Three men are facing a variety of charges, including some felonies, after arguing about whether to travel through Oak Lawn to get to Chicago Ridge.
One of the men told police that he didn’t know it was a stolen car that the three men were in until they stopped at a red light at 95th and Western on their way to the Chicago Ridge Mall. At the stoplight, the one man said that the two other men began arguing about the best route to the mall.
Most people would say that heading west on 95th Street would be the best way, but according to one of the men, the driver, Jeremiah Burns, didn’t want to take 95th Street because he didn’t want to be caught driving a stolen vehicle by the suburban police departments.
In order to make it to Chicago Ridge, the trio would have to drive through Evergreen Park, Oak Lawn and arrive in Chicago Ridge. Despite the argument, the car made it through Evergreen Park and the trio decided to stop at Portillo’s at 4020 W. 95th Street in Oak Lawn.
After ordering their food, they left and pulled into a McDonald’s at 6034 W. 95th Street after seeing an Oak Lawn police squad behind it. The officer noticed that the car and ran the license plate number finding that the car had been reported as stolen. The officer alleged that Burns cut across three lanes of traffic to pull into the McDonald’s lot.
As Burns was in the drive thru, the officer pulled in front of the car and approached the car on foot. According to the officer he asked the men what they were doing and Johnathon Bell, a front seat passenger, allegedly said “we’re getting McDonald’s”. The officer was suspicious because the trip to Portillo’s had reaped the rewards of cheeseburgers and fries which were allegedly being consumed at the time.
When the officer asked Burns who the car belonged to he allegedly said, “I’m rented it”.
The men were checked for valid licenses and identifications. Burns didn’t produce a license and when the officer checked, he reported that Burns had a suspended license. He was taken into custody.
While speaking with the men, the officer reported smelling cannabis, which probably wasn’t inconsistent with their multiple stops for food.
A search of the vehicle, which had been confirmed stolen, found a small white baggie, an Ecstasy pill, and cannabis in a Portillo’s cup in the backseat. The cannabis weighed 19.3 grams.
A search of the Burns found credit cards that had different numbers than those listed on the card. A green leafy substance that police believed was cannabis was also allegedly recovered from Burns.
A search of Bell found two TCF debit cards and a Visa Debit card with Bell’s name on it but with different credit card numbers.
Burns told the police that he was approached by a man named DK Dinero who asked him to hold onto the car while he went to Miami. Burns claimed that he agreed to pay DK Dinero $500 to drive the car while he was in Miami. Burns couldn’t provide contact information for DK Dinero or the date of his expected return.
Bell also made a statement saying he didn’t know the car was stolen. He allegedly told the police he was “given” the fraudulent credit cards by “Mark” who Bell knows from the streets of Dolton. He allegedly told the police that it is common in Dolton for people to give away credit cards. His name was on the cards.
The third man, Godfrey Johnson, admitted that the cannabis in the back seat was his marijuana. He was given a village ordinance violation ticket.
Bell, a 28 year old black man from Dolton, was charged with a felony, unlawful possession of fraudulent credit cards and a misdemeanor, criminal trespass to a motor vehicle.
Burns, a 29 year old black man from Dolton, was charged with felony possession of a stolen motor vehicle, felony unlawful possession of fraudulent credit cards, felony possession of a controlled substance, misdemeanor criminal trespass to a motor vehicle, and misdemeanor unlawful display of registration. He was also issued citations for driving with a suspended license, not having insurance, and improper lane usage.