Churches' Black Lives Matter banners stolen, damaged | Police Reports July 13-17

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Black Lives Matter banners have become targets for vandals and thieves as two Oak Park churches have had theirs slashed and another church's banner stolen. Between 6 p.m., July 13 and 8 a.m., July 14, someone stole the 8-by-4-foot Black Lives Matter banner outside Grace Episcopal Church, 924 Lake St. 

A few days prior, First United Methodist Church, 324 N. Oak Park Ave., had its Black Lives Matter banner damaged; the vinyl banner was slashed sometime between 5 p.m., July 10 and 2 p.m., July 11. 

Early on July 12, large cuts were also visible in the "Black Lives Matter to God and Us" banner hanging outside of St. Christopher's Episcopal Church, 545 S. East Ave., but church officials decided not to file a police report for the damage. According to Rev. Eric Biddy of St. Christopher's, the church's banner is about 6 feet tall and the slash about 3 feet in length.

"We've repaired it and we're working on getting it back up," said Biddy.

Should St. Christopher's see further vandalism done to its banner, Biddy said the church would put the banner back up "every time."

"It's a message that matters to us, that comes out of our deepest held beliefs of who God is and the kind of world God is inviting us to help build," said Biddy. "We're not going to be deterred from trying to stand up for that message."

For those who have vandalized Black Lives Matter banners and displays, Biddy invites them to give him a call.

"I'd be happy to talk to them and try to invite them into a deeper life than the one they are currently living," he said. "There are better ways to live."

 

Armed robbery

A masked man exited the passenger side of a white Ford Fusion, showed a black handgun, and demanded money from a male victim, who handed over $100 in cash at 10:21 p.m., July 16, in the 1000 block of Baldwin Lane. 

The offender was last seen traveling westbound on Madison Street in the vehicle driven by an unknown person. Police describe the offender as being black, 6-feet to 6-feet-2 and 250 to 300 pounds. He was last seen wearing a red ski mask with the eyes cut out.

 

Burglary

Someone removed a black leather Kate Spade purse with a gold chain and a black leather Coach wallet containing identification and numerous credit cards from an unlocked vehicle in the 1000 block of North Lombard Avenue between 3:30 and 5:30 p.m., July 15. The estimated loss is $400.

 

Motor vehicle theft

An unattended tan 2007 Toyota Corolla was taken from the 200 block of Harrison Street at 9:15 p.m.; Chicago police recovered the vehicle in the 2400 block of East 78th Street at 4:34 a.m., July 14 and made two apprehensions. 

The white 2010 BMW reported stolen on July 11 from the 600 block of Forest Avenue was recovered by Danville police at 1 a.m., July 16, in the 1100 block of North Collett Street in Danville; police made one apprehension. 

The red Ford Fusion reported stolen July 11 from the 800 block of North Austin Boulevard was recovered with two tires missing by the Cook County Sheriff Department at 6:10 p.m., July 16, in the 400 block of East 16th Street, Chicago Heights.  

 

Theft

Someone went into a United Delivery Service truck while the driver was making a delivery and removed a package containing ground coffee at 11:45 a.m., July 13 in the 1000 block of Pleasant Place. The estimated loss is $60.

A man wearing a yellow traffic vest was seen taking an unsecured men's blue and white mountain bike from a bike rack in the 200 block of South Marion Street at 3:47 p.m., July 13. Estimated loss is $150.

Two high school-aged boys were seen removing a teal women's bicycle from a yard in the 600 block of South Lombard Avenue at 7:37 p.m., July 13. Police describe one of the boys as "skinny" and the other as "husky." Estimated loss is $120.

 

Criminal damage to property

Someone broke the front window of a building in the 6800 block of North Avenue between 6 p.m., July 10 and 6 a.m., July 13. Estimated damage is unknown.

Someone used a sharp object to make two long scratches along the side of a vehicle parked in the 400 block of South Maple Avenue at 1:42 p.m., July 15. The estimated loss is $1,000.

The driver's side window of a vehicle was damaged at 3:51 a.m., July 16 in the 400 block of South Humphrey Avenue. Estimated damage is $100.

 

These items, obtained from the Oak Park Police Department, came from reports July 13-17 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.

Compiled by Stacey Sheridan

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