Police: Cigarettes sting leads to 4 arrests


ELMHURST – Police ran a tobacco compliance check Nov. 11 at multiple Elmhurst businesses, and four people were charged with selling cigarettes to minors. According to Elmhurst Commander James Gandy, the compliance checks are done quarterly with a grant from the Illinois Liquor Commission. The funding is used to enforce the laws against selling cigarettes and liquor to minors.

The compliance check was done in one day with help from volunteers from the police explorer and peer jury programs.

Minors went into businesses in Elmhurst and tried to buy a pack of cigarettes. The volunteers were sold tobacco in only four businesses of about 36 to 40 that were visited, according to Gandy.

“The majority are in compliance,” Gandy said.

The clerk that sold the cigarettes to a minor receives a citation. The police report is sent to City Hall where liquor licenses are managed. The city decides how to deal with the infraction and can fine the business.

Rachel Abata from the Shell Oil at 654 W. North Ave., Bobin Babby from the Shell Oil at 301 W. Butterfield Road, Tomy Mathew from the Shell Oil at 103 W. Third St. and Kristan Williams from Jewel-Osco at 153 E. Schiller St were charged with unlawful sale of tobacco to a minor, according to police reports.

“We provide businesses with information before we do [the compliance check],” Gandy said. “Officers make personal contact and give them a packet that encourages them to card anyone under 30.”

Elmhurst police do the educational visit one or two weeks before conducting the tobacco compliance check.

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