Shooting at Austin and I-290 intersection

Oak Park police are investigating a shooting that occurred on the evening of June 19 at the intersection of Austin Boulevard and the I-290 Expressway. 

A police news release said two vehicles were stopped at the traffic signal intersection about 6:20 p.m. on Sunday when passengers in the car heading south, which was stopped at the traffic light, exited the vehicle and began shooting at another car stopped in traffic.

A stray bullet hit the window of a third car that also was stopped. The driver of that vehicle sustained minor injuries from flying glass.

Both cars involved in the shooting fled the scene in opposite directions.

Oak Park police shut down the intersection and ramps near the highway for about three hours, according to the news release.

No additional details were immediately available. Anyone with information can contact police at 708-386-3800 or email police@oak-park.us. Anonymous tips can be made by calling 708-434-1636 or through the police website at www.oak-park.us/crimetips.

Oak Parker arrested for public indecency

Oak Park police arrested a man on the afternoon of June 16 and charged him with public indecency after a witness said the man exposed himself in a car stopped near East Avenue and Greenfield Street.

The 25-year-old, from the 700 block of North Oak Park Avenue, was released after posting bond.

Oak Park police report that the incident occurred at roughly 12:20 p.m. The female victim, who was jogging, called 911 after she reported seeing the man exposing himself inside in a gray or silver Lexus.

Minutes after the call was made to police, a responding officer spotted a vehicle matching that description headed westbound on Berkshire Street at Ridgeland Avenue. The driver was detained and identified by the victim as the offender.

“Crimes of this kind are serious and can have a lasting emotional impact on victims,” Oak Park Police Chief Rick Tanksley said in a news release. “Unfortunately, it also can be difficult to catch offenders. But, as in this case, when a victim immediately reports an incident, we are much more likely to catch the suspect. An officer can be on the scene anywhere in Oak Park within a couple of minutes. That’s why we urge residents to never hesitate to call 911 — and the sooner the better.”

The charge of public indecency, a Class A misdemeanor, carries a possible $2,500 fine and up to a year in jail. If found guilty, the man also would be required to register as a sex offender.

Suspected bike burglar in custody

Oak Park police have taken a man into custody who allegedly was seen breaking the glass door of a local bicycle shop on June 16 and then stealing a high-end bicycle.

Police apprehended Syrron S. Williams, 30, of the 1000 block of N. California Avenue in Chicago, within 10 minutes of the break-in, according to a news release.

Two residents are reported to have witnessed Williams pacing outside of Element Cyclesport, 1101 Chicago Ave., about 1 a.m., police said. He then allegedly struck the glass door of the establishment and caused the glass to shatter. 

Williams reportedly then entered the business and removed a Trek X-Caliber 7 priced at $959.99. The witnesses called police, who quickly located the man on a bicycle like the one that was stolen, heading east on Chicago Avenue near Grove Avenue.

Williams was detained and identified by witnesses as the culprit. 

Oak Park Police Chief Rick Tanksley praised residents for contacting police immediately after witnessing the crime.

“Residents are our most important allies in preventing and solving crimes,” Tanksley said. “Try as we may, officers can’t be everywhere. But with the help of residents who keep their eyes open for suspicious activity in their neighborhoods, we can respond quickly and, as in this instance, catch a suspect within blocks of where a crime was committed.”

 Pre-teen girls approached

Three pre-teen girls, in two separate incidents, were approached by an unfamiliar man in his 20s as they walked along neighborhood sidewalks, the late afternoon on June 14, police have reported. In one incident the man reportedly asked if the girl wanted a ride. In the other, he asked two pre-teens “if they wanted to hang out.”

According to a press release issued by Oak Park police late Wednesday afternoon, it’s not clear whether the two incidents, which happened within an hour of one another, are related.

In the first incident, which occurred about 4:15 p.m. near Wesley Avenue and Adams Street, an 11-year-old girl said a blue sedan headed north on Wesley Avenue pulled up from behind and the driver lowered the window to ask if she wanted a ride, police said.

The girl was walking home from Rehm Pool at the time, according to police, and the girl ran from the vehicle to her home nearby. The driver of the vehicle was described as a white male, about 25 years old, with blonde hair and a beard and wearing a rainbow-colored shirt. 

The second incident happened in the vicinity of the 400 block of North Harvey Avenue. Police reported that two 12-year-old girls said they were approached by a man who was on foot and asked them “if they wanted to hang out.”

The girls immediately turned around and walked back to a residence in the 400 block of North Harvey Avenue, according to police.

That suspect was described as a white male in his 20s, with short brown hair and a beard, about 5-8 or 5-9, with a slim build and wearing a long-sleeved, possibly red-and-white, shirt and beige pants. The man appeared to have trouble walking and had slurred speech, police said.

“These types of incidents are unnerving, but the victims clearly knew what to do and did it,” Oak Park Police Chief Rick Tanksley said in the press release. “I urge parents to make sure their children know to never approach an unknown adult under such circumstances, and to immediately get to a safe place and call 911.”

Tanksley also asked residents to be vigilant and to never hesitate to report strangers in their neighborhoods.

 Brass knuckles at Wendy’s

A 25-year-old Melrose Park man was arrested by Oak Park police and charged with unlawful use of a weapon on June 16 after it was discovered he was in possession of brass knuckles at the Wendy’s restaurant, 11 N. Harlem.

The incident began when the man was repeatedly using his car horn at the Wendy’s drive-thru. An employee later said the man also was “yelling and swearing at them in the drive-thru.” 

A responding police officer questioned the man and smelled marijuana coming from the vehicle. A search of the car revealed red brass knuckles in a purple and black backpack. 

 Burglary from motor vehicle

A Mitsubishi truck was burglarized in the 300 block of South Maple on June 17 around 1:25 p.m. The offender entered the truck through an unlocked rear door and stole a 70-inch Vizio 4K television valued at about $2,000.

 Theft arrest

A juvenile was arrested for theft in the 400 block of Lake Street on June 18 at 6:25 p.m. after he was found to be in possession of two iPhones that were removed from the Ridgeland Common baseball fields. The juvenile was released to his legal guardian.

 Burglary

A garage was burglarized in the 100 block of North Scoville sometime between 9:30 p.m. on June 18 and 7:15 a.m. the next day. The burglar entered the garage through an unlocked service door and stole a blue Electra Townie bicycle worth $738.

 Theft

Two Western Union money orders were stolen in the 400 block of South Kenilworth, sometime between 2 p.m. on June 12 and 12:30 p.m. on June 13. The money orders were taken from an unlocked drop box in the basement of an apartment building. The loss was $700.

 Motor vehicle theft

A black 2012 Toyota Tacoma was stolen from the BP gas station in the 100 block of Chicago on June 12 at 10:35 p.m., when the owner left the car running with the keys in the ignition while he went inside. The victim discovered his father’s car missing after he returned, according to police. The owner’s iPhone 6 was stolen with the vehicle. Police say the victim did see the vehicle fleeing in an unknown direction. The estimated loss was $20,500.

 These items, obtained from the Oak Park and River Forest police departments, came from reports, June 12-19, 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. We report the race of a suspect only when a serious crime has been committed, the suspect is still at large, and police have provided us with a detailed physical description of the suspect as they seek the public’s help in making an arrest.

Compiled by Timothy Inklebarger and Bob Uphues

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