Oak Park burglary suspects in custody after ramming squad car

Incident caused temporary lockdown at Longfellow and Ascension schools


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By Jean Lotus and Anna Lothson

Staff Reporters

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.


Reader Comments

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Violet Aura  

Posted: March 23rd, 2013 1:16 PM

Congrats, WJ. You've locked yet another thread and now all is right with the world...


Posted: March 19th, 2013 8:54 PM

Note to D97 parent: "Whaaaa? Huhhhh?"

D97 parent  

Posted: March 19th, 2013 8:05 PM

Was this the kind of lockdown where the kids have to go into dark closets and turn of the lights and lock the doors, even the kindergarteners and first graders? I know MANY of little ones cried during the drills, but if they were locked in a closet for two hours for a BURGLARY, this is a terrible practice and makes me wonder if D97 is more concerned about scaring the crap out of kids than actually teaching them.

Violet Aura  

Posted: March 19th, 2013 6:22 PM

@FYI: Yes, I realize that might happen although they also disabled a thread on a local man who molested his foster kids. And the guy was White so there was no racial undertones. Even if people write ugly comments, don't you think it's healthy to leave them? I would rather know what's going on in people's heads than to pretend that everyone is kumbaya-esque...


Posted: March 19th, 2013 6:05 PM

I understand your annoyance, V.A., but it could also be said, "if you're going to read the news, keep your comments north of racists and ignorant." Seems every time a black guy does something wrong- criminal and ignorant and inexcusable as it is, some people can't help but get all white hoodie and burning cross about it. And so the WJ staff shuts it all down. That's not their fault, that's the result of ignoramuses who can't comment on something without getting ugly.

Violet Aura  

Posted: March 19th, 2013 5:27 PM

I second Question's...question: why is the RF rape thread locked, huh? Whose decision and why? I have my own theory and am pretty exasperated with this crap. If you guys are gonna report the news, then don't WHITEwash it;) And another thing: the Patch did their story a day earlier. I first heard about it on WBBM AM 780 and thought you guys would be on top of it but nope.

Good Job Boys and Girls  

Posted: March 19th, 2013 10:25 AM

JME from Oak Park: It's better to let the police wonder about if it was the same guys or not. You don't need a good article for that. Just call the non-emergency number and tell them you might have some helpful info...or not. Easy peasy. You have no idea how much of our own local and national security we compromise and how vulnerable we make ourselves trying to "inform" people. You know what? Some stuff it's better off not knowing because the crooks know what you know via the same media.


Posted: March 18th, 2013 11:30 PM

Why was the River Forest comments disabled?

OP Resident  

Posted: March 18th, 2013 11:19 PM

Agreed. Please report all suspicious activity... It maybe nothing, but it could very well make all the difference between preventing a crime that could potentially cause someone harm, or lean to an arrest. I stay at home during the day and always look out for my block, but would also be worried about a potential criminal entering my home, especially when my kids and I are home. I have no qualms about calling the police if I suspect something, or have a gut feeling. The police can't be everywhere

Score Another One For The Good Guys  

Posted: March 18th, 2013 5:53 PM

Best deterrent to crime is report it before, during and after incident. Bad guys having an increasingly difficult time escaping from technology. Cameras, phones, monitors are all helping. But neighborhood vigilance is still the biggest crime stopper. Congrats to all neighbors who report on the evil-doers.

Jme from Oak Park  

Posted: March 18th, 2013 3:57 PM

Thank you for the update!

Jme from Oak Park  

Posted: March 18th, 2013 3:33 PM

So where was the incident? I live about 13 houses down from Longfellow. It makes me wonder if the gentlemen who knocked on my door around 11am and I did not answer has anything to do with it? This story would be great if we had more info.

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