A man who thought his work van was towed discovered that it was stolen, with $20,000 worth of work equipment inside.

The victim, who works for a Minneapolis, Minnesota-based car wash equipment manufacturer, told police he repairs company equipment in area car washes and that he’s been parking his white 2013 Ford Econoline E250 work van at a parking lot on the north side of 15th Street, just west of Circle Avenue, for the past seven years. 

He last left the van there on May 28 at approximately 10 a.m., but when the victim returned for it on May 31 at 5:30 a.m., he found it gone.

After a towing firm confirmed it didn’t have his vehicle, the victim called police.

The victim said that the van contained multiple DeWalt hammer drills and various hand tools, along with a DeWalt tool box. It also had company-owned car wash repair equipment “including electronics, computer parts, motors, chemicals and various other items.”

Attempted burglary

A man tried to use a block of concrete to break the lock on the back door of Elite Tire & Auto Service auto repair shop, 35 S. Harlem Ave., running away after his attempt triggered a burglar alarm just before 2 a.m. on May 31.

Security camera video reportedly showed a man walking east on Franklin Street, on the south side of the building. The man looked through the Franklin Street door and then was seen with his head wrapped in a T-shirt and carrying what appeared to be a large chunk of concrete. The man was next seen running to the other side of Franklin Street, crossing to the other side of Harlem Avenue and running north on Harlem Avenue.

Police arriving on the scene in response to the burglar alarm found the rear door unlocked. The door handles and locking mechanism were damaged, and the officer saw a large piece of concrete near the door. 

Nothing was taken, and the suspect hasn’t been identified.

Man arrested for shoplifting, lies about name

A 55-year old Chicago man was charged with theft and obstruction after he was caught allegedly shoplifting from the Forest Park Walmart, 1300 Des Plaines Ave. and repeatedly lied to the officers about his name.

On June 3, at 10:29 a.m., the alleged offender was observed changing into clothes that were on sale at the store. He reportedly tried to walk out without paying for them, and the store employee who made the complaint reported that the man tried to steal “multiple items,” including a belt and several watches. The employee stopped the alleged offender and detained him at the store’s security office until the police arrived.

When questioned by the police officer, the man originally gave a name that didn’t show up in law enforcement databases. The man was warned that he would be arrested if he failed to provide a real name, but he continued that insist that it was his real name.

A fingerprint check eventually confirmed his real identity, and revealed that he had a Town of Cicero police warrant out for trespassing.

These items were obtained from police reports filed by the Forest Park Police Department, May 31-June 2, 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