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Cellphone store robbed by man with pistol | Police reports, April 10-16

April 18th, 2017 2:18 PM

By Bob Uphues

An armed man wearing a blue surgical mask over his face robbed Cricket Wireless, 1215 Harlem Ave., on April 12, taking cash from the register before fleeing the scene.

According to the police report, the offender entered the store about 6:55 p.m. and began looking at merchandise before motioning to his waistband and pointing toward a black semiautomatic gun, saying, "Unless you want me to shoot you, give me all the money."

The clerk gave the offender money from the register and the offender went out the door while the clerk locked herself in a back room and called police.

The offender was described as a slim black male, about 5-foot-10 to 6-foot-1, wearing a black sweatshirt, black sweatpants and a dark red or burgundy checkered shirt under the sweatshirt. The offender looked to be in his 20s.

Berwyn police informed Forest Park that a Metro PCS store at 6348 Cermak Road was also the victim of an armed robbery and that the offender description was nearly identical to the Forest Park incident.

Vehicle break-ins

A 19-year-old man called police on April 12 to report that someone had broken into his 2002 Saturn, which was parked in the CTA commuter lot on Van Buren Street.

The victim told police he parked the car about 9:10 a.m. and got on the train to go to school. When he arrived back at the vehicle, he found that someone had smashed out a passenger side window with a piece of concrete and removed his Soundstream radio from the dashboard.

The total value of the radio was about $215. The glove box was also ransacked, and its contents were scattered on the passenger seat.

A resident of the 7200 block of Adams Street contacted police to report that sometime between 11:30 a.m. and noon on April 8 someone entered his 2014 Ford Focus and removed a black computer bag containing a Microsoft Surface tablet and several books.

Police said there were no signs of forced entry to the vehicle.

Burglary suspect nabbed

A Waukegan man, arrested in Chicago on April 2, has led to the recovery of two firearms stolen from a Forest Park home.

Joshua Porter was in possession of one of the handguns when he was arrested by Chicago police, and fingerprint evidence left at the scene of the Forest Park home burglary matched Porter's fingerprints, police said. He later admitted to the burglary, and Forest Park police say they have now cleared three other burglaries in the village in December 2016 and January 2017.

Porter also is a suspect in a December burglary in Oak Park, police said. Porter is being held at Cook County Jail awaiting trial, with his bond set at $75,000.

Fire in restaurant kitchen

Forest Park police and firefighters responded to Piggyback Tavern, 410 Circle Ave., on April 11 about 4:40 a.m. after an employee from a nearby business called to report a fire.

Firefighters reported observing large flames inside the south kitchen of the restaurant and a large amount of smoke billowing from exhaust fans on the south side of the building.

Emergency personnel began contacting and evacuating residents of the Tuscan Lofts condominiums above the restaurant, while firefighters from Forest Park, Oak Park, North Riverside and River Forest forced entry into the building and extinguished the fire.

No injuries were reported and damage appeared to be confined to the restaurant kitchen area.

200 bucks, gone

A 36-year-old Forest Park man contacted police on April 10 to report that he'd just inadvertently tossed away $200.

It wasn't cash that the man lost. Rather, the man had a winning lottery ticket worth $200 that he was attempting to redeem at Thorntons gas station, 601 Harlem Ave., that day about 10:30 a.m.

 A clerk at the gas station told the man they weren't able to redeem the ticket because of the amount, and the man mistakenly tossed the ticket to the side and left the store before realizing what he'd done.

By the time he went back, the ticket was gone. A review of internal store surveillance cameras showed that an unknown Pace employee picked up the ticket and left the store, according to police.

These items were obtained from police reports filed by the Forest Park Police Department, April 10-16, and represent a portion of the incidents to which police responded. Unless otherwise indicated, anybody named in these reports has only been charged with a crime. These cases have not been adjudicated.

—Compiled by Bob Uphues