Three charged in Oak Park home invasion

Police: Offenders pistol-whipped victims inside Lake St. apartment

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By Timothy Inklebarger

Staff Reporter

Three Chicago men in ski masks and armed with handguns allegedly robbed a makeshift recording studio inside an apartment building in the 800 block of Lake Street on Monday night.

Oak Park police have three men in custody and have charged each with six counts of home invasion, six counts of aggravated kidnapping and one count of aggravated battery.

Police report that the suspects – Marliss Pelmer, 21; Justin Harrison, 18; and Devonte Gosha, 20, all of Chicago – entered the top-floor apartment, announced a robbery and demanded money from the six individuals inside.

Three of the victims said the alleged offenders struck them with a handgun. Two were treated at the scene for head lacerations and bruises.

When police arrived at the scene, two of the suspects were still in the building and the other was found nearby. Police reported that an unspecified amount of cash and jewelry were taken from the apartment before they arrived. They also recovered two handguns with the assistance of a Forest Park Police Department canine unit.

The three men, each given a $1 million bond, are being held at Cook County Jail. A court date is set for 9 a.m., March 11, in room 102 of the 4th District Municipal Court in Maywood.

A police news release also noted that the recording studio was not licensed by the village.


Reader Comments

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Bruce Kline  

Posted: March 11th, 2016 9:31 PM

That building has been a problem for a long time. It is time to "close it down."

Bill Dwyer  

Posted: March 11th, 2016 1:14 PM

The three perps were from the far south side of Chicago, not Austin.

James West  

Posted: March 11th, 2016 10:38 AM

James Peters, if there were drugs involved, there would have been additional charges added. The problem with drug dealers, and buyers today, is a text message is sent. The dealer arrives on bicycle, or vehicle, and the transaction is completed so quickly, you would not even notice it. These are low level drug deals that continue. The law has done a very good job of removing fire crackers off the streets, and made it very difficult for people who smoke cigarettes by the cost of them, and now working on a law to raise the age to 21. If only the law makers could figure out a way to stop the flow of the drugs, that would certainly reduce crime.

James Peters from Oak Park  

Posted: March 11th, 2016 10:07 AM

I appreciate OPPD's work. I don't know the details, but it appears they effectively handled dangerous, armed thugs without incurring wrath from apologists. As a whole, black males may be inordinately incarcerated, but Oak Park abuts Austin, one of Chicago's most violent neighborhoods. Our police department continues to deal with that well. Here's something I don't know that is important: Was this drug-related violence? I suspect that when we get thugs from Chicago in Oak Park, it is spillover of drug trafficking.

Ray Simpson  

Posted: March 10th, 2016 8:33 AM

Can we assume that all three masked marvels had FOID cards and could prove that they had submitted to the FBI instant background check? Oak Park should have someone at every court hearing, trial and sentencing to demand no bail, no plea bargain and maximum sentences for all 3. If we want to be serious about gun violence here, let's start here and now and send a real message to thugs like this.

James West  

Posted: March 9th, 2016 8:56 PM

The real story is an Oak Park location was being illegally used as a recording studio. The 3 out of town skiers from back East, must have heard about it on the street. Without money to pay for a recording session society left them no choice except to rely on their guns to make off with the loot. One of the perceptive skiers probably decided since they were there, why not lay down some tracks, so they pistol whipped a few people which not only proved they were show stoppers, it also showed they had the right attitude to be gangsta rappers. Now they are just another 3 ski bums added to the unbalanced incarceration rate of African Americans, and no one can figure out why. As for me, I'm glad they stayed around long enough for the Police, to get these ski bums off the streets.

Ryan McCarthy from Oak Park  

Posted: March 9th, 2016 8:25 PM

I live near this building and it has been a problem for many, many years. It is month to month rent and is relatively inexpensive for Oak Park. A few years ago there was a shooting that took place at this address. The man ran down the fire escape and was shooting at another man running through the village lot behind this residence.

John H. Wilharm III  

Posted: March 9th, 2016 4:56 PM

How can this happen in the OP? We are a village of peace and love.

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