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Phone scam fails to fool Palos Park woman; calls cops

Phony “officer” claimed her grandson needed Moneygram

Palos Park police are investigating a telephone scam that targeted an elderly Palos Park woman Wednesday afternoon last week.

Police said the woman received a phone call at about 1 p.m. from a man who claimed that her grandson was being held by Canadian authorities, just north of Niagara Falls. The caller, who identified himself as “Officer David White, told the woman her grandson needed $5,740 bond to be freed from jail. He told the woman to “Moneygram” that amount to her grandson in Canada, and then call back at 1-888-217-1840 with her Moneygram receipt number. The woman was also told not to let her grandson’s family know of “this embarrassing situation” he supposedly was in.

The woman immediately contacted the Police Department, which is now working with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, both of which are investigating the nationwide and international scam.

Police Chief Joe Miller said: “Never give any banking or personal information over the phone to anyone!”

In other Palos Park police news, Felipe D. Vasquez, 28, of Woodridge, was arrested at 2:25 a.m. Dec. 16 and charged with driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol, illegal transportation of alcohol and no valid driver’s license after he was stopped in the 13000 block of La Grange Road, police said. Vasquez was allegedly driving at a high rate of speed, had a burnt out taillight and was weaving in and out of lanes, according to the police report. When the vehicle was pulled over, police observed extensive damage to the rear of the vehicle, considered to have occurred recently. Vasquez was charged with improper lane use and operation of an uninsured motor vehicle. He also had three outstanding warrants for failure to appear in court. He was transported to the Cook County 5th District Municipal Courthouse in Bridgeview for a bond hearing.

Incident reports

Cash and jewelry were stolen in the burglary of a home on Laughry Lane between 2 p.m. and 9:45 p.m. on Dec. 4. The victims estimated that $200 in cash and various pieces of jewelry valued at about $5,000 were stolen from an upstairs bedroom. The front door and storm door were forced open by a tool, possibly a large flat head screwdriver, and the door frame was ripped apart, according to the police report.

A mailbox was knocked down between 7 and 11 p.m. Dec. 9 in the 12300 block of Forest Glen Boulevard, police said. The victim believes a car that was parked across the street that night had backed into it, according to the police report.

A car drove over the lawn of a home and struck a tree in the yard at 1 p.m. Dec. 16 on North Woodland Trail. The vehicle continued across the lawn back onto Woodland Trail before it entered Southwest Highway, police said.

An attempted burglary of a vehicle reportedly occurred between 10:30 a.m. Dec. 15 and 11:30 a.m. Dec. 16 in the 10030 block of West 127th Street, police said. On Dec. 16, the victim felt an open draft coming from the passenger side door. There were pry marks on the top portion of the door, but it does not appear that entry was made at any point, according to the police report.

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