Three suspects broke into a lockbox at the U-Haul facility at 801 S. Harlem Ave. on the night of Nov. 20 and used the stolen keys to steal a U-Haul rental van.

The facility’s security footage caught the suspects standing at the nearby Pace bus stop at 1:28 a.m. Two minutes later, one of the suspects walked backwards, presumably to avoid showing his face on camera, while the other two took positions at the intersection of Harlem Avenue and Harrison Street to act as lookouts. 

Customers use lockboxes to return keys for the vans they rented. The video footage captured the suspect getting something out their coat pocket before running to one of the parked vans. The lookouts were seen joining them, and they drove off. 

The video wasn’t high enough quality to get a clear shot of any of the suspects.

A U-Haul representative who spoke to the police said that similar crimes have occurred at the company’s other rental facilities in Chicago.

Stolen River Forest vehicle spotted in Forest Park

Forest Park police officers tried to chase down a white 2021 Kia Sedan stolen from the River Forest side of Madison Street on Nov. 21. 

While on routine patrol at 1:58 a.m., Forest Park police officers spotted two men driving the vehicle east on Madison Street near the Desplaines Avenue and Madison Street intersection. The officer noticed the broken rear window and, believing the Kia might be stolen, tried to pull it over. The Kia sped off, heading south on Circle Avenue, with the officer tracking it all the way to Lexington Street. Officers tracked it as it went east on 15th Street, then north on Elgin Avenue, then east on Roosevelt Road, losing track of it as it went north on Harlem Avenue.

The police used the license plate information to find the owner. The investigation of the parking lot revealed the shattered window glass. 

Gas station burglary

A Citco gas station at 7400 Roosevelt Rd. was burglarized on the night of Nov. 21, with a suspect stealing cigarettes, lottery tickets and memory cards from some of the security cameras.

At around 3:27 a.m., the suspect shattered a gas station door with a brick. The suspect was also able to break into the area behind the cash register. By the time police officers arrived, the suspect was gone.

The gas station owner and the store manager identified the missing items. The owner said he had a second camera system that the suspect didn’t touch. He was still trying to access the footage at the time of the report.

Motor vehicle thefts

Kia’s and Hyundai’s continued to be popular targets of theft throughout Forest Park.

On Nov. 20 at around 3:50 a.m., two men got into a white 2019 Hyundai Elantra parked at the owner’s home on the 7700 block of Adams Street. The incident was captured on the victim’s surveillance camera.

A day later, a grey 2018 Kia Sportage was stolen from the parking garage of an apartment building on the 1100 block of Lathrop Avenue. The victim saw broken glass at his parking spot. 

A black 2017 Kia Soul was stolen overnight from the rear parking lot of a building on the 900 block of Circle Avenue. The victim discovered the theft on Nov. 27 at 8:55 a.m. The review of the security footage from the landlord’s camera didn’t turn up any recordings of the Kia being driven away. 

These items were obtained from police reports filed by the Forest Park Police Department, Nov. 20-27, 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