Two caught after chase locks down Oak Park school
Students leave Longfellow Elementary School at the end of the day on Monday, March 18. A search for two burglary suspects in the neighborhood caused school officials to put the building on lockdown earlier in the afternoon. Two men were arrested in Chicago in connectioon with the incident. | Rebecca Bibbs~for Sun-Times Media
Updated: April 22, 2013 11:07AM
OAK PARK — An Oak Park elementary school was locked down for about an hour and a half Monday as police searched for burglary suspects in the area.
Two men were arrested later in Chicago after the chase started near Longfellow Elementary School, 718 S. Highland Ave.
Police had been called after the front door of a home on the 600 block of South Scoville Avenue was kicked in early Monday afternoon.
The presence of a possibly armed suspect in the area led Oak Park police to advise Longfellow School staff to place the school under lockdown.
A lockdown was in plade from 12:35 p.m. to 2 p.m.
“To my knowledge, no students were outside at the time,” said D97 spokesman Chris Jasculca. He said the lockdown did require refusing entry to several parents who had come to the school to pick up children.
Police responded to a call of a burglary in progress on the 600 block of Scoville Avenue. When officers arrived, an older model beige or tan Chevrolet SUV fled the scene.
Police pursued it, and radioed in the license plate, which led them to an address on the 600 block of North Kedzie Avenue in Chicago.
A police squad car was damaged in a collision with the fleeing vehicle, which proceeded east.
Meanwhile another suspect ran from officers, reportedly reaching into his waistband as he fled. A witness reported seeing the man carrying a flat-screen television moments earlier.
Oak Park officers and command staff set up a wide perimeter, bounded by Madison Street on the north and Van Buren Street to the south, from Ridgeland Avenue west to Wesley Avenue.
Forest Park police responded immediately and River Forest shortly thereafter. Berwyn police also were asked to provide assistance.
As police were searching yards and alleys within the perimeter around 1:40 p.m., dispatch radioed that the state police had arrested two men with a large-screen television in their Chevrolet SUV on the 600 block of North Kedzie Avenue in Chicago.
Oak Park police evidence technicians are currently processing the vehicle and have the two suspects in custody.
The rest of the school day should be normal for Longfellow students and faculty.
“We’ll have normal dismissal procedures,” said D97’s Jasculca.