Thursday, May 10, 2012

Local Crime Roundup

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.

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Swift and smart policing has led to the arrest of two local reputed gang members and the recovery of well over $1,000 in cash and valuables stolen on Tuesday, May 8 from the Clearing Men's Club, 5752 West 63rd Place.
Timothy Peckler

Charged with burglary is Clearing resident Timothy Peckler, 26, who is scheduled to appear in Cook County Circuit Court Branch 48-4, 155 West 51st Street, at 1:00 p.m. Tuesday, May 15.

Also charged (burglary and misdemeanor theft of lost/mislaid property) is a 17-year-old Clearing resident who was scheduled to appear in Cook County Circuit Court Branch 48-4 on Wednesday, May 9.

Responding to a citizen call to 911 about two suspicious men in an alley, dragging a garbage can filled with appliances, police report that they saw Peckler and a 19-year-old Clearing man---also a reputed gang member---with the garbage can.

Peckler fled when he saw police. He was apprehended after a brief foot chase and brought back to the scene. According to police, Peckler's companion stated that his 17-year-old brother (also a reputed gang member) and Peckler were in possession of stolen merchandise. He led police to his home near 64th and Major, where his 41-year-old mother allowed police to enter and conduct a search of the premises.

The search uncovered a cache of items that might typically be found in a tavern---including 14 bottles of alcoholic beverages, a 37-inch radio/TV/VCR, a Bose Wave music system, and more than 10 dozen individual packages of snack items.

Aware that the Clearing Men's Club, 5752 West 63rd Place, is a short walk from the home, police decided to investigate and found the club's back door pried open and the premises ransacked. They contacted a club officer, a 52-year-old man, who confirmed that the merchandise in the home near 64th and Major had been stolen from the men's club. Additionally, the club representative reported that a total of $1,082 cash had been stolen from three different locations in the club. That cash was recovered from the home.

Also found at the house was a mixer that had been stolen in a local garage burglary several weeks ago. Police contacted the victim, who identified it as his and took possession of it.

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A 24-year-old Clearing man has been arrested and charged in connection with a string of armed robberies committed against cab drivers.

Mark Mascorro

Mark Mascorro is charged with three counts of armed robbery and is scheduled to appear in Cook County Circuit Court Branch 48-4, 155 West 51st Street, on Wednesday, May 16.

In the most recent of the three crimes, Mascorro reportedly called for a cab on the North Side and asked to be driven to an address in Clearing. When the taxi neared the destination, Mascorro then changed the destination to an address near his home near 63rd and Newland, police said. When the vehicle stopped, he allegedly pulled a handgun and robbed the driver of $155.

The dots got connected when police responded to a call of a cab driver who just been robbed of $155 at gunpoint at 2:21 a.m. Wednesday, May 9 near 63rd Place and Newland.

Aware of a string of recent taxicab robberies at that location, police showed the victim a taxi surveillance photo of a man who had recently robbed a cab driver there. The victim said the man in the photo was the same thug who had robbed him.

Police then went to Mascorro's house (near 63rd and Newland) to inform him that he was a person of interest in a recent string of armed robberies. They were met at the door by Mascorro's brother, who let police in and led them to the basement, where Mascorro was. He was escorted outside, where was positively identified by the victim.

At that point, police said that Mascorro admitted guilt and showed police where he had stashed the $155 (under a bathroom sink) and where in the furnace room he had stashed his semiautomatic, blue-steel handgun, which was loaded.

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Burglars broke in a rear window of a home near 61st and Kildare and stole a 27-inch flat-screen TV, a laptop computer, a Sony PlayStation 3, and various jewelry (chains, bracelets, rings and earrings). The crime was discovered at 12:45 p.m. Tuesday, May 8 by the victim, a 31-year-old woman, who returned home, saw an open door and mistakenly assumed that her daughter had returned from school. Upon seeing the home ransacked, she fled the premises and called 911, waiting for police to arrive.

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Burglars broke in a rear window of a home near 60th Place and Springfield and stole an LCD TV, an assortment of jewelry and $1,500 cash. The crime was discovered at 7:00 p.m. Tuesday, May 8 by the victim, a 56-year-old woman returning home from work. Police responding to the call found a chair placed under the rear window and broken glass on the ground.

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A 14-year-old Clearing boy was taken into custody by police in the early afternoon Monday, May 7 after he allegedly cut a classmate with a razor blade during class at Grimes Elementary School, 5450 West 64th Place. The victim, a 13-year-old Clearing boy, suffered cuts on his upper right arm and two fingers of his left hand and was picked up from school by his mother.

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Three men were arrested in connection with a fight with police officers outside a home near 48th and Springfield. Responding at 2:40 a.m. Tuesday, May 8 to a call of several men drinking on the sidewalk and disturbing the peace by talking loudly, officers encountered two men drinking cans of Modelo beer, as well as an open case of Modelo nearby. Upon seeing police, one of the men allegedly became defiant and shouted, "F~ck you. We ain't doing sh~t. We are in front of my house. You can't do sh~t."

When the men refused to respond to the officers' request for identification, the officers began to place them under arrest. During the pat-down, police report, one of the men suddenly resisted, kicking and punching one of the officers in an attempt to escape. The other man attempted to flee into the house, but was tackled on the porch by the other officer.

After brief struggles, both men were subdued and handcuffed. In the struggle, one of the two officers suffered a dislocated shoulder and was transported to Advocate Christ Medical Center.
Mersed Villa

Arrested and charged with aggravated battery was 26-year-old Mersed Villa, a West Lawn resident. Arrested and charged with a misdemeanor offense was 24-year-old Michael Ayala of Archer Heights. Police also cited Ayala's father, 67-year-old Marcelino Ayala, for attempting to interfere with the younger Ayala's arrest.

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Burglars broke into a garage near 57th and Parkside and stole assorted hand tools and an air compressor. The crime was discovered at 7:00 a.m. Monday, May 7 by a neighbor, who alerted the victim, a 64-year-old woman.

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Forty-three-year-old James Miller from suburban Bridgeview was arrested and charged with burglarizing a garage near 66th and Kedvale at around 8:00 a.m. Monday, May 7. Police report that they saw Miller exiting the open garage and driving away in a black Chevrolet Malibu. They pulled the car over in front of 6255 South Pulaski--in the shadow of West Lawn's famous, giant statue of a cigar-store Indian--to investigate and saw a hydraulic floor jack on the seat of Miller's car.

Miller admitted being at the garage, but claimed he was there with permission and to put antifreeze in his car's radiator. Additionally, he claimed that he saw the jack next to a garbage can and assumed it was discarded. Police also found a pry bar in Miller's car.

James Miller

Miller was transported back to the garage, where officers discovered that the overhead door had been pried open, with some of its wheels off the tracks.

The 40-year-old owner of the garage denied that Miller had permission to use the garage; and a 29-year-old resident of the address claimed the jack as his.

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A 52-year-old taxi driver from suburban Palos Hills was robbed at 6:00 a.m. Monday, May 7 near 61st and Kedvale. He had picked up his passenger a short time earlier at 63rd and Archer Road in Summit. The passenger asked to be driven to a home near 60th Street and 76th Avenue. He went into that building for a couple of minutes and then returned to the cab, asking to be taken to 61st and Kedvale.

Upon arrival, the passenger got out and began arguing over the fare. He struck the cab driver across the face and hand with a broken bottle. He then reached in and grabbed $300 cash and fled. The cab driver ran after him down an alley. The two scuffled, the robber dropped the cash and fled through a gangway at 6122 South Kedvale, leaving a trail of blood.

Police arrived to investigate, and a Chicago Fire Department ambulance provided first aid to the victim. Police then transported the cab driver to the residence in Summit, where they were met by Summit Police. A man answering the door said that a co-worker who comes and goes at the address may be the person police were seeking. He provided the co-worker's name and the name of the wheel and tire shop in Summit where they work. Police visited the shop, only to be told the man they were seeking did not show up for work as scheduled.

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Two men from the Little Village neighborhood were arrested in connection with an armed robbery that occurred at 4:30 p.m. Sunday, May 6 at 49th and Pulaski.

Gregorio Reyna

Victor Molinar

The victim, a 29-year-old cook from the Little Village neighborhood, was waiting for a northbound bus at 4901 S. Pulaski when four men in a black, two-door, 1990 Pontiac Firebird pulled up. One of the men was brandishing a hand gun partially concealed with a green shirt draped over it. The man holding the gun ordered the victim (in Spanish) "Give me your phone and all your money, or I'll shoot you."

The victim surrendered his cell phone and $7 cash, and the car drove away north on Pulaski.

Chicago Police sent out a "flash" message to alert units in nearby districts, and police in the 10th District spotted a car matching the description near 26th and St. Louis, and the car was pulled over near 25th and Homan. The victim positively identified the men in the car.

Police found $7 cash in the right front pocket of one of the men. A BB gun was found wedged between the driver's seat and center console, and a green shirt was recovered.

Arrested and charged were Gregorio Reyna, 30, Victor Molinar, 34. Both are reputed gang members, and police noted a "Trust No B~tch, Love No Ho" tattoo on Reyna's lower left arm.

Police questioned the other two men in the car, who said that shortly after the robbery, Molinar had removed the battery from the victim's cell phone, to disable the tracking device.

They also stated that Reyna sold the cell phone for $100 and a Chicago White Sox cap to a salesman at El Barrio Shop, 3414 West 26th Street, and then gave $20 to Molinar.

Police further noted that $20 had fallen out of Molinar's pants when he got out of the car.

Police then visited the store and recovered the victim's cell phone.

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Burglars broke a rear window of St. Peter Lutheran Church, 8550 South Kedvale, stole a public address system and destroyed a camera system. The crime was discovered at 8:00 a.m. Sunday, May 6 by a 73-year-old church trustee.

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Burglars broke into a home near 64th and Lorel and stole a 38-inch TV, a 42-inch TV, a VCR and an Xbox 360 game system. The crime was discovered at 1:40 p.m. Sunday, May 6 by the victim, a 48-year-old woman who had been away for the weekend.

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A burglar broke into a home near 57th Place and Hamlin on Sunday, May 6 and stole a 36-inch flat screen TV. The crime was discovered by the victim, a 22-year-old woman, when she awoke from a nap at 3:30 p.m. and saw the burglar standing over her and holding the TV. He fled out a side door, which he had broken into. The victim described the burglar as a white man, 5'7 and 160 pounds, with short black hair and a light complexion.

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A 32-year-old man who took his family for a day of shopping on Sunday, May 6 returned to his home near 53rd and Tripp at 6:00 p.m. to find a basement window open and a bedroom ransacked. Stolen were seven gold bracelets, 2 gold rings, six gold necklaces, and a set of spare keys to the house.

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Burglars forced open the rear door of a house near 61st and Kenneth and stole two TVs, a laptop computer, Xbox and PlayStation gaming systems, a man's watch and miscellaneous jewelry. The crime was discovered by the victim, a 33-year-old man, when he arrived home at 9:00 p.m. Sunday, May 6.

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  1. As OLD MAN Daley once said. ''SHOOT TO KILL''

  2. What the heck is the Clearing Men's Club?

    1. It's a very old, local fraternal club dating back decades. I just saw a photo of the club from 1952, but I'm sure it goes way back before that. It's a throwback to another era, when neighborhoods across the city---and nation, even---had men's and women's clubs. Its members are local men who are often also members of other groups,like veterans' posts. Good guys.