The police blotter teaches us many lessons. Don't write your name on your little baggie of marijuana. Don't set the love of your life's mailbox on fire. Don't hide crack inside your crack—the Tinley Park police will go hunting for it.
OK, so there's no real wisdom here, but there's certainly a lot of weirdness in this week's edition of Crime-N-Shame: The Southland's Best Blotter.
That's Not My Bag, Man
Remember when your mom would put your name on all your stuff?
Oak Forest police found Jeff Janik, 26, of the 15100 block of Ridgeland Avenue in Oak Forest, with a bag of pot with his name written all over it — literally on Feb. 13. Police were responding to a call of possible shots fired when they spotted a lone car in the area. The officer followed the vehicle, observed the driver dropping off a passenger and, thinking the driver could be involved with the gunplay, pulled him over, according to police. It became clear the driver was not involved in the shots fired call but the officer could smell cannabis, police said.
The officer found a bag with a green leafy substance and a digital scale inside the car and a second bag in the trunk with Janik's name on it. Janik was charged with possession of cannabis, possession of drug paraphernalia and no valid proof of insurance.
What Did the Stuffed Animal Ever Do to You?
A friendship gone bad led a teen-age boy in Oak Forest to shove a stuffed animal and letters exchanged with a girl into her mailbox and set it ablaze on Feb. 12, according to police reports. The teen admitted to placing the toy and notes inside the mailbox and starting the fire. He was cited for criminal damage to property. His parents agreed to replace the mailbox.
Now What It's Cracked Up to Be
A Markham man who was hiding two large crack cocaine rocks in his rectum during a ride to the Tinley Park police station on Feb. 13 couldn't stop squirming, according to police.
Jeremiah M. Dean, 37, of the 15300 block of Troy Avenue, was charged with possession of marijuana and unlawful possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance, police said.
Police said they stopped Dean’s car in the 7200 block of 183rd Street around 4:15 p.m. Friday for failing to signal when turning. Officers said they found a marijuana blunt in the center console.
On the ride to the station, Dean appeared “nervous” and fidgeted with his pants, according to the report. During questioning, police said they noticed beads of sweat around his head.
Police said Dean pulled from his rectum two large crack cocaine rocks, weighing a combined 33 grams. The cocaine tested positive but was sent to the Illinois State Police Crime Lab for further review, according to the report.
At least the cops didn't have to go in after the evidence.
Bag o' Bullets
An early morning hotel party in Tinley Park Feb. 12, came to an abrupt end when employees of a hotel on the 7200 block of 183rd Street realized the occupants hadn’t reserved or paid for the room, police said.
Darius Long, 18, of the 400 block of Talala Street, Park Forest, was charged with criminal trespass and unlawful possession of ammunition. In his pocket, police found a bag containing six .22-caliber bullets, according to the report. A background check showed that Long is not registered to own a firearm, police said.
Jarron C. Echols, 18, of the 500 block of Wildwood Drive, Park Forest, was charged with criminal trespass and possession of marijuana. Dean A. Robinson, 20, of the 100 block of Hillcrest Avenue, Chicago Heights, and a juvenile were charged with criminal trespass.
Teach Your Children Well
Three women, with the aid of a 4-year-old boy, stole $1,985 worth of cologne from a beauty supply shop in the 7300 block of 191st Street in Tinley Park on Feb. 11, police said.
Kerry A. Kupferschmidt, 34, Krystal M. Kupferschmidt, 23, and Kristin N. Anderson, 23, all of the 2000 block of 22nd Place, Chicago, were charged with felony retail theft. Police said the roommates removed security tags before hiding the cologne in a stroller around 2:30 p.m. The boy helped pick the bottles off the shelf, while a toddler sat idle in the stroller, according to the report.
In Krystal Kupferschmidt’s car, stopped two blocks from the beauty shop, police said they also found 15 jerseys from a sporting good store in the 7100 block of 191st Street totaling $893.
Maybe it Was a 'Save the Denim' Fundraiser?
Charles N. Durr, 18, of the 6600 block of Campbell Street in Chicago, was charged with retail theft and unlawful solicitation in Orland Park on Feb. 3. Security told police Durr tore the security sensor off a $30 pair of jeans and left a department store around 7:45 p.m. without paying. Earlier in the day, Durr was seen on surveillance cameras soliciting donations, security said. Inside Durr’s pockets police found $47 in singles and forms for a fake fundraiser, according to the report.
Was She Wearing Underwear When She Went into the Store?
Mary B. DeValk, 35, of the 15800 block of Orlan Brook Drive in Orland Park, tried to walk out of a department store wearing underwear she hadn't paid for on Feb. 5, according to police and was charged with retail theft. Security told police that DeValk entered a department store fitting room with underwear and a pair of slippers and left around 12:30 p.m. without paying. She was confronted by security.
Young Phone Book-Tossing Hooligans
On Feb. 6 at 9:40 p.m., a juvenile flagged down a Mokena patrol car at Front and Division streets and told officers people the car ahead of them had just hit him with a phone book while he was walking. The officers stopped the car, which was being driven by Dylan S. Schedin, 17, of the 11000 block of Elmwood Court. There also were two 16-year-old males, two 15-year-old males and eight phone books in the car. The teenagers told police they had gotten the phone books from the Front Street Metra station but denied throwing the books at anyone. Schedin was arrested and charged with juvenile possession of tobacco, failure to signal, unlawful number of passengers and operating an uninsured vehicle. The passengers were charged with breaking curfew.
Elderly Birdseed-Tossing Hooligan
A distracted driver motoring down the wrong side of 95th Street and throwing birdseed out the car window almost struck a pedestrian on Feb. 10 in Oak Lawn.
According to Oak Lawn police, the pedestrian, a village employee, was familiar with the man from previous incidents involving bird feeding and was concerned that it was becoming a problem again. The employee told police the village had cited the man before for raising pigeons at home. The village employee took a picture of the man with his cell phone and gave it to police. When police went to the man’s house, they found him asleep in his car and bags of birdseed in the back seat.
The man denied throwing birdseed from his car window. Police informed him that they had a photograph of him doing it and he'll be in big trouble next time.
Hummer Hub Cap Banditos
After a string of catalytic converter thefts off vehicles last week, the car part du jour for thieves this week was hub cap covers. In three separate incidents this week, which police say could possibly be connected, hub cap covers were taken from cars parked in New Lenox. Two of the cases occurred at the Metra lot at 300 Church St., where the catalytic converters were taken, and a third incident was in the parking lot of the nearby Walmart, 501 E. Route 30.
One person reported that the covers were worth about $200.
"Everything is of value to someone," Deputy Chief Bob Pawlisz of the New Lenox Police Department said.