A man supposedly seeking food talked an employee into opening the locked front door of the #1 Chop Suey Restaurant, 242 Chicago Avenue, just after 10 p.m. Feb. 26. When the employee walked into the kitchen, the man followed and pulled a revolver and demanded he open the cash register. As the thief grabbed money from the cash register, the employee hollered to another employee that they were being robbed. The thief attempted to run out the front door, but it was locked, and the other employee caught him and struggled with him. The thief then struck the employee in the face with the gun and ran out of the restaurant.

Robbery

A woman unloading groceries from her car in the 400 block of Home Avenue the morning of March 3 was approached from behind by a man who grabbed her purse and dragged her several feet. The purse contained $40, a $74 check, her car keys and assorted identification.

DUI

  • Czenite L. Thomas, 25, of the 1500 block of North Kedzie in Chicago, was stopped after the van he was driving matched the description of one involved in a hit-and-run crash at Harvey Avenue and Roosevelt Road. Thomas, who allegedly smelled strongly of alcohol, reportedly failed a field sobriety test. A name check also revealed a DuPage warrant for resisting a police officer. He was also charged with having no proof of insurance and leaving the scene of an accident.
  • Sean P. Champion, 33, of Lisle, was stopped for an alleged traffic violation in the 400 block of South Oak Park Avenue around 5:30 a.m. Feb. 27. A name check revealed he was allegedly driving on a revoked license due to another DUI. He reportedly failed three field sobriety tests.
  • Thomas R. Mackechney, 46, of the 600 block of South Euclid Avenue, was allegedly found by police slumped over the steering wheel of a running car in the 800 block of Lexington Street just after midnight March 1. He failed a field sobriety test and reportedly had a blood-alcohol level greater than the legal limit.
  • Traci L. Heroldt, 34, of Plainfield was reportedly involved in a car crash in the 300 block of Washington Boulevard the afternoon of March 2. Police then allegedly found her in possession of 14 foil packets containing a total of 6.3 grams of heroin. She was charged with DUI and felony possession of a controlled substance.
  • Jason M. Duncan, 46, was stopped in the 700 block of Lathrop Avenue around 1:30 a.m. March 4 and charged with DUI and other alleged traffic offenses.

Drugs

  • Diane Gaston, 39, was stopped around 4 a.m. Feb. 28 for riding a bike with no headlight. Police then determined that the bike had been allegedly stolen in a garage burglary in the 500 block of South Elmwood Avenue in July 2006. A custodial search of Gaston allegedly turned up three packets of suspected cocaine and one packet of suspected heroin.
  • Lorenzo G. Mitchell, 47, of Chicago was stopped just before 2 a.m. March 3. He was determined to have an active warrant for theft of services and was allegedly in possession of a burnt pipe commonly used to smoke drugs.

Burglary

  • Police are investigating a man arrested for an alleged criminal trespass to property the afternoon of March 1. Stacey A. Cox, 41, of the 4400 block of West Jackson Boulevard. A woman allegedly spotted Cox standing in the public area of an office suite in the Scoville Square building. An investigation determined that numerous other doors and offices had been damaged.
    Cox has only been charged with criminal trespass, but police are working to determine if he’s connected to any of some two dozen instances of burglaries to offices in Oak Park and River Forest the past several weeks. Police believe the individual responsible for the other burglaries has hidden and waited until the buildings close before breaking into interior office spaces.

This past week alone nearly a dozen offices were damaged or broken into. Six offices in the Shaker building, 1100 Lake St., were damaged in unsuccessful break-in attempts. Several offices were broken into in the 1000 block of Lake, one of which incurred $300 damage. And two laptops valued at $2,400 were stolen after someone pried open a door of another office complex in the 1100 block of Lake.

  • Andrew J. Ward, 43, of the 5500 block of West Fulton Street was allegedly observed by police as he climbed over the fence behind Robinson’s Ribs, 936 Madison St., the afternoon of Feb. 27. Ward reportedly fled, ran around the block, entered the rear of the restaurant, and was caught coming out the front.
  • Someone removed three side panels of a Chevy truck in the 7600 block of Roosevelt Road the afternoon of March 1 and stole power tools valued at $2,400.
  • Someone pried the rear door of the White Hen Pantry, 23 N. Harlem Ave., around 3:30 a.m. March 2. $420 in cash was stolen.
  • An unlocked garage service door in the first block of LeMoyne allowed a thief to steal a purse containing $120 cash from an unlocked car the evening of March 2.
  • An open garage service door in the 100 block of South Grove Avenue allowed someone to steal a cellphone and various CDs from an unlocked car overnight March 4.

Auto theft

A 1990 Buick Le Sabre valued at $2,000 was stolen from an alley in the 900 block of North Humphrey Avenue overnight on Feb. 28.

Theft

  • Three hundred feet of heavy duty extension cord with solid copper cores was stolen from the construction site of the new Oak Park Public Works building, 131 South Blvd., overnight on March 3. Loss was $1,750.
    That same day a man was observed placing a power saw, laser level and three power cords in a trash bin by the site. He fled when confronted.
  • A woman who left her purse hanging over the back of a chair at Panera Bread, 7349 Lake St., the afternoon of March 4 reported having her wallet stolen. The wallet contained $500 in cash, her driver’s license and various IDs and credit cards.

Retail theft

Ronald Williams, 40, of Chicago, was identified as the person who allegedly placed 12 cases of an energy drink in a nylon bag and left the Shell Gas station, 436 S. Ridgeland Ave., without paying the evening of March 4. Williams was also allegedly found in possession of a glass pipe commonly used to smoke crack cocaine.

Battery

Victor M. Gutierrez, 40, of the 300 block of South Austin Boulevard was arrested the afternoon of Feb. 27 after he allegedly made a lewd comment to a woman and then grabbed her buttock.

Vandalism

A juvenile vandal who goes by the moniker “Kain” was arrested and charged with criminal damage to property March 1 in relation to a tagging incident.

These items were obtained from police reports filed by the Oak Park and River Forest police departments from Feb. 26 to March 5. Not all incidents that occurred are listed. Anyone named in reports has only been charged with a crime and cases have not yet been adjudicated.

-Compiled by Bill Dwyer

Crime Plus

Catalytic converters continue to be stolen

Four cars had their catalytic converters cut off between Feb. 28 and March 5 in River Forest. Two of the cars were parked in lots at Priory Park, and two in the Concordia University garage. River Forest police received digital photos of two possible suspects photographed by an individual in the Concordia garage on March 2.

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