were unlocked, so he didn’t physically break into them. 

Later that day, at 3:05 p.m., a resident of the 400 block of Circle Avenue reported that, when he went outside at 7:30 a.m., he saw that someone had shattered the driver’s side window of his pickup truck, pulled out the garage remote stored inside and opened the garage door then stole several unspecified items from inside the garage, leaving the garage door open. Several of those items were found in the red truck. 

On May 15, at 9:02 a.m., the resident of the 400 block of Hannah Avenue reported a garage burglary that happened at some point while he was out of town between May 7 and May 15. The garage door was pried open, and two air-conditioning units, a small red air compressor and an old hatchet were stolen. Those items matched the unclaimed items collected from the truck. 

A River Forest police officer reported that a truck matching the description of the one found in the Ferdinand/Beloit alley was involved in a burglary in their village.

The alleged offender was charged with two counts of burglary. The second suspect remains at large. 

‘Rowdy’ funeral procession leads to reckless driving tickets

A funeral procession that went through Maywood and Forest Park on the afternoon of May 14 included numerous instances of motorists driving recklessly, and one particularly dangerous incident, which got the car owners ticketed.

The two villages and the surrounding towns were reportedly alerted of the funeral procession ahead of time. The police departments and the procession negotiated a route, with the Forest Park portion following Roosevelt Road to Desplaines Avenue, then north on Desplaines toward Forest Home Cemetery, 863 Desplaines Ave. Throughout the procession, several vehicles reportedly swerved in and out of eastbound and westbound lanes. 

On the 8400 block of Roosevelt Road, around 1:45 p.m., a burgundy 2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee reportedly swerved into oncoming traffic lanes, jumped the curb and drove along the sidewalk before re-entering the procession. To avoid “agitating” the procession, the officer didn’t pull the car over, but issued a local ordinance violation ticket to both registered owners.

$1,000 loss in fraud prevention scam

A Forest Parker who believed she was trying to stop a fraudulent transaction lost that money to a scam instead.

On May 10, at 4:37 p.m., the victim received a text from a number she believed came from her bank asking if she made a $1,000 payment through the Zelle online payment platform. When she texted back “no,” she got a call back from the same number instructing her to recreate her Zelle account and send $1,000 to her personal phone number, which is linked to her bank account. When she completed those steps, she found the money missing from her bank account. 

The victim reported the incident to her bank and filed a police report.

These items were obtained from police reports filed by the Forest Park Police Department, May 9-15, 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