Another day, another gun arrest at beleaguered Loop parking garage

Score another arrest for the little two-story parking garage at 801 South Wabash. The nondescript structure that has been the site of a murder, multiple gun seizures, and drug busts coughed up yet another gun seizure (and a stolen Range Rover) on June 4, according to police.

Officers on patrol ran the plate on a 2020 Range Rover as it traveled through the loop around 10 p.m. because it had tinted front windows, according to a CPD report. The vehicle reportedly came back stolen from a dealership in Cedar Fall, Iowa.

Police continued to follow the car until its driver decided to park inside the little ol’ garage at 801 South Wabash, the report said. Cops asked the driver and his passenger to step out of the SUV moments later.

Prosecutors said police found a loaded handgun in the driver’s door pocket and another loaded gun in the passenger door pocket. The vehicle identification number on the Range Rover’s dashboard was fraudulent, according to prosecutors.

This boring two-story parking garage at 801 South Wabash is fighting well above its weight class in the downtown crime scene lately. | Google

Police arrested the driver, 20-year-old Larry Buford, and prosecutors charged him with aggravated unlawful use of a weapon and criminal trespass to a vehicle.

His private defense attorney said Buford thought the car belonged to his friend. And, the attorney said, both of the guns in the car belonged to the passenger. The passenger was not arrested, according to a police spokesperson. In fact, CPD said their report doesn’t even mention the second gun or the passenger.

Buford, who has no criminal background, posted a $500 deposit to get out of jail.

His arrest is the latest chapter in the parking garage’s growing list of troubles.

On June 1, a 23-year-old man was charged with having a gun in a car on the garage’s second floor.

On May 9, witnesses reported hearing shots fired near the garage around 3:15 a.m. No one was injured, but police found shell casings inside the garage.

On April 27, police found a gun, pot, and LSD in a fanny pack when they investigated a carload of men who were drinking alcohol in a car at the garage, prosecutors said.

Prosecutors charged 20-year-old Juan Razo with armed violence, resisting police, and two controlled substance counts in that case. Burkhardt told Judge John Lyke that Razo was on probation in Lake County for a gun case and has two juvenile convictions — one for gun possession and the other for reckless discharge of a firearm.

Two nights later, around 9:10 p.m. April 29, cops wandered through the parking garage again and found a minivan running with no front license plate, prosecutors said. When officers looked inside the van, they allegedly saw a scale, 44 grams of cannabis, and small plastic baggies. Jacob Smith, 32, was in the driver’s seat and the butt of a loaded handgun was sticking out of the back of a passenger seat, prosecutors said.

Smith is charged with aggravated unlawful use of a weapon, manufacture-delivery of cannabis, and a motor vehicle title violation. Prosecutors said he’s on probation for another gun case that he pleaded down to a misdemeanor from a felony.

On November 30, 16-year-old Ledon Erwin Jr. was fatally shot inside the parking garage. Police found a handgun in his waistband, according to a CPD report.

Erwin was the front seat passenger of a brand new BMW on the first floor of the garage when two masked men approached around 2:37 a.m., police said. The offenders opened fire, shooting him twice in his face. He was pronounced dead about a half-hour later at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. No charges have been filed in the case.

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About Tim Hecke 5785 Articles
Tim Hecke is CWBChicago's managing partner. He started his career at KMOX, the legendary news radio station in St. Louis. From there, he moved on to work at stations in Minneapolis, Chicago, and New York City. Tim went on to build syndicated radio news and content services that served every one of America's 100 largest radio markets. He became CWBChicago's managing partner in 2019. He can be reached at