Two of the three burglars who robbed the USA Beverage liquor store on the 7200 block of Madison Street during the early morning hours of Aug. 6 were caught – but not before crashing into the police car and hitting the CTA/Metra viaduct bridge.
The security camera footage showed the suspects pulling up to the liquor store in a grey 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee at 4:48 a.m., which a later investigation showed was stolen.
According to police, two men got out of the car. One of them, a 34-year-old Chicago man, used a crowbar to shatter the display window. They used the opening to get inside, removing multiple liquor bottles, cigarettes and other alcohol and tobacco products. The third burglar, a 27-year-old Chicago woman, helped them load the stolen goods into the Jeep.
Breaking the glass triggered the burglar alarm. As Forest Park police officers arrived, the suspects got in and fled. They drove east on Madison Street, traveling at nearly three times the speed limit as they crashed into a River Forest Police Department patrol car, police said. The crash knocked both cars onto the sidewalk. While the police car was disabled, the stolen Jeep kept going east on the sidewalk, hitting a bench in the process.
Because of the damage, the driver struggled to keep the car straight, but they accelerated to almost twice the speed limit and drove through a red light as it turned north onto Austin Boulevard. It crossed South Boulevard, once again blowing a red light, and the car hit the support beam in the middle of the Austin Boulevard railroad viaduct. The crash disabled the Jeep completely, and the driver’s side door was pinned shut against the pillar.
The suspects who went into the store used the passenger side front door to get out of the car, with the 34-year-old Chicago man running west on North Boulevard and the other man running north on Austin Boulevard. While the officers caught the former, the latter ran east on Lake Street, avoiding capture.
The woman was in the back of the car, and she was arrested on site.
The search of the car revealed two handguns in addition to the stolen merchandise.
The 34-year-old Chicago man was bleeding from nose and mouth, and he was taken to Rush Oak Park hospital for treatment.
Both were charged with one count of burglary and one count of stealing a car. The man was also charged with using “burglary tools,” trying to escape the police officers, leaving the scene of the car accident, speeding, running the red light and driving without a license.