Monday, January 15, 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.

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Vittum Park man charged with murder
A 19-year-old Vittum Park man is due in bond court today to answer charges that he shot
Lewis Pelayo Jr.
and killed a 28-year-old Chicago Lawn man during an argument at a gas station in the 4900 bock of South Cicero at 5:34 a.m. Thursday, January 11.


Lewis Pelayo Jr., of the 5000 block of South Leamington, is charged with one felony count of first-degree murder, two felony counts of aggravated unlawful use of a weapon/Veh/Fir Loaded/No FOID, one felony count of possession of a controlled substance, one felony count of possession of cannabis and three misdemeanor counts of resisting/obstructing a peace officer.

A law enforcement source said that Pelayo confessed to the crime and that police recovered two guns from him during a traffic stop near 5687 S. Archer at about 3:30 p.m. Friday, January 12.


The victim, said by a law enforcement source to be a documented gangbanger, is Miguel Islas, of the 6100 block of South Washtenaw. He was shot 6-7 times, police said, and was dead on arrival at a local hospital.


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Want to work directly with Chicago Police to prevent crime in your neighborhood? If you live in Beat 811 (see map), come to Good Shepherd Presbyterian Church, 5550 S. Merrimac, at 7:00 p.m. Tuesday, January 16 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.

* * *

Woman robbed at gunpoint on 59th Street
A 53-year-old Chicago Lawn woman was robbed at gunpoint as she walked west down a sidewalk in front of 4532 W. 59th St. at 6:05 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 13. The victim told police a thug walked up, waved a pistol and demanded cash and her cellphone. He also threatened to shoot her if she was not quick. The victim surrendered her backpack, which contained her wallet, cellphone, $20 cash and other items. The robber then ran away north on Kolmar. He was described as a black man age 22-26, about 5-foot-9 and 145 pounds, wearing black pants and a black jacket with white lettering on the right front.

7-Eleven manager fights off robber
A 44-year-old manager of the 7-Eleven at 4353 W. 55th St. successfully fought off a robber who invaded his office at about 1 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 10. The victim told police that a criminal armed with a screwdriver tried to choke him. They struggled for about 30 seconds, and then the robber fled with an accomplice who was acting as a lookout. They ran away west, and the robber dropped the screwdriver on the ground. The lookout reportedly stole a cellphone belonging to the convenience store. The offenders were described as black men. One was 48-52 years old, about 5-foot-11 and 180 pounds, with a dark complexion. He wore a black sweater, blue jeans and a black skull cap. The other was 26-30 years of age, about 5-foot-11 and 180 pounds, with a dark complexion. He wore a black jacket, blue jeans and a gray skull cap.



Thug robs bakery
An armed bandit robbed Dunajec Bakery, 5060 S. Archer, at 3:20 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 10. Both a clerk and a witness—two 21-year-old women--told police that the robber initially posed as a customer before he pulled a gun and demanded that the cash register be opened. The clerk complied and surrendered about $200 cash. He then demanded the personal belongings of the two women. When they refused, he ran away north on Kedvale. He was described as a black man age 30-39, about 6-foot-1 and 180 pounds, with a light complexion. He wore a bright green safety vest, black overalls, a black ski mask, black gloves and a black ski cap. A law enforcement source said the robber may be the same thug who robbed a store at 4124 W. 47th St. on Dec. 23.

Bust man--again--for threatening others
A 32-year-old Hearst area man with a history of arrests for assault was apprehended at
Jeffery Bedenfield
9:31 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 13 after he allegedly used a knife to threaten a customer and staff at Dunkin’ Donuts, 4649 S. Cicero. Jeffery S. Bedenfield, of the 4600 block of South Leamington, was stopped by police as he walked west on 46th Street from Cicero. They said they found a knife with a seven-inch blade inside his hoody pocket. The customer he allegedly threatened was gone from the scene, but the Dunkin’ Donuts manager, who told police that Bedenfield has been a problem in the past at the shop, signed a complaint. He was arrested at the same Dunkin' Donuts on Nov. 6 on a similar charge. He is due in court at 51st and Wentworth on March 15.


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Thug uses stick to rob woman
A 43-year-old West Lawn woman was robbed as she stood on a sidewalk in the 3700 block of West 64th Street at 12:10 a.m. Friday, Jan. 12. The victim told police that a criminal drove up in a small white vehicle, got out and threatened her with a stick. She surrendered her purse—which included $120 cash—when the robber raised his arm and appeared to be about to hit her. He then drove away east on 64th Street. The thug was described as a Hispanic man about 5-foot-9, wearing a black skull cap, a black ski mask and a black jacket.

Rehabbers robbed at gunpoint
Three rehabbers working on a vacant home in the 5500 block of South Keeler were robbed at gunpoint at 2:20 p.m. Friday, Jan. 12. The victims—a 56-year-old Wheeling man, a 50-year-old Streamwood man and a 26-year-old Chicago Lawn man—were ordered to lie on the kitchen floor, which they did. The robber then went through their pockets and took their wallets, cellphones, a backpack, a set of earrings and other items. The robber than fled the premises. The thug was described as a black man age 25-30, about 6-foot-1 and 200 pounds, with brown eyes, black hair and a medium complexion. He wore a dark hoody and light-colored pants.


Man robbed behind building
A 53-year-old Lombard man was robbed at gunpoint as he stood in a parking lot behind a building in the 5200 block of South Keeler at 8:40 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 10. The victim told police that a masked thug walked up, put a small revolver to the victim’s head and demanded his belongings. The victim surrendered his cellphone, and the robber fled to a waiting gray Jeep Grand Cherokee, which sped away. The gunman was described only as a black man.

Business owner robbed in vacant lot
A 46-year-old Brighton Park man was robbed at gunpoint as he walked through a vacant lot at 2547 W. 63rd St. at 4:20 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 9. An owner of a nearby business, the victim told police he was walking back to his shop from a nearby store when he was accosted by a gunman who said, “Give me your f~ckin’ wallet or I’ll kill ya.” The victim surrendered his wallet—which reportedly contained $200 cash—and the robber ran west on 63rd Street. The thug was described as a black man age 18, about 5-foot-9 and 150 pounds, with brown eyes, short black hair and a medium complexion. He wore a black ski cap, a black jacket and black pants.

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Roughed up while relieving himself
A 47-year-old Back of the Yards man was robbed at gunpoint in an alley behind 7032 W. 63rd St. at 6:55 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 9. The victim told police he had been waiting for a CTA bus, but walked to the alley to urinate. He said he was then accosted by two men who asked him what he was doing. He said he apologized to the two men, but one put what felt like a gun to the back of his head. The other went through his pockets, and his wallet fell out. The wallet contained $6 cash, and the robber threw it back at him. They both fled in a waiting vehicle. One robber was described as 5-foot-10 and 185 pounds, wearing a black mask and a black hoody. The other was described as 6-foot-2 and 225 pounds, wearing a gray hoody with red letters.

Thug with box cutter robs teen
A 19-year-old West Lawn man was robbed as he walked down a sidewalk in front of 5400 S. Hamlin at 12:15 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 9. The victim told police that a man walked up and asked, “What you is?” He then waved a box cutter and said, “Give me all your sh~t.” The robber then snatched the victim’s bookbag and made him unlock his cellphone. The offender then fled with the victim’s belongings into a vehicle, which sped away. The robber was described only as a white man. There was no description of the vehicle.



Guns, cash swiped from Clearing home
Burglars forced open the sliding glass door of a home in the 6400 block of South Laporte and reportedly stole two handguns and $7,150 cash. The crime was discovered by one of the victims, a 47-year-old man, at 3:20 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 10.

House for sale broken into
Burglars broke into a home in the 5300 block of South Kenneth, damaged some appliances and tampered with a burglar alarm but apparently failed to steal anything. The crime was discovered by the victim, a 45-year-old man, at 9:20 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 10. The victim became aware of a problem when a real estate agent trying to show the home to prospective buyers was unable to get inside.

Homeowner thwarts garage burglar
Burglars fled empty-handed after a 59-year-old West Elsdon man struggled with one of them at his garage in the 5100 block of South Lawndale at 1:20 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 11. Alerted by his sister that a man was trying to break into the garage, the victim ran outside and struggled with the burglar, who had already broken in. He opened the overhead door and fled to a waiting vehicle, which then sped away north through the alley. The burglar was described as a Hispanic man in his late 20s, about 5-foot-6 and 155 pounds, with facial hair and all black clothing.

Storage unit looted
A 33-year-old Archer Heights man visiting his rented storage unit at 4225 S. Pulaski on Saturday, Jan. 6—after a five-month absence—said that a number of his belongings were missing, including two laptop computers and a variety of disc jockey equipment including microphones, speakers, projectors and lights. The police report did not indicate if there was any sign of forced entry. 

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Wednesday, January 10, 2018

New Life for Stan’s Barbershop

Josh Czarny begins new era for popular shop

By Tim Hadac
Managing Editor
Southwest Chicago Post

New life has been pumped into one of the Southwest Side’s oldest businesses, as the venerable Stan’s Barbershop in
Josh Czarny, new owner of Stan's.
Garfield Ridge continues its run with a younger man behind the shears.


Josh Czarny, 35, a lifelong Southwest Sider, now owns and operates the shop a few doors east of Archer and Normandy.

Built in 1965, Stan’s is one of the oldest businesses in Garfield Ridge.

Originally from Brighton Park, then West Lawn, then Garfield Ridge, Czarny graduated from St. Turibius School and went on to Kennedy High School, where he graduated in 2001. He attended junior college and later became a licensed barber.

He has been cutting hair for the last 12 years, 10 at the popular Cutrone Barbershop at 111th and Troy.

“It’s a great place, and the neighborhood loves it,” he said of Cutrone. “They treated me nice, and I did well for myself. I was comfortable there, but in a way I just felt I wanted to get out on my own and see what I could do.”


Czarny said he “had friends in Garfield Ridge who were customers of mine [at Cutrone]; but it was never an easy thing for them to get down to 111th Street. There’s no quick way to get to Mount Greenwood from here. It’s just a lot of stoplights, all the way.”

Last year, someone Czarny knows told him that they saw Stan Podlasek in church and heard him say he was retiring. “So I talked with him on the phone. The rent was really reasonable. It seemed to me he really wanted to keep it a barbershop. He’s been good to me—a good man and a good landlord.”

Much of Stan’s is the same, most notably the teal-colored chairs, spinning barber pole and of course, the iconic blue-neon window sign.

But other things are notably improved, such new flooring and wall coverings that give the storefront a warmer feel. There also are two new wall-mounted TVs, a display of hair-care products and an eye-catching shop logo that incorporates Chicago’s municipal flag.

The goal is a family-friendly atmosphere suitable for young and old. Czarny himself has cut hair for customers of all ages, from a 10-month-old boy getting his first haircut to a 94-year-old man who has been coming to Stan’s for years.

Services offered are similar to the traditional cuts offered by
Hot towels before a straight-razor shave.
Stan Podlasek, with notable additions like fades and other styles, as well as beard trims and hot-towel, straight-razor shaves.


Czarny’s plan is to build a successful shop that one day will be open six days a week, with several full-time barbers.

“I enjoy my work,” he said. “It’s never a grind. I have a nice mix of customers—some from Stan and some new faces. I hope to be here a long time.”

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Sunday, January 7, 2018

Archer Manor Little League Sign-Up Set for Sunday, January 21st at Archer Park

We may be mired in January's chill, but a sure sign of spring is straight ahead: Little League sign up.

Our friends at Archer Manor Little League have asked us to share this poster with you, and we'll gladly do it.

Since 1952, AMLL has provided athletic opportunities for thousands of boys and girls in Archer Heights and West Elsdon. It's one of the best youth sports organizations in the city.

So get your sons and daughters ready and sign them up!

If you don't have children to enroll but want to support AMLL (either as an individual or as a local business owner), donations and sponsorships are always welcome!

Our thanks to everyone at AMLL, especially the parent volunteers who make it all work, year after year. You help help make Archer Heights and West Elsdon a better place to live and raise a family.





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.

* * *

Bust two at McDonald's after man robbed at gunpoint
Two men were arrested and charged with armed robbery after they allegedly robbed a 54-
Cory D. McMullan
year-old Scottsdale man at gunpoint on a sidewalk in the 4000 block of West 77th Place at 1:44 a.m. Wednesday, January 3.


Cory D. McMullan, 19, of the 6600 block of West 95th Street in Oak Lawn, and Devontta T. Wilson, 18, of the 5800 block of West 82nd Street in Burbank, were apprehended as they sat in a Jeep Cherokee idling in the drive-through of the McDonald’s at 5355 W. 79th St., Burbank.

The victim told police that both men, waving handguns, accosted him and pushed him to the ground. They then allegedly went through his pockets, taking his wallet and fleeing in the Jeep west.

The victim called 911 with a description of the vehicle and its temporary license plates.
Devontta T. Wilson
Police in the area said they spotted a vehicle matching the description and followed it west into Burbank. Police said they found a pistol believed to be used in the crime, in the bushes at the McDonald’s drive-through.


The victim was brought by police to the McDonald’s, where he reportedly made a positive identification of McMullan and Wilson. Police said the victim’s wallet was recovered and returned.

Both men were held without bond and are due in court Wednesday, Jan. 10 at 51st and Wentworth.




* * *

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 Church, 6135 S. Austin, at 7:00 p.m. Wednesday, January 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.

* * *

Shotgun to her stomach, woman hands over valuables
A 29-year-old Archer Heights woman was robbed at gunpoint as she walked from her car to her home in the 4600 block of South Komensky at 8:40 p.m. Friday, Jan. 5.

The victim told police that a thug walked up, put a shotgun to her stomach and demanded her cash and jewelry. The victim complied, handing over her wallet, $200 cash and a cellphone.

An accomplice stood across the street, telling the gunman to hurry. The two then ran away west to an alley and then south. Both thugs were described as Hispanic men age 18-22. The gunman was described as heavyset.

Dry cleaners robbed at gunpoint
An armed thug robbed JJJ Dry Cleaners, 4412 W. 59th St., making off with an estimated $600 cash. The crime occurred at about 4 p.m. Thursday, January 4.

The criminal, wearing a black ski mask, grabbed the arm of a 53-year-old woman employee and demanded valuables. He was armed with a pistol. She and another employee, a 51-year-old man, surrendered cash from the till, as well as a jar with assorted coins, and their cellphones.

The thug then said, “If you follow me, I’ll shoot you” and ran away. A witness saw the robber throw the phones in a nearby garbage can. They were retrieved and given back to the victims. The bandit was described as a black man age 28-30, about 6-foot-2 and 200 pounds. He wore black pants with yellow at the bottom, and a yellow construction vest.



Venerable fast-food restaurant burglarized
Burglars broke through the north door of Jacky’s, 5415 S. Pulaski, and stole as much as $300 in cash and coins, according to the owner, a 69-year-old man. The crime occurred between 2:30 and 6 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 6. The restaurant’s cash register also was extensively damaged.

Thrift store burglarized
Burglars broke through the front door of the Salvation Army thrift store, 6434 W. 63rd St., and stole an iPhone. The crime was discovered by police on patrol at about 8 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 6. The burglars dragged a safe through the store, but failed to open it and remove it from the store. They fled out a back door.


garfieldridgenw.com

Burglar sneaks into 7-Eleven office
A burglar entered the side door of 7-Eleven, 5953 W. 63rd St., picked the lock on the manager’s office, entered and stole an estimated $2,600 cash. The crime was reported to police by the manager, a 26-year-old man, at 5:24 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 3—a day after the crime occurred. Surveillance footage showed the burglar to be a black man age 28-35, about 6-foot-1 and 190 pounds with a medium complexion and black hair in a fade. He wore a black coat, gray pants, gray shoes and a black White Sox baseball cap with a gray brim.

Jewelry taken in Archer Heights heist
Burglars forced open the back door of a home in the 4800 block of South Tripp and stole assorted jewelry. The crime was discovered by the victim, a 50-year-old man, at 10:55 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 6.



Vintage Pepsi cooler and more swiped from garage
Burglars forced their way into a garage in the 3600 block of West 79th Place and stole two bicycles, assorted tools, a lawnmower, a leaf blower, a window-unit air conditioner, a portable speaker and a vintage Pepsi cooler. The crime was discovered by the victim, a 36-year-old man, at 4 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 3.

Spa setup stolen from Clearing garage
Burglars forced open the service door of a garage in the 5500 block of West 63rd Place and stole a portable spa tub and a number of related items including two pumps. The crime was discovered by a neighbor who alerted the victim, a 48-year-old woman. The crime appeared to have occurred in the early-morning hours of Dec. 27 but was not reported to police until 9:24 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 2.


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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 West 50th Street, at 7:00 p.m. Thursday, January 11 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.



Elderly woman's TV stolen
Burglars broke into an apartment in the 6200 block of West 64th Place and stole a TV. The crime was discovered by the victim, a 71-year-old woman, at 3 p.m. Dec. 26. 

Burglary reported a month later
A 53-year-old West Elsdon woman told police that someone entered her home in the 5200 block of South Kilbourn and stole a passport and several computer hard drives. She reported the crime on Friday, Jan. 5, but said the items had been missing for a month. Police said they saw no sign of forced entry.


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Sunday, December 3, 2017

Garfield Ridge Neighborhood Watch Lights Community Christmas Tree

By Joan Hadac
Editor and Publisher
Southwest Chicago Post

Thanks to everyone at the Garfield Ridge Neighborhood Watch, as well as the Chicago Park District, the Garfield Ridge Civic League and other co-sponsors, for pulling together a Christmas tree-lighting event at Wentworth Park on Saturday, December 2.

Folks certainly enjoyed taking photos of the little ones by the Christmas tree.


Plus visits with Santa Claus and Frosty the Snowman, and family after family lacing up skates and enjoying Wentworth Park's ice skating rink. A musical touch was added by carolers from local Girl Scout troops.

A tip of our cap, as well, to the hard-working volunteers at GRREAT (Garfield Ridge Retail, Entertainment and Amusement Team) for getting this annual event founded several years ago and running smoothly. We'll always remember that you got the ball rolling.

Police were on hand, as usual, and got the biggest round of applause of the evening, by far--no surprise in Garfield Ridge.

But why, you might ask, is a crime-prevention group running a Christmas celebration? What does that have to do with fighting crime?

Plenty, is the answer, at least indirectly. The more that the good people of Garfield Ridge get off their keyboards, out of the house, onto the streets and into our local parks, the more likely they will crowd out the bad guys and--just by their presence--make our parks safer and better. GRNW knows that, which is why they are into community improvement activities, as well as patrolling our streets and alleys.

Here are a few photos we shot, in no particular order.

Lots of Christmas-season family fun in one of Chicago's very best neighborhoods!

Well done, GRNW!































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Thursday, November 30, 2017

IDOT Hosting Open House on Proposed Changes to I-55, from the Loop to I-355

Just released by the Illinois Department of Transportation:

The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) invites you to attend an open house public meeting to learn about important updates to the preliminary engineering and environmental study (Phase I) for the improvement of Interstate 55 from Interstate 355 to Interstate 90/94 project.

Environmental approval was received by the Federal Highway Administration in July 2016 for one managed lane, which will operate as an Express Toll Lane (ETL) in each direction. IDOT has initiated a new Phase I study to further improve operations and reliability along the corridor by evaluating the addition of a second ETL within the median from east of Interstate 294  to I-90/94 while the section from I-355 to I-294 would remain as one ETL in each direction. The public is invited to attend and provide input on the additional alternative under consideration.

The meeting will be conducted in an open house format. Interested people can attend anytime from 4-7 pm. Exhibits will be on display and an audiovisual presentation will be shown continuously during the meeting. Project team members will be present to discuss the project and answer questions.

Wednesday, Dec. 6
4-7 pm
Toyota Park - Stadium Club
7000 S. Harlem Avenue
Bridgeview

*This meeting is accessible to individuals with disabilities. Anyone needing specific assistance should contact Leisa Niemotka of Images, Inc. at (630) 510-3944 ext. 115. Persons planning to attend who will need a sign language interpreter or other similar accommodations should notify the TTY/TTD number (800) 526-0844 or 711; TTY users (EspaƱol) (800) 501-0864 or 711; and for Telebraille dial (877) 526-6670 at least five days prior to the meeting.







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