Oak Park police pull over radio-blaring texter, find baseball-sized chunk of cocaine

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By Megan Dooley and Jean Lotus

Oak Park police curbed a driver they suspected of texting and violating radio noise ordinances in the 1600 block of S. Harlem on August 31 around 9 p.m. While speaking with Kurt Thoemke, 36, of the 600 block of Louis in Franklin Park, they noticed a baseball-shaped package in the car that turned out to be 354.5 grams of cocaine, worth almost $30,000. Thoemke was charged with felony possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver — and texting while driving.

Skateboard snapped in half, phone stolen in rec center fight

Police say an altercation which began on the basketball courts at Stevenson Recreation Center, 49 Lake St., ended with a fight in which four males, approximately 16 years old, battered two victims, 13 and 20 years old Sunday at 5:25 p.m. One of the four teens — described as a black male 5' 8" with dreadlocks wearing a light blue polo shirt and jeans — grabbed the Chicago 13-year-old's skateboard "stomped on it and broke it in half," said Commander LaDon Reynolds. A second offender — described as a black male with reddish-colored dreadlocks — battered the 20-year-old who sustained minor injuries, Reynolds said. When the assailants left the park, the victims discovered a black LG saber cell phone had gone missing during the incident. Estimated loss was $255.

Armed robbery

Two juveniles from Oak Park were robbed of their cell phones, iPod and $80 in the 400 block of Thomas on Sept. 9 at 11:28 p.m. They told police an offender — described as thin and black-hoodie-clad, with dreadlocks and a black baseball cap — displayed a black semi-automatic handgun with a long thin barrel and stated, "Give me what you got."

Residential burglary

Two bedrooms in a residence on the 900 block of S. Taylor were ransacked between Sept. 1 and Sept. 5. The unknown offender removed a digital camera, two video games and miscellaneous jewelry from the residence. Estimated loss is $2,475.

A pink Cannon Powershot SD1400IS digital camera with a purple case was removed from a residence on the 700 block of Highland on Sept. 5. Estimated loss is $240.

An unknown offender entered a garage on the 1000 block of Wesley on Sept. 6 through a closed but unlocked overhead door. While inside, the offender entered and ransacked a vehicle, and removed a black wallet containing miscellaneous debit and credit cards, and identification cards and a set of keys. Estimated loss is $50.

Entering through an unlocked, partially open window of a residence in the 800 block of Gunderson, persons unknown removed two digital cameras and two lenses, a Garmin GPS and miscellaneous women's jewelry. Total loss was estimated at $3,450.

Theft of motor vehicle

A gray 2006 Toyota Sequoia parked on the 1100 block of Edmer was removed between Sept. 1 and Sept. 2. Inside was a set of Mizuno MP58 golf clubs and a child seat. Estimated loss is $45,000.

A black 2005 Chevy Trailblazer was stolen from behind a residence in the 1100 block of Home sometime between Saturday evening and Sunday morning. The SUV contained two Graco infant car seats, Graco double-stroller and a boxed CD set. Loss is pegged at $12,600.

Driving under the influence

Steffon Robinson, 49, of the 4200 block of W. 21st Place in Chicago was arrested on the 400 block of N. Austin on Sept. 4 for driving under the influence of alcohol.

Lanny Lutz, 69, of the 400 block of S. Wesley was arrested on the 200 block of S. Euclid on Sept. 4 and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol.

Justin Tanner, 26 of the 2300 block of Bluebell Ct., Aurara was arrested in the 400 block of Austin at 1:28 p.m. on Sept. 9 and charged with DUI.


An Apple iPhone was stolen from a victim on the 900 block of N. Humphrey on Sept. 4. Estimated loss is $300.

A blue Schwinn Legacy bicycle was removed from the bike rack it was locked onto on the 800 block of Lake on Sept. 5. Estimated loss is $145.

Unknown persons removed a window to the basement storage area of an apartment building in the 900 block of S. Humphrey and stole a light blue 26" women's 21-speed Magna Great Divide Mountain Bike. Loss estimated at $100.

A man was observed removing a green men's bicycle from a location on the 6100 block of North on Sept. 6. Estimated loss is $200.

A Craftsman wood chipper and leaf bagger, a 17-foot collapsible ladder and a battery charger were removed from a garage on the 100 block of S. Humphrey on Sept. 7. Estimated loss is $580.

An unsecured purple and black boy's Schwinn mountain bike was stolen from a basement stairwell overnight on Sept. 8. Loss was estimated at $200.

A Dell laptop worth $300 was stolen from an unlocked car in the 900 block of Forest between 9:30 and 10 p.m. on Sept. 9.

An Apple iPhone was reported stolen after being left on a table at Denny's in the 700 block of Harlem at 3:30 a.m. Saturday.

Overnight on Saturday, persons unknown climbed through the open sunroof of a parked vehicle in the 1000 block of N. Kenilworth and removed a black leather wallet and miscellaneous IDs. Total loss was estimated at $50.

A blue Schwinn Jenny bicycle worth $400 was stolen from a common basement storage area in the first block of Harrison between 3 and 5 p.m. Sunday.

A black tri-fold wallet was stolen from a purse in an unattended shopping cart at Dominick's on the 200 block of Lake St. on Sunday around 5:35 p.m.

Domestic battery

Traveon C. Smith, 26, of the 300 block of S. Cuyler, was arrested and charged with domestic battery at 9:35 a.m. Saturday.

Outside warrant arrest

Slawomir Hawryla, 24, of the 2800 block of N. Springfield in Chicago was arrested at Van Buren and Oak Park on Sept. 6 on an active McHenry County warrant for battery and failure to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk.

Retail theft

A male offender was observed entering a store on the 300 block of W. Madison on Sept. 7 and placing four 80 count boxes of Aleve liquid gel pain relievers into his pants pocket. He then exited the store without paying, setting off the security sensor alarm. He was seen entering a blue Nissan pick up truck and fleeing eastbound on Madison.


Two unknown offenders removed a victim's backpack on the 100 block of N. Taylor on Sept. 7. In the backpack were two Apple iPhones, iron, a checkbook, a wallet, miscellaneous credit cards, and personal papers. The items were later recovered.

These items were obtained from the Oak Park and River Forest police departments, Aug. 31-Sept. 12, and represent a portion of the incidents to which police responded. Anyone named in these reports has only been charged with a crime and cases have not yet been adjudicated.

Reader Comments

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OP Guy  

Posted: September 15th, 2011 11:17 PM

EllehcOP, agreed! Something is wrong when an armed robbery fails to make headlines.

Tony K  

Posted: September 15th, 2011 1:39 PM

Skateboard incident...witnessed a similar incident at Forest Park Skate Park. Seven kids skateboarding, harrassed by kids coming from pool, the kids from the pool ran in and started assualting only two of the kids. I grew up across the street from Stevenson. Place was tough in the early 80's and is still tough today.

Why not from Oak Park  

Posted: September 15th, 2011 11:10 AM

EllehcOP, yes a little more coverage would be nice. Just like the 100 N. Taylor blurb that seems short of what exactly did happen. Where was the backpack? Any description on the offenders? Anyone hurt?


Posted: September 15th, 2011 10:51 AM

I feel that the armed robbery of 2 youths should have more coverage. This is a frightening encounter and the community needs to know what's happening in the heart of our neighborhood.

OP Guy  

Posted: September 14th, 2011 11:16 PM

Well done OPPD for busting the coke dealers. I hope many other dealers and criminals continue to break minors laws like running stop signs, texting while driving... this kind of stupidity surely gives the police a much easier job in search potential criminals cars. Keep up the good work boys and girls! And I mean both sides of the fence.

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