A Gary, Ind. man was charged with aggravated unlawful use of a weapon, a felony, after a Riverside officer discovered a loaded handgun in his car during a traffic stop on Dec. 27.

According to the police report, Alan C. Estrada, 43, was pulled over when an officer running a license plate check at 26th Street and Harlem Avenue at 9:24 p.m. discovered that the license plate on Estrada’s 1994 Cadillac actually registered to a Chrysler vehicle.

When asked for his driver’s license, Estrada reportedly produced an Illinois Department of Corrections ID and a check of his name showed his driver’s license was suspended. After arresting Estrada for driving on a suspended license, Officer James Lazansky allegedly found a loaded, chrome semi-automatic handgun, with a round in the chamber, in the center console of the vehicle.

Estrada reportedly claimed the gun belonged to his wife. In addition to the felony weapons charge, Estrada was also cited for possessing a handgun without a firearms owner’s ID and driving an uninsured vehicle.

Forgery/drug offense
?Brookfield police charged Stickney resident Paul K. Ragosta, 32, with three felony counts after Ragosta allegedly passed a forged Vicodin prescription at the CVS Pharmacy, 8911 Ogden Ave. on Dec. 28 at just before 7 p.m.

A pharmacist called police to the store, reporting Ragosta was in the drive-thru lane. The pharmacist had previously called the Chicago doctor whose name was on the prescription, and was told Ragosta was not his patient and that the prescription was phony.

When apprehended, Ragosta allegedly had the Vicodin in his possession and told police that he had received the prescription blank from a man at an Alsip flea market and that he originally had the prescription filled on June 22, 2005 at CVS. Subsequently, police said, Ragosta admitted receiving two other refills on that same prescription. Ragosta reportedly said the prescriptions were phoned in by an unknown man and that he paid $25 to another unknown man each time for that service.

Ragosta was charged with possession of a controlled substance, forgery and unlawful possession of a controlled substance.

?Brookfield police reported that sometime between Dec. 22-27, someone broke into a 1995 Dodge Ram pickup truck parked at Truck Works of Brookfield, 8928 47th St., and removed $1,600 worth of items, including a Chicago pneumatic 1-inch air impact tool, a half-inch air impact tool and an air buffer.

?Brookfield police charged Larry D. Lozano, 51, with retail theft after he allegedly stole $65 worth of items from Osco, 9139 Broadway Ave. on Dec. 22 and then returned to the store the next day.

Lozano, who in November was released from the Vienna Correctional Center where he was serving a sentence for retail theft, allegedly walked out of Osco just after 6 p.m. on Dec. 22 with a grocery cart containing a microwave and two cases of beer that he hadn’t paid for. He was last seen walking southbound down Park Avenue, and store surveillance cameras showed he met a second man, who followed him through the parking lot.

At 5 p.m. on Dec. 23, Lozano showed up at the store and was recognized by an employee, who phoned police. Lozano was apprehended walking westbound on Broadway Avenue. The employee later identified him as the man who allegedly stole items from the store on Dec. 22.

Due to Lozano’s previous history?”60 arrests, including 26 for larceny?”he was charged with felony retail theft. As of last Thursday, he was in Cook County Jail.

?Brookfield police charged Eric P. Golesteanu, 31, who listed his address as the Pioneer Motel, 8835 Ogden Ave., Brookfield, with theft after an ex-girlfriend claimed that he took $21 from her without her permission. According to the report, Golesteanu’s girlfriend said that she would allow him to retrieve a shirt from her room at the motel, but that he also took the money from a blue bag in the room.

?Riverside police reported that sometime between Dec. 21-23, someone forced entry into the boiler room of an apartment building in the first block of Forest Avenue and removed a metal key box containing keys to all 32 apartments in the building. The thief also made off with an old industrial grinder and various hand tools.

?Riverside police charged Summit resident Jose Presa, 24, with driving under the influence after an officer reported seeing his Pontiac swerving from lane to lane while southbound in the 3200 block of Harlem Avenue at 9:24 p.m. on Dec. 23.

According to the report, Presa told the officer he had four beers and a shot at a Christmas party. He reportedly failed field sobriety tests and a breath test revealed a blood-alcohol level of .166, twice the legal limit. In addition to DUI, he was cited for improper lane usage, driving without a valid license and driving an uninsured vehicle.

These items were obtained from police reports filed by the Riverside and Brookfield police departments from Dec. 21 through Dec. 28 and which represents a portion of the incidents to which police responded. Unless otherwise indicated, anyone named in these reports has only been charged with a crime. The cases have not yet been adjudicated.

?”compiled by Bob Uphues