Tribune photo illustration

Tribune photo illustration (Nancy Stone / Chicago Tribune)

The Nazi and Ku Klux Klan fliers distributed in a shopping center parking lot two weeks ago weren't the first to appear in Orland Park. There have been eight reports of KKK and Nazi paraphernalia being seen or distributed in Orland Park since January 2012, police records show.

Orland Park police Cmdr. John Keating said police can't be sure whether they were distributed by members of either organization or a prankster. Regardless, Orland Park's status as a regional retail center might make it an attractive place to post handbills, Keating said.

"We have a higher concentration of people and vehicles," he said.

In January 2012, an employee at Orland Square Mall found two pages of what police described as "White America" propaganda and a business card with "KKK" on it on her car, police reports show.

Nearly six weeks later, two people reported finding cards touting the KKK on cars parked outside their homes, according to police incident reports. The fliers were found on consecutive days at homes four miles apart, but they named the same organization with an Arkansas address.

In January 2013, police looked into reports that someone was putting fliers with "Nazi-type sentiment" on vehicles in a South La Grange Road parking lot but found no fliers and no one distributing them, records show.

A month later, a manager at P.F. Chang's China Bistro, at 14135 S. La Grange Road, told police another manager had found fliers with the American Nazi Party symbol, website address and the words "white power" on cars outside the restaurant, according to police records. In November 2013, three diners at Red Lobster, at 14750 S. La Grange Road, found fliers promoting the KKK, police records show.

An American Nazi Party flier similar to that found at P.F. Chang's was found in a Trader Joe's shopping cart at 14924 S. La Grange Road shortly after a customer found a handbill advertising the Racial Nationalist Party of America on their car in January 2014, police records show.

Another American Nazi Party flier was found on a car in the Michaels parking lot, at 15102 S. La Grange Road, two weeks ago, along with a KKK flier, police said. An Orland Park woman later told the Tribune that she found a slip of paper the same day that said "we must secure the existence of our people and the future for white children" from an organization claiming ties to the American Nazi Party. She said she found the paper on her car outside Red Robin, at 15503 S. La Grange Road.

The challenge with investigating fliers is that as long as they don't contain threats, no crime is committed beyond ordinance violations that prohibit posting handbills on vehicles in an attempt to cut down on litter, Keating said.

"But we do encourage people to call us because we want to ensure the public isn't alarmed or disturbed by this type of thing," he said. "If we could determine who was responsible for posting a solicitation, whatever it might be, they'd be cited accordingly."

lzumbach@tribune.com

Twitter @laurenzumbach