Tuesday, September 2, 2014

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 Sector 1. 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.



* * *


Rodrigo Medellin
Cicero Police announced that they have arrested a 31-year-old man they believe to be the "No Boundaries Bandit" (a criminal who has robbed a dozen banks--including four on the Southwest Side--over a wide swath of the Chicago area between May 16 and Aug. 31).

Cicero police said they "immediately identified" Rodrigo Medellin "after viewing his images and recognized him as an individual who they had long suspected of involvement with local street gangs," according to a statement posted online.

Police said they "immediately began tracking his known whereabouts and tracked him to Broadview, near Roosevelt Road and 18th Street on Sunday. He was apprehended and then arrested at 3 p.m., following a short vehicle chase and then foot chase. The FBI was immediately notified. Medellin was found in possession of a firearm at the time of the arrest. Police recovered one loaded Tec 9 automatic weapon with a 30-round magazine."

According to Cicero Police, Medellin was charged with multiple counts of armed robbery: felony aggravated assault to a police officer; felony aggravated fleeing and eluding police; felony aggravated unlawful use of a weapon by a felon; multiple traffic violations and a parole violation warrant.

His vehicle was towed and impounded.

Police added that Medellin is suspected in the robbery of the following banks:

Aug. 31, TCF Bank, 800 N. Harlem Ave, River Forrest
Aug. 21, 2:08 p.m. at BMO Harris, 9101 Cermak in Riverside
Aug. 15, 6 p.m. at Chase Bank, 100 W. North Ave. in Northlake
Aug. 11, 1:17 p.m. at Park Federal Savings, 5400 S. Pulaski, Chicago
July 16, 2:35 p.m. at Popular Bank, 1700 W. Lake in Melrose Park
June 25, 4:50 p.m. at TCF Bank, 5320 S. Pulaski, Chicago
June 24, 5:06 p.m. at Chase Bank, 1700 N. Wells, Chicago
June 19, 4:33 p.m. at Charter One, 4001 South Harlem in Stickney
June 11, 3:13 p.m. at Washington Federal Bank, 2869 S. Archer, Chicago
Jun. 6, 4:50 p.m. at PNC Bank, 6650 W. Cermak in Berwyn
May 27, 1:27 p.m. at TCF Bank, 6315 W. 55th Street, Chicago
May 16, 5:14 p.m. at PNC Bank, 4900 W. 87th St. in Burbank.


Officials at the FBI's Chicago office have acknowledged only that a suspect is in custody.


* * *

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* * *

33-year-old West Elsdon man has been charged in connection with a shooting that
Luis Gonzalez
occurred a Cook County Forest 
Preserve soccer field that injured one man, Cook County Sheriff Thomas J. Dart said Monday.


Luis Gonzalez of 55th and Kolin is charged with aggravated battery with a firearm, reckless discharge of a firearm, and vehicular invasion. He is scheduled to appear in bond court on Tuesday at the Cook County Circuit Court facility in Bridgeview.

Dart said that at about 5:15 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 31, Cook County Sheriff’s Police detectives were notified of a shooting that took place at a Cook County Forest Preserve soccer field located near 147th and Ridgeland, in Oak Forest.

It was reported that approximately 2,000 people attended a soccer match there. According to the Sheriff’s Police investigation, at the conclusion of the game, a man fired a gun, 
injuring a 47-year-old Harvey man. The victim was taken to an area hospital, where he was treated for non-life-threatening injuries and was later released.

Dart said that Gonzalez attempted to flee in another person’s vehicle, but was apprehended by Oak Forest Police, who arrived to assist the Cook County Forest Preserve Police already on scene.

* * *

Want to work directly with Chicago Police to prevent crime in your neighborhood? If you live in Beat 815 or 821 (see map), come to St. Bruno School (south entrance) at 7:00 p.m. Wednesday, September 3. 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.



A 29-year-old Palos Hills man was shot as he stood on a sidewalk in front of 3715 W. 57th Street at 11 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 30.

Police said that the victim is an admitted gangbanger originally from the 53rd and Albany area in Gage Park. He was shot twice in his lower right leg and transported by CFD ambulance to Christ Hospital, where he was listed in stable condition.

The shooter was described only as a Hispanic man wearing a black hoodie.


* * *

An 18-year-old Clearing man, described by police as a gangbanger, was stabbed in the back by a group of three rival gangbangers as he stood on a sidewalk in front of 5550 W. 63rd Place at 9 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 30.

The victim was transported by CFD ambulance to Christ Hospital. He said the trio of hoodlums shouted gang slogans and then fled in a gray pickup truck. They are described only as Hispanic men age 30-40.

A 44-year-old woman walking to a local grade school to pick up her children was robbed by an armed thug on a bicycle. The crime occurred at 2:35 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 28.

The offender rode up, showed a handgun in his waistband, and robbed the victim of her purse, wallet, cell phone and $1,000 cash--she told police. The criminal then rode away north, then east on 63rd Street. Police later found the bike abandoned in front of 4149 W. 63rd Street.

The crook is described as a black man age 18-20, 5'7 and 155 pounds, brown eyes, black afro-style hair, medium complexion, with tattoos on both arms.


* * *

Burglars cut through a chain link fence, drop a pick-up truck to a loading dock and stole assorted copper pipes from a warehouse at 4025 S. Keeler. The crime occurred at 3:13 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 28, according to police. An employee said that the offenders fled after they saw him watching them.


* * *

Burglars entered the back door of a home near 59th and Hamlin and stole $8,360 cash from a safe. The crime was discovered by the victim, a 59-year-old woman, at 10 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 28.

A 25-year-old Chicago Lawn man told police he was robbed at gunpoint by a pair of thugs who accosted him as he stood at a CTA bus stop near 63rd and Cicero at 9:50 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 26. The hoodlums stole his wallet, $60 cash and his cell phone and then ran east on 63rd Street. The victim said he later saw them in a black Cadillac Escalade. They are described only as Hispanic men age 20-23.


* * *

A 23-year-old Archer Heights woman said she was robbed as she walked down a sidewalk in front of 4032 W. 48th Street at 2 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 28.

She said a man grabbed her from behind, pulled her hair and tried to take her purse. She succeeded in hanging onto her purse, but the bandit snatched a $100 bill from the purse before fleeing on foot. She refused medical treatment and told police that the thug later came back and asked her, in Spanish, "How much for sex?"

The offender is described as a Hispanic man age 40, 5'7 and 160 pounds, brown eyes, short black hair, medium complexion.


* * *

An 18-year-old West Lawn man was arrested and charged with unlawful possession of ammunition. Police on patrol said they saw Gerardo Martinez of 62nd and Kilpatrick try to hide several rounds of ammunition in a pay-phone coin return at a gas station at 4700 W. 63rd Street at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 27.

Martinez, described by police as a gangbanger, is set to appear in Cook County Circuit Court Branch 34, 155 W. 51st St., on Oct. 3.



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Monday, September 1, 2014

Southwest Side Neighborhood Calendar


Wednesday, September 3rd Vittum Park Civic League
Starts at 7:00 p.m. at Vittum Park, 5010 West 50th Street. Monthly meeting. Open to the public. If you live in or own a business in Vittum Park, stop by and get active!


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Wednesday, September 3rd CAPS Beat 815/821 Meeting
Starts at 7:00 p.m. at St. Bruno School (south entrance), 4839 South Harding. Monthly meeting. Open to the public. Want to work directly with Chicago Police to prevent crime in your neighborhood? If you live in Beat 815 or 821 (see map), attend this 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.


Thursday, September 4th CAPS Beat 834 Meeting
Starts at 7:00 p.m. at Bogan High School, 3939 West 79th Street. Monthly meeting. Open to the public. Want to work directly with Chicago Police to prevent crime in your neighborhood? If you live in Beat 834 (see map), attend this 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.

Wednesday, September 10th Chicago Neighborhood History
Starts at 6:00 p.m. at the Clearing Branch Library, 6423 W. 63rd Place. Open to the public. Join author Mary Zangs as she discusses her new book about Chicago neighborhoods, "The Chicago 77." With more than 200 neighborhoods divided into 77 community areas, Chicago offers a dazzling and daunting challenge to ambitious tourists and lifelong citizens. Did you know that Humboldt Park isn't even in Humboldt Park or that three mayors not named Daley have also hailed from Bridgeport? Confused about the exact boundaries of West Elsdon or curious about the origins of the famous Second City Theater? Colorful and fun presentation!

Wednesday, September 10th CAPS Beat 812 Meeting
Starts at 7:00 p.m. at the St. Symphorosa Church, 6135 South Austin. Monthly meeting. Open to the public. Want to work directly with Chicago Police to prevent crime in your neighborhood? If you live in Beat 812 (see map), attend this 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.

Wednesday, September 10th Archer Heights Civic Association
Starts at 7:30 p.m. at the UNO Veterans Memorial Campus, 47th and Kildare. One of Chicago's oldest and most effective neighborhood organizations--more than 75 years of fighting for a better neighborhood! If you live in and/or own a business in Archer Heights, this is the group to join and get active with. Hear updates on a wide range of community concerns and learn how you can help build a better Archer Heights for everyone.

Wednesday, September 10th Honor Flight Chicago
Held in the evening at the first-floor baggage claim area of Midway Airport, 57th and
Cicero. Want to join hundreds of other people to applaud, cheer, whistle and shout your thanks to World War II veterans returning from a day in Washington, D.C.? Well, please do! Patriotic, pep rally-like atmosphere. The vets usually arrive at about 9-9:30 p.m., but to get a good spot in the cheering throng, you should arrive at about 7-7:30 p.m., Entire event hosted by the Honor Flight Chicago organization, which gives Chicago-area military veterans (primarily World War II) free round-trip air transportation (as well as VIP treatment) to Washington, D.C. to tour the National World War II Memorial. Chick here to read a story about an Honor Flight Chicago participant. Can't make this event? After this, just one more Honor Flight coming this year: October 29.

Thursday, September 11th CAPS Beat 814 Meeting
Starts at 7:00 p.m. at Vittum Park, 5010 West 50th Street. Monthly meeting. Open to the public. Want to work directly with Chicago Police to prevent crime in your neighborhood? If you live in Beat 814 (see map), attend this 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.

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Monday, September 15th Garfield Ridge Neighborhood Watch
Starts at 7:00 p.m. outdoors at St. Daniel the Prophet Parish, 53rd and Natoma.
Monthly meeting. Open to the public. One of Chicago's most active and effective citizen-led crime fighting groups. If you live or own a business in central or western Garfield Ridge (anything west of Central Avenue), this is the group to join! Invited guest speakers this month are 14th Ward Alderman Edward M. Burke, 13th Ward Alderman Marty Quinn and 23rd Ward Alderman Michael R. Zalewski.

Tuesday, September 16th CAPS Beat 811 Meeting
Starts at 7:00 p.m. at Good Shepherd Presbyterian Church, 5550 South Merrimac. Monthly meeting. Open to the public. Want to work directly with Chicago Police to prevent crime in your neighborhood? If you live in Beat 811 (see map), attend this 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.

Wednesday, September 17th Garfield Ridge Civic League
Starts at 7:00 p.m. at Risen Savior Church, 6059 S. Archer. Monthly meeting. Open to the public. This month: installation of officers by State Senator Martin Sandoval (D-11th), plus the senator is expected to deliver a "state of the district" address and talk about plans for a railroad underpass at 54th and Central. Free off-street parking, coffee and snacks. More information at garfieldridgecivicleague.org.

Tuesday, September 23rd CAPS Beat 813/833 Meeting
Starts at 7:00 p.m. at West Lawn Park, 4233 West 65th Street. Monthly meeting. Open to the public. Want to work directly with Chicago Police to prevent crime in your neighborhood? If you live in Beat 813 or 833 (see map), attend this 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.

Wednesday, September 24th Midway Garden Society
Starts at 6:00 p.m. at the Clearing Branch Library, 6423 West 63rd Place. Runs until
8:00 p.m. Monthly meeting. The Society hosts guest speakers and also conducts plant exchanges, publishes a newsletter, stages an annual Urban Garden Walk every summer, and works to make the Midway area a more beautiful and peaceful place by encouraging gardening among people of all ages. Check them out!

Wednesday, October 15th Garfield Ridge Civic League
Starts at 7:00 p.m. at Risen Savior Church, 6059 S. Archer. Monthly meeting. Open to the public. This month: Dawn Caetta, principal of Kinzie School, is scheduled to discuss the school as it is today, as well as future plans. Based on the “Endurance Achievement”  award bestowed by the GRCL on a 2014 Kinzie graduate, Caetta will emphasize the programs CPS now has in place at Kinzie to address students struggling with disorder and disability in their lives while attending full time classes. Free off-street parking, coffee and snacks. More information at garfieldridgecivicleague.org.

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Saturday, August 30, 2014

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 Sector 1. 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.



* * *


A 27-year-old West Side man is in custody after he allegedly was found in possession of
Aldridge A. Gardner
crack cocaine and heroin while in a car stopped near 52nd and Central.


Aldridge A. Gardner of the 1500 block of North Francisco is held on $75,000 bond by the Cook County Department of Corrections and is next set to appear in Cook County Circuit Court Branch 48, 155 W. 51st St., on Tuesday, Sept. 9.


Police on patrol at 9:36 p.m. Monday, Aug. 11 said they stopped a car in the 5500 block of West 52nd Street after the driver, Candice F. King, 22, of 45th and Lavergne, reportedly failed to signal a turn. She was also cited for driving without a license and no proof of insurance.


According to the CPD incident report, Gardner told police that the drugs were his, allegedly saying, "All that sh~t is mines. She don't sell that sh~t. I does." Police said that two plastic bags with crack cocaine fell from Gardner's pants legs, and that six smaller bags of heroin were found in his left shoe.


* * *

An 18-year-old Scottsdale man is in custody after he allegedly led police on a brief but high-
Omar Rangel
speed chase through a crowded parking lot at the Jewel-Osco at 6107 S. Archer at 7:36 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 5


Omar Rangel of 84th and Kilbourn is held on $75,000 bond by the Cook County Department of Corrections and is next set to appear in Cook County Circuit Court Branch 2, 2650 S. California, on Tuesday, Sept. 2.

Police said on patrol near 55th and Austin said that a woman told them that Rangel's SUV had just hit her vehicle and was traveling north on Austin. Police said that Rangel's vehicle turned east at Archer and then south into the Jewel-Osco parking lot, crashing at the south end of the parking lot, near 55th Street.

Police said that when Rangel refused to exit the SUV, he was physically pulled through the window opening in the driver's side door and then taken into custody---which brought applause from citizens at a CAPS 811 audience earlier this month, when the arrest was announced by CPD as a success story.

There were two passengers in Rangel's vehicle, police added. One escaped and the other was reportedly found with an open can of beer between his legs.

* * *


Cesar Ortiz
A 21-year-old Garfield Ridge man was arrested and charged with obstruction of justice/disorderly conduct after he allegedly tried to stop police from entering a back yard near 55th and Massasoit at 1:26 a.m. Thursday, July 24.

Police responding to a 911 call about a loud party said that Cesar Ortiz, who lives at the home where the party was in progress, blocked their path and claimed they needed a warrant to enter the yard.

Police said that Ortiz is an admitted gangbanger and is currently on parole for criminal sexual assault. According to the Illinois State Police, Ortiz is a registered sex offender and was convicted of committing a crime against a 13-year-old child.


* * *

Want to work directly with Chicago Police to prevent crime in your neighborhood? If you live in Beat 815 or 821 (see map), come to St. Bruno School (south entrance) at 7:00 p.m. Wednesday, September 3. 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.


* * *

Burglars entered the unlocked patio door of a home near 55th and Kilbourn and stole a safe, a necklace and about $3,000 cash. The crime was discovered by the victim, a 39-year-old man, at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, August 26. He said he had left home at about 10 a.m. to go get breakfast at a local restaurant.

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Thursday, August 28, 2014

TIF Illumination Project Sheds Light on Tax Increment Financing in 23rd Ward

By Joan Hadac
Editor and Publisher
Southwest Chicago Post

Proponents of Tax Increment Financing (TIF) describe it as an innovative public financing method that is used as a subsidy for redevelopment of economically blighted areas and other community-improvement projects--and that it ultimately strengthens a community's tax base, attracts private investment, and increases economic activity.

Critics in Chicago often claim that the TIF concept has been twisted nearly 180 degrees over the last three decades, calling TIF revenue "Chicago's shadow budget" and/or a political slush fund used by elected officials to take tax dollars out of the pockets of working men and women and dole out corporate welfare to those with political connections--kind of a Robin Hood in reverse.

To shed light on the situation, Move 23 Forward and Martin Arteaga, 23rd Ward aldermanic candidate, hosted a seminar led by the TIF Illumination Project at Kennedy High School on Wednesday, August 27.

The event itself was not well attended. Just about two dozen
people in an auditorium that can seat about 775. But thanks to the video shot and posted by the Southwest Chicago Post and others, thousands will see and hear this important message online.

Our thanks to the TIF Illumination Project, Move 23 Forward, and Martin Arteaga for bringing this discussion to the Southwest Side--especially when others could have, but didn't.

Enjoy...






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Monday, August 25, 2014

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 Sector 1. 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.


* * *


A 27-year-old Gage Park man is credited by police with chasing, disarming and
Wojciech Muzia
apprehending a 23-year-old West Elsdon man who allegedly robbed a woman at gunpoint at about 2 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 23.

Wojciech Muzia of 59th and Lawndale is charged with aggravated robbery and is set to appear in Cook County Circuit Court Branch 48, 155 W. 51st St., on Friday, Aug. 29.

The victim, a 37-year-old West Lawn woman, told police that she was accosted by Muzia on the sidewalk in front of 3709 W. 59th St. He allegedly asked, “What’s you name, b~tch?” and said “Give me your f~cking money” while brandishing a handgun that turned out to be a Daisy brand pellet gun, according to police.

The victim said she told Muzia that she had no money, but that he could have her purse, which he allegedly took.

The 27-year-old Gage Park man, who told police he witnessed the crime, was armed with a pistol and holds a concealed carry permit. He said he confronted Muzia and ordered him to drop his weapon. Muzia then allegedly threw his weapon under a car parked nearby and fled on foot. The witness said he chased Muzia, tackled him and held him until police arrived.


* * *

Want to work directly with Chicago Police to prevent crime in your neighborhood? If you live in Beat 813 or 833 (see map), come to West Lawn Park at 7:00 p.m. Tuesday, August 26. 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.


* * *

Two men said by police to be gangbangers were arrested and charged with assault after they allegedly threatened a 23-year-old Clearing man as he walked down a sidewalk in front of 6255 S. Neenah at 4:22 p.m. Monday, Aug. 18.

Blake I. Castro, 22, of 60th and Mulligan, and Jonathan Castro, 19, of Marquette Park, were apprehended by police after the allegedly shouted gang slogans at the victim and threatened him with crowbars.

The victim said he ran away, grabbing a brick along the way to defend himself. Castro also was charged with possession of narcotics, police said, after they allegedly found a plastic bag containing pills in his vehicle. The victim is also a gang member, according to the police report.



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A 63-year-old Clearing man told police that he stumbled upon an intruder in his apartment near 62nd and Oak Park at 12:07 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 23. He told police that the man, an 18-20-year-old friend of his daughter, had broken a lock on his bedroom door and stole a Nintendo Wii video game console before fleeing on foot. The victim shared the man’s name with police, who were investigating.

While a 46-year-old West Lawn man worked outside his house near 62nd and Kedvale at 5:40 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 20, burglars pried open the back door and stole $900 cash from a spot in the kitchen, he reported to police.

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Burglars entered the unlocked service door of a garage near 64th and Meade and stole a bag of tools, two bicycles and a Movado watch. The crime was discovered by the victim, a 39-year-old woman, at 7 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 23.

* * *

Burglars entered the rear window of a home near 56th and Tripp and stole a laptop computer and an air conditioning unit. The crime was discovered by the victim, a 60-year-old woman, at 3:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 21.

* * *

Burglars kicked in the service door of a garage near 51st and Lorel and stole a bicycle and a hand jack, as well as damaged a 2011 Subaru parked inside. The crime was discovered by the victim, a 23-year-old woman, when she came home from work at 4 p.m. Monday, Aug. 18.


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