Two teens who may have been involved in the theft of an Oak Park vehicle led Forest Park police on a high-speed chase down Madison Street – and one of them later claimed that he was robbed on the Forest Park side of Harlem Avenue.
On July 10, at 1:52 a.m., a Forest Park police officer on routine patrol spotted a black 2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee and a black 2013 Hyundai Sedan waiting at the red light at Madison Street and Circle Avenue in the westbound lanes. Both cars had their headlights and taillights off, and the Jeep had dark tinted windows. As the patrol officer tried to curb them, both cars raced west, traveling at three times the speed limit. The Jeep eventually stopped near the Lathrop Avenue intersection, while the Hyundai kept going west.
The driver, an 18-year-old Chicago man and a younger brother of the registered owner of the Jeep, was cited for negligent driving and for improperly stored cannabis found inside the car. The man tossed the citations outside and drove off, heading west on Madison Street.
A few minutes later, River Forest police responded to an accident report involving a Hyundai matching the description of the Hyundai at the earlier incident. The car was left on the scene, and an examination revealed that its steering column was stripped. The owner, an Oak Park woman, subsequently confirmed that her car was stolen.
At 2:36 a.m., 911 got a call from Rush Oak Park Hospital, 520 S. Maple Ave., from a man saying that he was robbed at the nearby Wendy’s location on the Oak Park side of Harlem Avenue, at 11 N. Harlem Ave. He claimed the two vehicles were involved, specifically mentioning a Hyundai matching the stolen Hyundai’s description. The young man changed his story, saying that he was robbed in the alley on the Forest Park side.
A minute later, Oak Park police responded to a hit-and-run near the Harlem Avenue and Eisenhower Expressway crossing involving a Jeep matching the Grand Cherokee’s description. Forest Park police caught up with the Jeep as it was heading west on Madison Street, ignoring the red light as it crossed Harlem Avenue. The officer stopped it in front of Rush Oak Park hospital, and the 18-year-old Chicago man was still driving it.
The officer involved identified the alleged robbery victim as a suspect in the string of armed robberies, and said he looked like the Hyundai driver. The man maintained he was a robbery victim, but he declined to explain what he was doing in the area in the first place.
The Chicago man was cited for littering (for throwing away the citations earlier in the night), in addition to the earlier detention. The second man wasn’t charged.
These items were obtained from police reports filed by the Forest Park Police Department, July 9-12, 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