Thursday, May 17, 2018

Be Careful After Storm Damage, SW Side Homeowners Advised

Local man serves as homeowners’ advocate

By Tim Hadac
Managing Editor
Southwest Chicago Post

The sometimes-sudden, severe storms springtime brings to the Southwest Side can leave quite a bit in their wake: downed trees and power lines, damaged roofs and fast-talking quick-fix guys who seem to come out of nowhere.

“The morning after the last storm passed, there were
branches, leaves and even a few [roof] shingles on my front lawn,” said Garfield Ridge resident Bill Wajda. “The only thing that wasn’t blown all over the place were the three—three—advertising leaflets from three different guys offering to fix my roof, all stuffed in my storm door.”

Wajda said he didn’t recognize any of the companies named on the leaflets and that none of their phone numbers appeared to be local. He threw all three in the trash.

Such businesses are known as storm chasers. Everyone, from the Better Business Bureau to local chambers of commerce, warn against them.

“Although not all storm chasers are scammers, they may lack the proper licensing for your area, offer quick fixes, or make big promises they can’t deliver,” cautioned the BBB in a recent statement.

“Be careful, check references and make sure you’re dealing
Geno Randazzo (right) and Al Cacciottolo
with a reputable, local business owner with a track record of success,” added Garfield Ridge business owner Al Cacciottolo, who publicly recommended Southwest Side native Geno Randazzo after a recent wave of high-wind storms pounded the area. “Geno will represent you when you deal with your insurance company, he will work to get you what you deserve from them, and his company will make all repairs necessary. Hundreds of the better roofs in this area—homes and businesses alike—are there because of Geno’s work.”


Randazzo’s business, All Exterior Contractors—licensed, bonded, insured and a member of the Garfield Ridge Chamber of Commerce—is known for quality home repairs at a reasonable price.


He also has been visible in the community over the last several years, helping sponsor drives to assist military veterans, local school children and Thanksgiving dinners for senior citizens.

What sets Randazzo apart from others is that he also serves as a public claims adjuster—a licensed professional who can and has gotten insurance companies to pay what they should pay homeowners.

“Just about everybody likes their local insurance agent—it may be a friend, a relative, an old classmate—but all too often, it’s a different story when people have to deal with the big insurance companies,” Randazzo said. “Keep in mind, that big insurance company you’ve been paying premiums to for years and years does not represent you. They represent themselves. I have heard story after story where homeowners had thousands of dollars in storm damage, only to have their insurance company cut them a check in the hundreds. They got short-changed; and since they didn’t know their rights, they didn’t know what to do.”

“What I tell people is, call me first at (708) 705-7900—before you call your insurance agent, before you contact your insurance company to make a claim,” Randazzo added. “I will show you how I will work on your behalf, representing you, to get what you deserve.”

Click here to see two testimonials.




Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Crime News Update

Editor's note: The crime news reported by the Southwest Chicago Post---taken directly from Chicago Police Department incident reports---is not by any means an exhaustive catalogue of all crime reported in the Chicago Lawn (8th) District. For example, it typically does not include news of crimes committed in the eastern and southern sectors of the district---because the Southwest Chicago Post's coverage area is primarily the neighborhoods that border Midway Airport and secondarily because including the relatively large volume of crime news from elsewhere in the district would be a logistical challenge. We make this note to offer a little helpful perspective and remind everyone that while crime is definitely a concern in all parts of the district (as it always has been), crime remains relatively low overall in the western section of the district. May all of us work together diligently to keep it that way. May all of us also remember that a person charged with a crime is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

* * *

Shot in Kildare alley, man says
In what police are describing as a gang-related crime, a 34-year-old Berwyn man said he was shot in the right calf as he walked down an alley in the 4700 block of South Kildare at 10:30 p.m. Friday, May 11. The victim told police he was walking in the alley when he asked another man for a lighter. The other man reportedly replied, “You’re in the wrong area to be asking for a lighter, but I got something for you.” The man then reportedly walked to a gray Jeep, reached under a seat, grabbed a handgun, hollered a gang slogan and fired 5-6 shots at the victim before fleeing. The shooter was described as a Hispanic man age 18-19, about 5-foot-8 and 160 pounds, with a dark complexion and a “bald” hairstyle. After he was shot, the victim said he ran to 47th and Kolin, where he called a woman he knows. She drove to the site, picked up the victim and took him to his home. On Saturday morning, the victim told his mother he had been shot. She transported him to Loyola University Medical Center, where he was listed in good condition. While the victim was at the hospital, Berwyn Police officials said they would take him into custody for burglary and aggravated fleeing, in relation to an unrelated crime.


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Want to work directly with Chicago Police to prevent crime in your neighborhood? If you live in Beats 813 or 833 (see map), come to West Lawn Park, 4233 W. 65th St., at 7:00 p.m. Tuesday, May 22 and attend your monthly CAPS meeting. Hear updates on crime in your neighborhood and learn how you can work with neighbors and police to make the community safer and better for all.



Man beaten, robbed in front of girlfriend
A 40-year-old Englewood man was beaten and robbed as he and his 39-year-old girlfriend walked down an alley behind 4553 S. Lawler at about 3 p.m. Thursday, May 10. The girlfriend told police that they were confronted by four thugs who demanded the victim’s cellphone. When the victim refused, he was punched in the head, knocked to the ground and hit on the back of the head with a brick. The attackers took his cellphone and fled on foot. They were described only as black men age 20-35. The victim was transported by CFD ambulance to Advocate Christ Medical Center, where he was listed in stable condition and was treated for a cut on the back of his head and a broken left wrist.



Charged with trying to rob elderly woman
A 46-year-old Brighton Park man was charged with attempted robbery after he allegedly
Mastache
tried to steal a 67-year-old Archer Heights woman’s purse and bag of groceries. Francisco Mastache, of the 4400 block of South Sawyer, allegedly followed the victim on foot and attacked her outside her home in the 4900 block of South Karlov at 12:30 a.m. Wednesday, May 9. The victim said he punched her in the head as they struggled. The attacker then fled empty-handed. A short time later, police combing the area apprehended Mastache as he walked down a sidewalk in front of 4955 S. Pulaski. He was brought back to the crime scene, where the victim positively identified him, police added. According to public records, Mastache has been arrested 11 times by CPD since 2014, on such charges as violating an order of protection, urinating on the public way, retail theft, criminal trespass to land and unlawful use of a blackjack or knife. 




Police say two men robbed teen girls
A 25-year-old Archer Heights man was charged with one felony count of aggravated robbery
Centeno
after he and another man allegedly used a gun to rob a 13-year-old girl in the 3400 block of West 57th Street at 12:52 a.m. Friday, May 4.


Emanuel Centeno, of the 5200 block of South Kildare, was ordered held on $50,000 bond and was due in court Wednesday at 51st and Wentworth.

Also charged with aggravated robbery was Rudy Mendez, 24, of the 4600 block of South Drake.

Mendez allegedly participated in the robbery with Centeno, and he allegedly robbed a second 13-year-old girl at the scene.

Mendez was ordered held without bond. His next court date is May 29 at 51st and
Mendez
Wentworth.


Police did not say what was taken from the victims or if their property was returned. 

According to public records, Mendez has been arrested five times by CPD since 2014 for such offenses as aggravated unlawful use of a weapon and possession of a controlled substance.









Tow truck crew robs man on 47th Street
A 26-year-old Back of the Yards man was pulled from his vehicle and robbed in a crime that occurred on the street in front of 4702 S. Cicero at 2:10 a.m. Monday, May 14. The victim told police that when he saw a black tow truck’s lights flashing behind him, he pulled over. Two men got out of the tow truck, pulled him from his vehicle and took his valuables, including a cellphone and a wallet with credit cards, $80 cash and other items. The robbers then got back in the tow truck and sped away. They were described only as Hispanic men about 5-foot-10.



More women busted in sweep of Cicero Ave.
Three more women have been arrested in what appears to be a police sweep of streetwalking
DeBerry
sex workers and others on Cicero Avenue, north of Archer—since CPD Supt. Eddie Johnson publicly vowed to the Archer Heights Civic Association that he would lead the way to eliminate prostitution for good in that area.


• Charged with violating a warrant was 20-year-old Claire DeBerry, of the 2200 block of South Ridgeway.

She was arrested while standing in the 5000 block of South Cicero at 2:35 p.m. Tuesday, May 8. Police did not disclose details of the warrant.

According to public records, DeBerry has been arrested four times by CPD in the past 11 months, including a prostitution bust at 61st and Ashland last summer.

• Charged with violating a warrant was 40-year-old Kathy Price, of the 10100 block of South
Price
La Salle Street.


She was arrested while standing in the 4800 block of South Cicero at 6:16 a.m. Tuesday, May 8. Police did not disclose details of the warrant.

According to public records, Price has been arrested nine times by CPD since 2014, including battery and possession of a controlled substance.





• Charged with soliciting a ride on a public roadway was 28-year-old Amy E. Gabris, of the
Gabris
600 block of McAlister Avenue, in north suburban Waukegan.



She was arrested at 47th and Keating at 7:30 a.m. Saturday, May 12. She also was wanted on a warrant. Police did not disclose details of the warrant.













Traffic stop yields hot vehicle, three arrests
An 18-year-old West Elsdon man was charged with felony possession of a stolen vehicle
Mercado
during a traffic stop in the 5700 block of South Keeler at 2:12 a.m. Sunday, May 6.



Roberto Mercado, of the 5500 block of South Kolin, was the driver of the vehicle, which police said had been reported stolen from the 3400 block of West 52nd Street the day before.


Mercado also was charged with two misdemeanors: using an alley as a through-street and driving without a license.


Two passengers in the vehicle were charged with misdemeanor criminal trespass to a vehicle: Marcos German, 18, of the 3800 block of West 57th Street; and Ricardo Reyes, 27, of the 5100 block of South Sawyer.

According to public records, Reyes has been arrested nine times by CPD since 2014, on
German
charges that included reckless conduct, urinating on the public way and possession of a controlled substance.














Reyes















Man busted again for defacing property
A 21-year-old Brighton Park man was charged with misdemeanor “graffiti on CTA” and
Jose Reyes
misdemeanor criminal damage/deface property after he allegedly sprayed graffiti on a CTA Orange Line train at about 3 a.m. Thursday, May 3.


Jose J. Reyes, of the 4500 block of South Archer, was apprehended by police in the 4800 block of South Archer, police said, after a CTA employee told them that he had sprayed graffiti on a train.

According to public records, Reyes has been arrested eight times by CPD since 2015—six times for criminal defacement of property, twice in the same day in June 2016.





Burglars steal, sell man’s scrap
Burglars forced open the service door of a garage in the 4700 block of South Keating and stole $81 worth of scrap copper. The crime was discovered by the victim, a 72-year-old man, at about 5 a.m. Thursday, May 10. Upon discovering the crime, the victim visited a nearby recycling company and learned that the scrap copper stolen from his garage had been sold to the company by a Hearst area man. Police are investigating.
garfieldridgenw.com



Burglars hit garage on Rutherford
Burglars entered a garage in the 5800 block of South Rutherford and stole a lawnmower and assorted tools. The crime was discovered by the victim, a 31-year-old man, at about 3 p.m. Friday, May 11.



Garage burglarized for second time in two years
Burglars pried open the service door of a garage in the 4400 block of South Kilpatrick and stole a snow blower and two toolboxes. The crime was discovered by the victim, a 63-year-old man, at 10:45 a.m. Wednesday, May 9. The victim told police his garage has been burglarized twice in two years.















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Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Senior Center Throws Anniversary Party

Our friends at the Garfield Ridge Satellite Senior Center have asked us to spread the word  about their 22nd Anniversary Party, set for 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday, June 14 at Mayfield Banquets, 6072 S. Archer.

Tickets are $35 per person. There will be a family-style lunch (cream of broccoli soup, tossed salad, roast chicken with dumplings, roast beef with gravy, Italian sausage with peppers, glazed carrots, kolacky, coffee, tea or milk and a cash bar.

Dance music provided by D.J. Chico.

There also will be a raffle, a door prize and a guessing game.

This party serves as a fundraiser for the Southwest Side Senior Service Organization, which runs the Garfield Ridge Satellite Senior Center.

For details, call (312) 745-4255 or click on the flyer below.


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Monday, May 7, 2018

Crime News Update

Editor's note: The crime news reported by the Southwest Chicago Post---taken directly from Chicago Police Department incident reports---is not by any means an exhaustive catalogue of all crime reported in the Chicago Lawn (8th) District. For example, it typically does not include news of crimes committed in the eastern and southern sectors of the district---because the Southwest Chicago Post's coverage area is primarily the neighborhoods that border Midway Airport and secondarily because including the relatively large volume of crime news from elsewhere in the district would be a logistical challenge. We make this note to offer a little helpful perspective and remind everyone that while crime is definitely a concern in all parts of the district (as it always has been), crime remains relatively low overall in the western section of the district. May all of us work together diligently to keep it that way. May all of us also remember that a person charged with a crime is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

* * *

Scottsdale teen beaten with baseball bat
A 15-year-old Scottsdale boy was in stable but serious condition at Advocate Christ Medical Center after he was beaten with a baseball bat by three attackers. The crime occurred just before 11:30 a.m. Saturday, May 5 on the street in front of 8023 S. Kilpatrick. A witness told police that three thugs jumped out of a tan Toyota Camry, beat the victim with a baseball bat and then got back in the car and sped away south. The criminals were described as Hispanic men age 18-22, about 5-foot-10 with short black hair. The victim was taken to the hospital by CFD ambulance. He was treated for broken ribs, a punctured lung and a possible skull fracture.


* * *

Want to work directly with Chicago Police to prevent crime in your neighborhood? If you live in Beat 812 (see map), come to St. Symphorosa School, 6135 S. Austin, at 7:00 p.m. Wednesday, May 9 and attend your monthly CAPS meeting. Hear updates on crime in your neighborhood and learn how you can work with neighbors and police to make the community safer and better for all.


Whacked in head, robbed near home
An 82-year-old Garfield Ridge man was hit in the head and robbed as he left his home in the 5200 block of South Linder at 9:30 p.m. Monday, April 30. The victim told police that three thugs approached him, with one hitting him in the back of the head with a blunt object. They went through his pockets and stole $100 cash, his wallet and a set of house and car keys. The attackers were described only as black or Hispanic men.


Attacker pepper-sprays elderly woman in face
A 74-year-old Garfield Ridge woman was pepper sprayed in the face during an attempted robbery on a sidewalk in front of 5750 S. Archer at 2:15 p.m. Monday, April 30. The victim told police she had just gotten off work and was dropped off at Archer and Lorel by a friend. Moments later, as she was walking home, the attack occurred. As she was struggling to hang onto her purse, a Good Samaritan intervened and scared off the attacker, who fled empty-handed. The victim was transported by CFD ambulance to MacNeal Hospital, where she was treated and released. The attacker was described only as a woman.


* * *

Want to work directly with Chicago Police to prevent crime in your neighborhood? If you live in Beat 814 (see map), come to Vittum Park, 5010 W. 50th Street, at 7:00 p.m. Thursday, May 10 and attend your monthly CAPS meeting. Hear updates on crime in your neighborhood and learn how you can work with neighbors and police to make the community safer and better for all.


Masked man robs cellphone store
A masked bandit robbed the Boost Mobile store at 5101 S. Cicero, making off with about $700 cash. The crime occurred at 3:06 p.m. Saturday, May 5. Store employees told police that a man entered, waved a gun and said, “Don’t move. Give me f~cking money.” He handed employees a paper McDonald’s bag, and they emptied cash registers. The thug then grabbed the bag, exited the store and ran away north on Cicero. The criminal was described as a black man age 25-27, about 5-foot-6 and 130 pounds with a dark complexion. He wore a dark blue hoody, light blue jeans and white gym shoes.




Robbed after visiting his aunt
A 25-year-old Chicago Lawn man was robbed at gunpoint on the sidewalk in front of 4800 S. Cicero at 10:20 p.m. Tuesday, May 1. The victim told police that he had just left his aunt’s home when he was approached by two men asking him if he wanted marijuana. When he ignored them, one of them pulled a gun and demanded his valuables. He surrendered his cellphone, backpack, $100 cash, gym shoes and other belongings, The robbers then ran away. They were described as black men age 25-26, about 6-foot-1 and 180 pounds, with light complexions. One wore a green North Face sweater and blue jeans. The other wore a black sweater and black jeans.


Teen swipes iPhone from store
A young boy or man stole a red iPhone from the T-Mobile store at 5123 S. Pulaski at 3:08 p.m. Saturday, May 5. An employee told police that the thief entered with another person who posed as a customer and asked questions of sales staff. The thief walked behind a counter, grabbed the phone off a display and ran away north on Pulaski. The other person stayed in the store but was asked to leave. The thief was described as a black boy or man age 15-20, about 5-foot-6, wearing a gray beanie, a gray hoodie and gray sweatpants with a Nike logo.




More women busted in sweep of Cicero Ave.
Three more women have been arrested in what appears to be a police sweep of streetwalking sex workers and others on Cicero Avenue, north of Archer—since CPD Supt. Eddie Johnson publicly vowed to the Archer Heights Civic Association that he would lead the way to eliminate prostitution for good in that area.

• Charged with soliciting a ride on a public road was 44-year-old Maricela Gonzalez, of the
Maricela Gonzalez
5000 block of South Kolmar.


She was arrested in the 4800 block of South Cicero at 7:03 a.m. Wednesday, May 2.

According to public records, Gonzalez has been arrested three times by CPD in the past two years: once last month for criminal trespass to vehicles near 47th and Sacramento and one in 2016 for retail theft near 46th and Western.





• At the same time and place, police arrested 42-year-old Vanessa Rincon, of the 1500
Vanessa Rincon
block of South Homan, and charged her with soliciting a ride on a public road.














• Charged with soliciting a ride on a public road was 30-year-old Michelle Sanchez, of north
Michelle Sanchez
suburban Antioch.


She was arrested in the 4800 block of South Cicero at 6:20 a.m. Monday, April 30.











Nab four for reckless conduct on Archer
Four men were charged with reckless conduct after they allegedly caused a disturbance on
Khalil Ramsey
the street in front of 6221 S. Archer at about 2 p.m. Tuesday, April 24.


Arrested were Khalil Ramsey, 21, and Rasann Ramsey, 18, of the 4600 block of South La Crosse; Zion Haygood, 19, of the 6500 block of South Paulina; and Darnell Glover, 18, of the 4400 block of South Lavergne.

Police responding to a “battery in progress” call said they “observed the listed offenders running in and out of traffic while shouting obscenities at another group. They refused orders to stop obstructing traffic and were subsequently placed into custody.”


Rasann Ramsey















Zion Haygood















Darnell Glover














Police investigate arson at barbershop
A fire at the Platinum Fades barbershop, 4718 S. Pulaski, appears to be arson, police said earlier this week. The fire occurred just before 3:15 a.m. Saturday, May 5. The owner, a 31-year-old man, told police that his employees left the business at about 11 p.m. the night before. No one is in custody and no one was injured in the fire, which was extinguished by multiple CFD units.




No sign of forced entry in pizzeria heist
Burglars entered the side door of the Slice Factory pizzeria at 4422 S. Pulaski and stole two 55-inch TVs in boxes. The crime occurred at 11:28 p.m. Monday, April 30 but was not reported to police until three days later by the owner, a 75 year-old North Side woman. There was no sign of forced entry, and surveillance footage only showed that the burglars were men wearing hoodies.



Man fingers former caretaker in burglary
A 67-year-old Vittum Park man reported that someone burglarized his apartment in the 5000 block of West 47th Street, while he was away at a hospital for several days. Taken were a TV, two pistols and a set of knives. The victim told police that a former caretaker stole the items, using a swipe card to gain access to the building and his apartment. When contacted, a North Side caretaking service that employed the 47-year-old man said he had not shown up for work in recent days. The suspect remains at large.


garfieldridgenw.com

No sign of forced entry in apartment burglary
Burglars entered an apartment in the 4400 block of West 55th Street and stole a TV and a video game console. The crime was discovered by the victim, a 23-year-old man, at 12:30 p.m. Thursday, May 3. There was no sign of forced entry, and the victim told police that he had been missing a set of keys to the unit.



Garage burglarized on 58th Place
Burglars forced open the service door of a garage in the 4000 block of West 58th Place and stole a stereo, a speaker and two car tires. The crime was discovered by the victim, a 55-year-old man, at 2:30 p.m. Thursday, May 3.



Cash swiped in Harlem heist
Burglars entered the rear window of an apartment in the 5600 block of South Harlem and stole about $670 cash. The crime was discovered by the victim, a 48-year-old woman, at 4:15 a.m. Saturday, May 5.




Garage burglars flee when they see homeowner
A 41-year-old West Elsdon man scared away two men burglarizing his garage in the 5600 block of South Kildare at 3:30 a.m. Sunday, May 6. The victim told police he was awakened by two loud noises. When he looked out his window, he saw two men burglarizing his garage. They were dressed in black and had pulled up in a black Lincoln truck-like vehicle. When the burglars saw him watching them, they fled without stealing anything.








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