Armed robbery at Oak Park gas station ends in flames


Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Show/Hide Gallery

By Megan Dooley

Staff Reporter

A gas station on Chicago Avenue was left in flames last Tuesday after an armed robber fired shots into a display shelf of flammable liquids.

Oak Park police responded to the incident at the Valero gas station at 100 Chicago Ave. shortly after 4 p.m. Tuesday afternoon. Oak Park Commander LaDon Reynolds said that the incident began when a man entered the store, displayed a gun, and demanded money. Reynolds confirmed that two employees were inside the store at the time of the robbery, but could not confirm if any additional individuals were present.

The suspect then discharged the weapon in the direction of a shelf holding flammable materials, such as lighter fluids. Reynolds said that the shots were not directed at either of the store employees.

The shots sparked a fire inside the store, and the suspect immediately fled the scene. Reynolds said that he made off with some cash, but couldn't confirm an amount. Reynolds said that no one was injured during the robbery and fire, and that the investigation is ongoing,

Oak Park firefighters arrived at the scene at 4:13 p.m. to visible flames inside the gas station, according to Fire Chief Thomas Ebsen. "They did have some difficulty, because the fire originated in the teller area, which is behind bullet-proof glass," he said.

Though the total loss is unknown at this time, Ebsen said that there was "quite a bit of damage inside the station," but that the damage was primarily limited to the teller area and the ceiling above it. He said that additional repairs will have to be made to the roof of the building, where fire workers had to cut a hole to ventilate the building during the fire.

The fire chief said the fire could have been much worse if it had occurred around the gas pump area outside, but it was contained inside the store at all times. "The gas pumps were never in danger of being on fire," he said.

Ebsen said that River Forest firefighters assisted at the scene, and the fire was brought under control in about 10 minutes.

Reader Comments

11 Comments - Add Your Comment

Note: This page requires you to login with Facebook to comment.

Comment Policy


Posted: March 22nd, 2011 2:05 PM

OP Resident Please answer the questions, What does the VMA or the VCA, or any political pary have to do with a random act of violence? Or are you just a random comment makern trolling the comment section under 5 assumed names making random comments an having a conversation with yourself.

OP Resident  

Posted: March 19th, 2011 9:41 AM

Keep drinking that Kool-Aid, OP#1. That attitude is indeed making Oak Park a "has been". Change / fresh blood is good. That's why MOST government offices have a limit of term.


Posted: March 18th, 2011 7:51 PM

We should THANK the VMA for how great this Village is and has been, and will be!!!! Most Oak Parker's are pleased and don't get on these comment boards and whine. Johnson, Salzman and Tucker in 2011!! April 5th


Posted: March 18th, 2011 7:54 AM

Mandy do you know anyone who has lost their home to foreclosure? 33% of home sales in Oak Park are foreclosures. Mandy does not talk to THOSE people. Mandy sees what she wants to see and disregards the rest. As church lady says ... How convenient!

OP Resident  

Posted: March 18th, 2011 7:45 AM

Mandy: The blogs on this website are FILLED with critical posts from angry residents on topics ranging from increasing crime to the Comcast building to the hotel. The common theme is that the incumbents on the Board do not appear to be in touch with the community. And to those who don't like it, vote for a change. It's our right as citizens of the Village. I think YOU need a time out in the corner to get you away from the Kool-Aid.

brian slowiak from oak park  

Posted: March 17th, 2011 10:42 AM

Isnt this armed robbery and arson ,attempted murder? The perpetrator took two extra steps to make his escape. He discharged a fire arm and caused the fire. OPPD SOP is, if no one is in custody, the offenses are listed as limited. If there is an arrest, the offense sheet is filled up. Not a bad process, but the crime stats get messed up. In this case, only one offense armed robbery gets reported. To offset this, we need access to the offense report heading.


Posted: March 17th, 2011 9:17 AM

OP Resident: What in the world does the VMA have to do with a random criminal act? I think you need a time out in the corner to get some perspective.

OP Resident  

Posted: March 17th, 2011 7:59 AM

Time to vote against VMA, folks. This is the status quo. It will get worse after the idiotic Comcast proposal is passed. You need to vote for a change. It's time, before VMA destroys everything we love here. Voter turnout is normally really low. Your vote counts. We can end the stupidity.

Don from Oak Park  

Posted: March 17th, 2011 2:00 AM

If the flammable liquid was in the teller area, behind bulletproof glass, then how did the robber's gunfire set it ablaze? "Bulletproof"?


Posted: March 16th, 2011 7:30 PM

Couldn't agree with you more...i'm moving.

here we go ... from oak park  

Posted: March 16th, 2011 4:16 PM

warmer weather is arriving, and the thugs come out to "play" ! What's the status of the Comcast building? Boy i hope that passes! It will do Oak Park so much good (insert sarcasm)

Facebook Connect

Answer Book 2017

To view the full print edition of the Wednesday Journal 2017 Answer Book, please click here.

Quick Links

Sign-up to get the latest news updates for Oak Park and River Forest.

MultimediaContact us
Submit Letter To The Editor
Place a Classified Ad

Latest Comments