Park Forest, IL-(ENEWSPF)- Park Forest Police announced Wednesday the arrest of three men and a juvenile charged in connection with the alleged armed carjacking of a disabled military veteran. Each man is held on a $2.5 million bond, according to a statement from police.
After an investigation that spanned months, police said Devonte M. Mauldin, a 22-year-old resident of Country Club Hills; Zhaquez S. White, a 22-year-old resident of Monee; DeMarco D. Dillon, a 21-year-old resident of South Holland; and a male juvenile have been arrested and charged in connection with the alleged carjacking, police said in the statement.
According to police, on May 29, 2022, at about 4:30 pm, Park Forest officers responded to the 100 block of Monee Road to investigate a report of an armed vehicular hijacking. That residence is located in the Will County section of Park Forest, police said.
Upon arrival, police said the alleged victim, a disabled military veteran, said he was parking his vehicle in his garage when he was approached by two masked men who brandished handguns with extended magazines, according to police. The men allegedly pointed the handguns at the victim and demanded his vehicle and cellular phone, police said. The complainant complied, and the men allegedly fled the area in his vehicle, according to police.
Park Forest officers immediately began to track the vehicle using a GPS tracking device that was installed inside the vehicle, police said. A short time later, Troopers with the Illinois State Police located the vehicle in South Holland and were able to arrest the driver and passenger after a short foot chase, according to police.
The alleged offenders were identified as Mauldin and a male juvenile. Since the reported crime occurred in the Will County section of Park Forest, the Will County State’s Attorney’s Office was consulted and approved a charge of aggravated vehicular hijacking, a Class X felony, against Mauldin, police said. The male juvenile was petitioned to juvenile court on the same charge, according to police. While the juvenile was eventually released from custody, Mauldin was indicted on additional charges and remains currently in custody at the Will County Adult Detention Facility with a $2.5 million bond.
During a subsequent investigation that involved numerous search warrants and what police said entailed hours of combing through records, recordings, and other data, Park Forest Detectives identified Mr. Dillon and Mr. White as alleged participants in the carjacking, according to the statement.
On November 3, 2022, with assistance from the Will County State’s Attorney’s office, arrest warrants were issued for Mr. Dillon and Mr. White. Mr. Dillon’s arrest warrant was included two counts of aggravated vehicular hijacking, a Class X felony, and one count of aggravated possession of a stolen motor vehicle, a Class 1 felony, according to police.
Mr. White’s arrest warrant contained the same charges as Mr. Dillon’s, with the added charge of conspiracy to commit aggravated vehicular hijacking, a Class 1 felony, according to police. Bond was set at $2.5 million for each.
Mr. White, who was already in custody at the Will County Adult Detention Facility in connection with other charges, “was immediately charged,” according to the statement.
Finally, Mr. Dillon was arrested on December 20, 2022, by the Frankfort Police Department during a traffic stop, police said. Both men remain in custody at the Will County Adult Detention Facility on a $2.5 million dollar bond each, according to police. Police said their investigation revealed that these men were allegedly riding in a stolen car and actively seeking other vehicles to steal or carjack when they allegedly committed this crime, according to police.
“The Park Forest Police Department would like to remind criminals that we will do everything possible to arrest and charge individuals who commit violent crimes in Park Forest,” police said in the statement. “Sometimes it may take days, or weeks, or months, but justice will be served.”
Police in Park Forest expressed gratitude to “our partners in law enforcement and the Will County State’s Attorney’s Office for their assistance with this investigation,” the statement concluded.
About Police Reports
Please note that we repeatedly say “according to police” in these reports and often use “allegedly.” We are not asserting in any way that those police arrested and charged committed any offenses. We report on what is in the reports that the police furnish to us. As those accused are innocent until proven guilty, the burden is on prosecutors and police to prove all alleged crimes.
eNews Park Forest has continuously published the addresses of those arrested and will continue to do so. 5 ILCS 140/2.15 states that the governmental body (for these reports, the Police Department), shall release information on those charged, including their name, age, and address. This information is necessary to ensure the proper identity of those arrested.
Presumption of Innocence
An arrest does not mean that a person is guilty. The law presumes all those whom police arrest are innocent until proven guilty. It is the policy of eNews Park Forest not to remove items from the public record from publication. Suppose you find your name in the police reports. Our policy is that we will only add information relevant to the final disposition of the case at hand, e.g., “Mr. Smith was subsequently acquitted,” “Mr. Smith entered a guilty plea,” or “All charges against Mr. Smith were subsequently dropped.” We will do so upon receiving and verifying proof of such disposition.
We do not strike, “unpublish,” or delete news.
Police captured all the incidents in this report on body-worn and dash-mounted cameras by officers at the respective scenes, according to police. All Park Forest police officers wear body-worn cameras. Officials typically abbreviate these devices as BWC in the reports.
We encourage persons wishing to leave anonymous information on any criminal matters, including narcotics or gang activity, to call the Park Forest Police Department Investigations Division at (708) 748-1309.