The United States Postal Service bulk mail processing facility at 7500 Roosevelt Rd. was evacuated after an employee reported spotting a possible live hand grenade.

On July 12, at 8:33 a.m., one of the employees was unstacking the bins and reported seeing what looked like a hand grenade in a clear plastic bin. In keeping with the procedure, all employees evacuated the building and the Cook County bomb squad was called in. But when the postal inspectors arrived at the scene, it was determined that the hand grenade wasn’t live. 

The bomb squad call was canceled and the postal employees returned to the center.

Rowdy funeral

The reports of a funeral for a gun violence victim sent police departments resulted in multiple reckless driving citations last week. 

The procession took place on July 15, traveling westbound on Jackson Boulevard before turning onto Desplaines Avenue at around 1:25 p.m. as it headed toward the Forest Home Cemetery, 863 Desplaines Ave. 

Vehicles reportedly swerved in and out of traffic to pass each other, and passengers were seen hanging out the windows. At several points, vehicles stopped and the mourners got out to dance in the middle of Jackson Boulevard and on top the vehicles.

Forest Park police issued 24 citations for negligent driving. One of the cited vehicles, a white 2021 Land Rover, reportedly carried several AR-15 style rifles, but the vehicle fled on Harrison Avenue before it could be pulled over. 

Thefts from fitness center

A customer at the Planet Fitness, 7530 Roosevelt Rd., had his wallet stolen from a locked locker, in what was, according to an employee, the latest in the series of thefts.

On July 11, at around 8:06 p.m., the victim left his belongings in the locker and secured it with a personal combination lock. At 9:16 p.m., he got a notification from his bank about a suspicious $526.90 transaction at a Target store. 

Concerned, the victim went back to the locker room and saw that the lock was removed, and his bag was missing. Employees subsequently found two bags, including the victim’s, left in the showers. The only thing that was missing from the victim’s bag was his wallet.

Employees reportedly told police that there have been “approximately four” incidents of thefts from the lockers, usually bags being removed from the lockers. 

The police had no suspects at the time of the report. 

Motor vehicle thefts

Forest Park experienced multiple motor vehicle thefts over the past week along with several attempts. Most notably, several Kias were broken into during the same time period, though only one was stolen.

A red 2012 Kia Sportage was stolen from the municipal parking lot at 1200 Marengo Ave. during the overnight hours of July 15-16. When the victim reported the theft, he discovered that the Oak Park Police Department had it towed after it was found to be left running and abandoned in the 900 block of Euclid Avenue. 

This was one of the several instances when a Kia had its steering column peeled – though this was the only incident where the vehicle was successfully stolen.

A white 2017 Kia Sportage and a 2016 Kia Optima parked in the 100 block of Harlem Avenue had their passenger side and back window broken, respectively, and both had their steering columns peeled. Both incidents happened overnight on July 15-16. 

Sometime during the same time period, a light-blue 2007 Kia Sportage parked in the 900 block of Marengo Avenue was damaged the same way.

Other vehicle thefts included a black 2007 BMW X5 Sedan, which was stolen from the 200 block of Marengo Avenue overnight on July 12-13 and a black 2020 Ford sedan, which was stolen from Thorntons gas station, 601 S. Harlem Ave., on July 15 at 8:13 a.m. 

The victim said she left her keys in the ignition of the vehicle, which she had rented from Hertz, as she made a quick visit to the minimart. Hertz tracked the car to Chicago’s Fulton Market District neighborhood.

These items were obtained from police reports filed by the Forest Park Police Department, July 11-17, 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