Oak Park police are holding two men in connection with a residential burglary that occurred Monday in the 600 block of South Scoville Avenue. The incident also spurred the precautionary lockdowns of Longfellow and Ascension schools.

Police responded to a 911 call from a neighbor around 12:20 p.m. and came upon the suspects as they were about to flee the scene, according to a news release from the Oak Park Police Department. As the responding officer approached the rear of a dark tan SUV parked near the reported address, the vehicle accelerated in reverse, ramming the squad car, then fled southbound on Scoville.

According to police, the collision caused the Oak Park squad car to be inoperable, but the officer immediately broadcast an area-wide alert with a description of the vehicle. Illinois State Police stopped the suspects in the 600 block of North Kedzie Avenue in Chicago about an hour after the incident was first reported.

No injuries were reported from the incident. However, police did ask nearby schools to lock down as a precaution, while the area was cleared. The front door of the home where the burglary occurred was damaged in what appeared to be a forced entry. Police are still determining what might have been taken.

Police cleared the area at 2 p.m. and the lockdown was canceled in time for normal 3 p.m. dismissal procedures to remain in place.

A press release from District 97 called the lockdown a “precaution” and said the burglary was not linked in any way to the school.

“At no time did the police believe our students or staff members were in any immediate danger; nor are they concerned that the situation poses any threat going forward,” said the district’s release.

Ascension school at 601 Van Buren St. was also temporarily on lockdown until 2 p.m., according to a spokeswoman at the school.

“With our students’ safety in mind, we instigated a soft lockdown of the school whereas no one was able to enter the school and faculty and students were required to stay within their classrooms until further notification,” said an e-mail from Ascension principal Mary Jo Burns.

Note to parents from District 97:

At approximately 12:35 p.m. today, Longfellow School initiated a lockdown at the request of the Oak Park Police Department, which was investigating a reported burglary in the area. The police cleared the scene at approximately 2 p.m. and the lockdown was canceled. We do not anticipate this situation will impede our normal dismissal procedures this afternoon.

 

While the police investigation into this matter is ongoing, there is no evidence linking it to the school. In addition, the lockdown was initiated as a precaution. At no time did the police believe our students or staff members were in any immediate danger; nor are they concerned that the situation poses any threat going forward.

 

With that said, an incident like this reminds us to always be aware and mindful of our surroundings, and to report any suspicious activities to the school or police.

 

We will update you if we receive any new information regarding this situation. In the meantime, we thank you for your time and attention on this matter, as well as for your continued support of our schools and the children we serve.

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Jean Lotus

Jean Lotus loves community journalism. She covers news, features, two school boards, village council, crime, park district and writes obits for Forest Park Review. She also covers the police beat for...

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