Theater Operator Facing Multiple Charges Following Arrest

Kenneth Arron
Kenneth Arron speaks to the Village Board in March 2010, identifying himself as ‘Kenny Yochelson.’ (Photo: ENEWSPF)

Updated at 11:42 a.m. with more video.

Park Forest, IL–(ENEWSPF)– In the 1957 musical The Music Man, Professor Harold Hill arrives by train in River City Iowa and begins to work his a scam convincing parents he can teach their children music. At the end of the comedy when Hill’s fraud is exposed, parents and the town forgive Hill when they hear their children attempt to play Beethoven’s Minuet in G.

Officials in Park Forest are not laughing, however, at the fraud allegedly committed by Kenneth Arron, who represented himself to the community as Kenny Yochelson.

According to a press release from the Village of Park Forest, criminal charges were filed today against the operator of Holiday Star Theater in Park Forest.

Kenny Arron, who had presented himself as Kenny Yochelson since first approaching Park Forest officials in January about taking over the then‐Eagle Theater, was arrested Monday, the release said.

A routine license plate check of the vehicle Arron was driving came back registered to Holiday Star Theater, but with a Lombard address where no theater of that name existed, according to the release. When police investigated the residence where the vehicle was registered, no one of the last name Yochelson was found to have lived there, the release said. Police did locate record of a Kenneth at the address, but with the last name Arron. After being pulled over by Park Forest Police Monday morning, Kenneth Arron quickly admitted his legal name was not Kenny Yochelson ‐‐ the name many in Park Forest including police knew him to have gone by, and was taken into custody, the release said.

At the time of the traffic stop, Arron was driving on a suspended license and without insurance, according to the release.

When questioned as to why he was using a name he had not legally taken on, Arron allegedly related to officers that he had assumed the name Kenny Yochelson out of fear his criminal background would prevent him from doing business in the area.

Police say public records show that Kenneth Arron has served several prison sentences, stemming from various fraud convictions. He was last released in 2004 and has spent a total of at least 18 years in prison, the release said.

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Two Hold Up Man Leaving Birthday Party

Park Forest, IL—(ENEWSPF)— A man told police he was robbed at gunpoint after leaving a birthday party a week ago Saturday. Two armed men approached him and allegedly forced him to the ground while going through his pockets and taking his belongings.

Police are investigating an armed robbery that was reported Saturday, November 17, around 1:30 a.m. in the area of Indianwood Boulevard and Hemlock Street.

The victim said he was leaving a birthday party in the area, walking south from court G6 toward the grassy common area on the south side of court G6. He said he saw two black male subjects walk past him on the sidewalk in the 300 block of Forest Blvd., and they continued walking east but didn’t say anything to him. He said he continued walking on the sidewalk toward Indianwood Boulevard, and while on the north side of Indianwood, he realized that the two subjects were behind him.

As the subjects approached him, they said, "Hey, Cuz!" Then the first subject told him to, "Kiss the ground!" The two then demanded his belongings.

The victim stated that the first subject had an older black "Roscoe" semiautomatic handgun with a round barrel. It was determined that the handgun may be similar to any "Lugar" style handgun. The first subject was described as wearing a "do-rag" bandana, and in the back of his hair he had braids or "twisty" type hair fasteners. He was described as approximately 18 to 23 years of age, and between 5’10" and 5’11" with a dark brown complexion wearing all black. The second subject was described as a black male, approximately 18 to 22 years of age, 5’6" to 5’7", with a light brown complexion, also wearing all black. The victim said the second subject had a black revolver.

The victim stated that he got onto the ground, and the first subject searched his right side while the second subject searched his left side. During the entire time the subjects held their guns to the victim’s head, while he looked facedown at the ground. He stated that one of the subjects hit him in the back of his head with a handgun. The subjects took his black and gray Chicago White Sox jacket, miscellaneous keys, a black Motorola flip phone, and about $162 cash. After the subjects fled, the victim waited a few moments, then he followed the subjects west toward court G5, where he observed a white four-door 1995 or 1996 Pontiac Bonneville leave westbound on Indianwood Boulevard at a high rate of speed.

The victim went back to the party and contacted police.

While searching the area, police located a black White Sox baseball hat and a pack of Newport cigarettes, which the victim indicated were taken from him by the offenders. The items were later packaged for submission to the Illinois State Police Division of Forensic Services for further analysis.

US Cellular No Help

According to the report, Corporal Michael Baugh contacted US Cellular’s Law Enforcement Division, and requested they attempt to locate the victim’s telephone which was taken by the offenders. Corporal Baugh was advised that US Cellular could only map the location of the phone if 911 was dialed. US Cellular also indicated that the general area of the last telephone call could be determined by the location of the cell tower where the call was made from. However, they also said that because there was no threat to the safety of the subscriber, they would not be able to provide the cell tower locations until they received a subpoena, according to police. They stated that this circumstance did not fit their "exigent circumstances" requirement for providing information.

Anyone with information is asked to call 708-748-4700.

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