By Nona Tepper
Erratic driver destroys cemetery fence
Police arrived at the Walmart parking lot, 1300 Desplaines Ave., at 10:42 a.m. on July 11, on a call that individuals were stealing parts from cars. When they arrived, they did not see anyone attempting to tamper with vehicles but did see a Chevrolet Malibu driving evasively through the parking lot.
Officers attempted to curb the car on the 7600 block of Roosevelt Road, but it sped around cops and drove west down Roosevelt Road. Police followed as it sped into oncoming traffic lanes. Eventually, the driver lost control and crashed into Waldheim Cemetery, destroying approximately 50 feet of fence and colliding with a tree.
The driver, Alan Grandberry, 31, of Hanover Park, ran from the car north through the cemetery, ignoring police calls to stop. Officers eventually found him hiding in cemetery shrubbery.
He was transported to the Forest Park Police Department, where he told officers that he bought the car for $800 last week from a man he met on Facebook. Grandberry said he received title to the vehicle and an incomplete bill of sale from the seller. He said the seller also told him to throw out the vehicle's plates once he received new ones.
Grandberry said he arrived at 9:30 a.m. on July 11 at Walmart to shop. When he saw police in the parking lot, he became worried because he didn't have a driver's license and the vehicle wasn't registered. He said he fled because he didn't want to get in trouble and had a court case over prior drug charges scheduled for the next day.
"It was stupid," he told police, who discovered that the license plate was stolen from a closed car dealership in west suburban Villa Park.
Grandberry was charged with aggravated fleeing/attempt to elude a police officer, as well as misdemeanor charges for operating an uninsured vehicle, expired registration, driving with a suspended license, resisting police and speeding. He was also processed on a Cook County Sheriff's Department warrant for possession of less than 15 grams of cocaine.
Waldheim staff estimated the damage at approximately $2,000.
White supremacist graffiti
Sometime between 4 p.m. on July 8 and 6 a.m. on July 9, someone painted graffiti with a white supremacy message at a construction site in Forest Park.
Police found "Rape is the new black power," "KKK," "$$ Weed Cash" and other profanity spray-painted on the site at 7228 Circle Ave., where a senior living home is being built.
Developer Carefree Development, of Oak Park, said it would remove the racist messages.
Temp steals coworker's car
Sometime between 12:30 and 1:15 p.m. on July 12, a Ford Focus was stolen from the parking lot of Elite Staffing, 1215 Harlem Ave.
The victim told police her car keys were missing from her purse. The Cicero woman suspected a homeless coworker of taking the car since he was the only one who would have had access to her purse.
The next day, the man arrived at work at 5:15 p.m. with the stolen car. The man, who appeared to be intoxicated, told police the car was his girlfriend's. Elite Staffing security camera footage revealed the man lifting the car keys out of the Cicero woman's purse.
He was charged with criminal trespass to vehicle.
Couple steals car from dealership
A couple stole a vehicle from Car Credit Stop 1, 7304 Roosevelt Road, at 2:30 p.m. on July 8.
An employee of the car dealership told police a man came in earlier in the day and asked to look at a Mercedes Benz. The employee handed the man the keys, and the man inspected the car's interior. He then called his girlfriend, who arrived at the dealership to look at the car. The employee stepped into the dealership's garage area to check the vehicle's price. When he returned, the car and the couple were gone.
Burglar lifts cash, BB gun
Sometime between 4 a.m. and 3:05 p.m. on July 14, someone stole $260 cash, a BB gun and plastic security badge from a Jeep Cherokee parked on the 1100 block of Elgin Avenue.
These items were obtained from police reports filed by the Forest Park Police Department, July 7-14, 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.