A 26-year-old Chicago man charged with felony weapons offenses said he was unaware that two guns, one of which had been reported stolen, were inside the center console of a black Lincoln Continental — which itself was stolen – that he attempted to enter outside the North Riverside Park Mall, 7501 Cermak Road, on Feb. 20 at about 4:45 p.m.

According to the police report, an officer on patrol at the mall saw the Lincoln unoccupied and backed into a parking space near Entrance 2. The vehicle had no front license plate and on the back was what turned out to be a fraudulent temporary Indiana registration tag.

The officer did a computer check of the vehicle identification number, which showed it was registered to a rental company in Boston. Police confirmed that the company had reported the car stolen last September.

Two men approached the vehicle as police waited nearby. As the men attempted to enter the vehicle, police pulled up in front of it. The person who was entering the driver’s side door immediately began running south while the man entering the passenger door began walking away.

The driver eluded capture, but police detained the passenger, later identified as Donald Banana. Inside the car, police reported finding a .40-caliber semiautomatic pistol loaded with 17 rounds and a .38-caliber pistol loaded with four rounds. Both were located in the car’s center console.

The .40-caliber gun had been reported stolen out of Kentucky last November, police said. Banana reportedly denied knowing the vehicle was stolen and said he did not know there were guns in the car. 

He reportedly told police that someone he knows only by a nickname drove the car and picked him up in Chicago.

The Cook County State’s Attorney charged Banana with a felony counts of being an armed habitual criminal, possession of a stolen firearm and aggravated unlawful use of a weapon. He was also charged with a misdemeanor, criminal trespass to a motor vehicle.

Banana remains in custody at Cook County Jail, awaiting trial.

Stolen plow truck rams through gate

A pickup truck outfitted with a snow plow that was stolen from a North Riverside car dealership on Feb. 17 was recovered two days later, according to police.

Surveillance video showed that someone drove the blue 2001 GMC Sierra 2500 off the lot at Castle Buick, 7400 Cermak Road, by ramming through the front gates at about 9:55 p.m.

The pickup was reported recovered on Feb. 19 at about 11 p.m., but police did not note the location where it was found.

Ain’t moving

Brookfield police responded to the 9400 block of Rochester Avenue on Feb. 20 at 1:30 p.m. after someone called to complain that a funeral at the Czech Mission Church was being interrupted by two drivers, a 33-year-old woman and an 85-year-old man, blowing their car horns at one another while refusing to back up to let the other through on a narrow street with cars lining both sides.

A police officer was able to get one of the drivers to back up, resolving the issue without further incident.

 Roof collapse

Riverside firefighters and police responded to a residence in the 200 block of East Burlington Street on Feb. 20 at about 5 p.m. after getting a report of a collapsed garage roof.

No one was inside the garage and no vehicles were inside the garage when the roof, which had a large amount of snow on top of it, collapsed, according to police.

Felony DUI for man passed out in car

A 46-year-old Chicago man faces felony drunken driving charges and was cited for other offenses after North Riverside police found him passed out inside his red Nissan Altima, which was stopped in the roadway on First Avenue, straddling the Golfview Avenue turn lane on Feb. 20 at about 6:30 p.m.

When police arrived, they reported that the vehicle was running and in gear. The driver, identified as Roberto Vivero-Lujano was not wearing a seatbelt, said police and his foot was on the brake. The officer positioned his squad car to stop the Nissan from rolling forward and he attempted to wake up Vivero-Lujano by pounding on the window multiple times.

Vivero-Lujano eventually woke up and it took several attempts to get him to put the car in park, said police. Vivero-Lujano appeared very intoxicated, according to police, who observed an open box of beer and open beer cans inside the car. 

In addition, said police, Vivero-Lujano did not possess a valid driver’s license. The Cook County State’s Attorney approved charging Vivero-Lujano with aggravated DUI. He was cited for improper parking on a roadway, illegal transportation of open alcohol, for having no valid license and for not wearing a seatbelt.

These items were obtained from police reports filed by the Riverside, North Riverside and Brookfield police departments, Feb. 15-21 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