Two charged in police chase

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By Nona Tepper

Two charged in police chase 

A Chicago police chase ended in Forest Park around 2:20 p.m. on May 15, with officers arresting two people while a third eluded capture, according to Forest Park Police Chief Tom Aftanas. Forest Park schools were placed on lockdown for about 20 minutes during the chase as a precaution.

Aftanas said Chicago police chased a stolen vehicle involved in an armed robbery down the Eisenhower Expressway about 1:50 p.m. The vehicle had been carjacked somewhere near Malcolm X College in Chicago the day before, Aftanas said, and had been involved in "at least" four armed robberies in Chicago since that time.

After being chased down the Eisenhower, the vehicle exited the interstate and pulled over at the intersection of Dunlop Avenue and York Street in Forest Park, where three people got out of the car and started running, Aftanas said.

Chicago police were able to immediately get two of the people in custody, according to Aftanas. A spokesman for the Chicago Police Department said a 17-year-old received two felony counts of robbery, a felony charge for aggravated possession of a stolen vehicle, and a felony charge for aggravated battery. Chicago police also charged Joshua Walker, 19, of Chicago with a felony robbery, aggravated possession of a stolen vehicle, aggravated fleeing, misdemeanor for driving on a suspended license, and multiple traffic citations. The third individual ran away. 

Shortly after the arrest, Forest Park police spotted a Chevy Malibu traveling at a high rate of speed north on Desplaines Avenue toward Harrison Street, Aftanas said. Police chased it east on Harrison Street, north on Harlem Avenue and eventually to Lake Street in Oak Park.

At that point, Aftanas said the officers received a call from the Chicago Police Department that the car was not involved in the earlier armed robbery. Forest Park police abandoned the chase as the car traveled east toward Chicago.

"Our chase policy says we chase for a forceable felony, which includes armed robbery. If we don't know why the car is fleeing, we terminate," Aftanas said, adding that the policy is designed to protect officers, pedestrians, other motorists and offenders.

"On Lake Street, where there's shoppers and only one lane of traffic in each direction, there's going to be a car crash," Aftanas said. 

Eventually, Chicago police called the Forest Park police and said the car officers were chasing was involved in the initial incident.

They said the third individual ran from the stolen car at Lathrop Avenue and York Street and, at some point, hopped into the car.

Man steals car from car wash

David Rios was charged with felony motor vehicle theft about 4:20 p.m. on May 13, after he allegedly stole a Ford Expedition from Spotless Carwash, 7802 Madison St.

The victim told police he was washing his car and left the keys in the vehicle when Rios, 42, of Arlington Heights, jumped in and drove away. A witness told officers she saw the vehicle head east and strike two large planters at the intersection of Madison Street and Desplaines Avenue.

Oak Park police then spotted the car driving east near Austin Boulevard and Madison Street at a high rate of speed. They pulled the car over at Jimmy's Food and Deli, and Rios jumped out of the car and ran in an unknown direction. Chicago police later found and arrested him in an alley at Leamington Avenue and Madison Street.

Rios told police he had been arrested for burglary in Maywood a day before and was released on an I-bond on May 13. He said he walked by Spotless Carwash but denied ever being in the vehicle.

Serial burglar charged

Christopher Adams, 27, was charged with burglary, after attempting to break into a Chevrolet parked on the 600 block of Grove Lane at 10:22 a.m. on May 19.  

Multiple witnesses told police they saw Adams walk up and tamper with the door handles of the parked car. Adams told police he is homeless and he knew what he was doing was wrong because he had been arrested for burglarizing vehicles multiple times before. 

Slumped over steering wheel with weapon

Police spotted Kameron Hooper slumped over the wheel of his parked Chevrolet Malibu about 12:13 a.m. on May 19 on the 7500 block of Harvard Avenue. 

When officers knocked on the window, Hooper, 31, of Waukegan, didn't respond. Police opened the unlocked driver's side door, and Hooper immediately woke up. 

He refused medical attention, refused to exit the Chevrolet Malibu and kept his head slumped between his legs. Officers smelled cannabis in the car. After several requests, Hooper got out of the car. Police spotted a vaping device and blunt in the center console of the vehicle. As officers reached for the items, they noticed an empty pistol magazine. 

Hooper told police he had a 9mm pistol under the driver's seat. Officers recovered the gun, as well as four rounds of ammunition and a chambered round. Hooper did not hold a concealed carry license, but did have a firearm owner's identification (FOID) card. 

He was charged with aggravated unlawful use of a weapon, as well as local ordinance citations for possession of cannabis and possession of drug paraphernalia.   

Traffic stop reveals gun, booze, cash

Police spotted a Ford without a front license plate traveling "substantially faster" than other cars around it at 11:29 p.m. on May 18 on the 500 block of Harlem Avenue. A registration check revealed the driver to have a suspended driver's license. 

Officers curbed the vehicle in the car wash parking lot at Harlem and Lexington. The driver provided police with a paper driver's license — saying that it might be suspended, but he wasn't sure — and said he had no insurance. He told police he was leaving a party but that he hadn't drunk any alcohol. He denied having any illegal items in the vehicle. 

Police asked him to exit the vehicle. Instead, the man opened his glove compartment, rummaged through and then ate a piece of gum. While he was digging through the compartment, officers spotted what appeared to be an open bottle of cognac in the backseat. Officers again asked if he had any illegal items in the car. 

The man handed police his cellphone and $1,360 in cash from his pocket. Police searched the car and uncovered a loaded semi-automatic handgun in the glove compartment. The man said he was on his way to the firing range and had withdrawn the money from a bank. He later said he was on his way home from his goddaughter's party in Tinley Park, and had drunk alcohol. 

He did not hold a concealed carry license, but did have a FOID card. The man received a misdemeanor charge for unlawful use of a weapon, driving while his license was suspended, operating an uninsured motor vehicle, illegal transportation of alcohol, and display plate attachment.

Eight spools of copper wire stolen

Between 10 a.m. on May 10 and 9 a.m. on May 16, someone stole eight spools of copper wire from the ComEd substation, 769 Desplaines Ave. An employee told police the copper wire was valued at $24,000 total.

These items were obtained from police reports filed by the Forest Park Police Department, May 13-20, 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.

Nona Tepper

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