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Dine and Dash Leads to Coke Bust: Mokena Police Blotter

Four suspects from Mokena and Frankfort were arrested after eating at Denny's and then leaving without paying. The four were later stopped by Mokena Police and two suspects were carrying cocaine.

Three Frankfort men and one Mokena man might have dodged a Denny's bill, but they couldn't avoid being charged for possession of a controlled substance later the same morning.

James F. Payer, 20. of the 7300 block of W. Braemar Lane, Frankfort, and Ryan A. Smith, 19, of the 8700 block of W. St. Francis Road, Frankfort, Joesph M. Pergolizzi, 29, of the 19400 block of Cherry Street, Mokena, and Andrew J. Coules, 19, of the 7700 block of W. Kingston Drive, Frankfort, were all arrested on charges of theft under $500 following an incident at Denny's, 19099 Old La Grange Road at 2:40 a.m. on Nov. 9.

Smith and Pergolizzi were also charged with possession of a controlled substance.

Officers in the Denny's parking lot watched as a male subject fled from Denny's and then leapt down into a lower parking lot. The officers also saw a white Cadillac exit Denny's parking lot and drive to the lower parking lot.

After witnessing the group's hasty exit, officers followed the Cadillac to another parking lot near 191st and Henry Drive. Police spoke with the driver, Payer, who said he was driving his friends home. While speaking with Payer, Smith said that the subject who ran from the Denny's said he would pay for the group's meal.

The four subjects were asked to exit the car, and officers searched for contraband. Officers noticed Smith throw something under his seat as he stepped out of the car. A search of the car turned up a baggie, which was field-tested and came back positive as 1.8 grams of cocaine.

Officers found a rolled up $1 bill in Pergolizzi's front pocket, which had a white, powdery substance on it. The substance also field-tested positive as cocaine.

All four subjects were transported to the Mokena Police Department, where they were charged. Smith and Pergolizzi were both then transported to the Will County Adult Detention Center.

Smith's bond was set at $100,000 total, while Pergolizzi's was set at $200,000.

Police report information is provided by Mokena Police. Charges are not evidence of guilt. They are a record of police actions taken on a given day, and persons charged with a crime are presumed innocent until proven guilty in court. If you or a family member are charged or cited and the case is subsequently adjudicated, we encourage you to notify the editor. We will verify and report the outcome.

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