Police to crack down on drunk driving, seat belt use

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By Devin Rose

Staff Reporter

Oak Park police are stepping up enforcement against drunk-driving and seat-belt violations as part of the state's holiday campaigns, according to a department statement.

Intensified enforcement through New Year's Eve will focus on the hours between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m., when a disproportionate number of traffic deaths occur, the statement said. National and state data shows that the highest percentage of driving-under-the-influence incidents and the lowest use of seat belts occurs after 9 p.m.

The crackdown runs concurrently with the "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" and "Click It or Ticket" campaigns by the state. Deputy Police Chief Anthony Ambrose is urging motorists to designate a sober driver or use mass transit or a taxi to get home safely. Always wear a seat belt and make sure passengers are also buckled up, the statement said.

For more information, visit www.buckleupillinois.org.


An unknown person attempted to enter an apartment in the 200 block of Pleasant Street between the afternoon and evening of Dec. 10 by damaging a door frame and lock. No entry was gained and estimated damage is $130.

A blue 21-speed Cannondale men's bicycle was removed from a locked garage in the rear of the 700 block of South Lombard Avenue between the morning of Dec. 4 and evening of Dec. 11. Estimated loss is $1,000.

Someone used a pry-type tool to enter a garage in the 700 block of North Kenilworth Avenue through an unlocked service door, overnight Dec. 12, and removed an auxiliary cable cord. Estimated damage and loss is $160.

An unknown person broke a window to enter a residence in the 800 block of South East Avenue between the morning and evening of Dec. 13. The residence was ransacked and a Wii game system and a 37-inch Toshiba flat screen TV were removed. Estimated loss is $2,550.

Someone entered a vehicle parked in the rear of the 6400 block of North Avenue through a broken window and ransacked it between the morning and afternoon of Dec. 13. A portable DVD player, a purse containing IDs and credit cards and a book bag containing books and papers were removed. Estimated loss is $480.

A Garmin GPS unit and holder were removed from a 2012 Hyundai Elantra in the 700 block of Forest Avenue between the morning and afternoon of Dec. 3. Estimated loss is $300.

Someone entered a residence in the 1000 block of Highland Avenue between the afternoon and evening of Dec. 14 through an unlocked basement window. A Toshiba laptop computer was removed. Estimated loss is $600.

An unknown person entered a residence in the 1000 block of Linden Avenue, the evening of Dec. 16, through a closed but unlocked rear door. The residence was ransacked and an unknown amount of jewelry was removed. Loss is unknown.

A resident of the 500 block of Edgewood Place in River Forest told police someone entered her unlocked garage between the afternoon of Dec. 9 and morning of Dec. 16 and removed a brass bed frame valued at $800 and a Toro wood chipper valued at $750. A ladder and two hedge trimmers were also removed but were found on the property.


A man approached a Chicago resident from behind on the night of Dec. 11 in the 500 block of Highland Avenue, displayed a knife and demanded money. The victim complied and the man fled the scene on foot. Estimated loss is $15.

An Oak Park juvenile told police that two unknown men in a dark Cadillac got out of the car in the 1000 block of Lombard Avenue, the night of Dec. 13, approached him from behind and asked if he had a cellphone. The boy said no, and the offenders patted him down. The boy ran as the offenders reached into his coat pocket. No loss was reported.

A 20-year-old Chicago man was stopped by Chicago police the night of Dec. 15 in reference to an armed robbery that occurred in the first block of Madison Street. The man was identified as the offender who displayed a handgun and removed an Oak Park girl's jacket. A 32-year-old Chicago man was also arrested and a name check revealed he had a Cook County warrant for manufacturing and delivery of cannabis. The 20-year-old was also charged with unlawful use of a weapon by a felon, possession of ammunition and a firearm without a FOID card, and a Cook County warrant for possession of a controlled substance.


A 51-year-old Chicago man was arrested, the morning of Dec. 10, and charged with seven counts of theft for incidents in Oak Park.

Someone removed 10 feet of aluminum downspout from a garage in the 800 block of North Kenilworth Avenue between the morning and evening of Dec. 14, causing damage to the gutter. Estimated loss is $100.

A catalytic converter was removed from a Honda Element parked in the 600 block of South Maple Avenue between the afternoon of Dec. 14 and morning of Dec. 16. Estimated loss is $1,200. Another converter was removed from an Element in the first block of Superior Street, overnight Dec. 15. Estimated loss is $2,000.

An employee of Lens Crafters in the 7300 block of Lake Street told police her wallet was stolen from the business, the afternoon of Dec. 8. The loss included $70 in cash, a driver's license, credit cards and personal information.

Criminal damage to property

Someone damaged the side service door lock of a garage in the 800 block of Wisconsin Avenue between the morning and afternoon of Dec. 13. Estimated damage is $200.

An unknown person applied white paint over the top of a 2011 Nissan Altima in the 400 block of South Taylor Avenue, overnight Dec. 13. Estimated damage is unknown.

Glass was broken and the sunroof was damaged on a vehicle parked in a rear driveway in the 200 block of Home Avenue between the night of Dec. 12 and morning of Dec. 14. Estimated damage is $700.

Christmas lights hanging on a tree in a front yard in the 800 block of South East Avenue were damaged with a cutting tool, overnight Dec. 11. Estimated damage is $90.

Driving under the influence

A 26-year-old Chicago man was arrested and charged with driving under the influence after he drove his vehicle into multiple stores in the 7100 block of North Avenue, the early morning of Dec. 15.

An 18-year-old Oak Park man was arrested early on the morning of Dec. 16 after he ran a stop sign and caused injury to the driver of another vehicle in the 400 block of North Ridgeland Avenue. He was charged with two counts of driving under the influence, aggravated DUI, disobeying a traffic control device and failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident. He also received tickets for damage to public and private property.

These items, obtained from the Oak Park and River Forest police departments, came from reports filed Dec. 11-17 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.

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