Friday, August 3, 2012

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.

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What apparently started as a traffic stop over a driver failing to wear a seat belt turned into a chase that resulted in an overturned van and two Leclaire Courts men in police custody.

At about 7:15 p.m. Wednesday, August 1, police attempted to stop a 2003 Pontiac minivan with Indiana license plates near 61st and Austin. According to a CPD incident report, the driver---21-year-old Dimitris Baldwin of 44th and Leclaire---was found to be driving without a valid driver's license and with eight pending traffic tickets.

Dimitris Baldwin
Police said that Baldwin bolted, speeding north on Austin and blowing stop signs and lights at 61st, 58th, 57th and 55th, before speeding east on 55th Street and then turning into and speeding north through the Jewel/Osco parking lot at 55th and Mayfield.

Baldwin then reportedly blew a red light at Archer and Mayfield, striking another vehicle in traffic and finally flipping onto its side on the sidewalk on the northeast corner of Archer and Mayfield, adjacent to the Mayfield banquet hall.

Police said that both Baldwin and his passenger (24-year-old Keyon Berry, also of 44th and Leclaire) crawled out of the vehicle. Berry allegedly attempted to flee into traffic but was apprehended almost immediately at the scene. He was charged with reckless conduct.

Baldwin reportedly ran east through an alley and then north through backyards on the 5300 block of south Menard, hopping fences in an attempt to elude police. A short time later, after an intense police search involving at least six CPD units, a 21-year-old woman in a house near 53rd and Menard reported that she saw a man fitting Baldwin's description run into her enclosed rear porch. Police arrived on the scene and found Baldwin hiding behind a closet door. He resisted arrest, police said, and was Tasered, subdued and taken into custody.

Chicago Fire Department personnel administered first aid to Baldwin at the scene and then transported him to Holy Cross Hospital for additional treatment.

According to police, Baldwin was charged with aggravated fleeing, criminal trespass to a residence, and resisting arrest.

Several motorists at Archer and Mayfield took and posted photos of the overturned minivan. Here are two:

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Want to join your neighbors in a public show of strength against crime? Take part in the National Night Out Against Crime, which is set for Tuesday, August 7. There will be two observances in the Eighth District: one from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. at West Lawn Park and another (hosted by the Clearing Night Force) at Hale School and Park (with a prayer vigil starting at 6:30 p.m. and a neighborhood motorcade starting at 7:00 p.m.)

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A 78-year-old Clearing woman was robbed as she walked on the sidewalk in front of 6459 West 63rd Street, at 11:30 a.m. Monday, July 30.

A thug walked up to her from behind, pushed her head forward, and ripped a gold chain with crucifix off her neck before fleeing.

The woman did not call police immediately, but reported the crime two hours later at the CPD satellite office at the Clearing Branch Library. She described the criminal as a white man, 25-26 years old, 6'0 and 200 pounds, sandy hair, wearing a red shirt and blue jeans,

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Burglars climbed a six-foot wooden ladder, broke through a vent, dropped down through a ceiling and stole a TV and about $300-$400 from the Quo Vadis Fellowship Club, 5701 West 63rd Street. The burglars also damaged a coin-operated billiards table when they broke the coin box.

The crime was discovered by the victim, a Stickney man who heads the club, at 8:30 a.m. Sunday, July 29.

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A 19-year-old Little Village man was arrested and charged with attempting to burglarize a West Lawn home at about noon Monday, July 30.

Oscar Macias was allegedly one of three men trying to break into the side window of a home near 61st and Kolmar.

A 21-year-old man living at the home told police he heard the crime occurring and confronted the trio---chasing them to 60th and Kolin before police arrived and apprehended Macias. The other two escaped and were described only as white Hispanic men.

The victim scuffled with the three and said he was punched in the face and mouth by Macias; but refused medical attention.

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Burglars removed an air conditioner from a window of a home near 50th and Lawndale, crawled inside and stole a TV, a desktop computer, several video game systems, three gold necklaces and $800 cash.

The crime was discovered by the victim, a 56-year-old woman, when she she came home from work at 4:00 p.m. Monday, July 30.

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Burglars removed an air conditioner from a side window of a home near 50th and Ridgeway, crawled inside and stole assorted jewelry and a Sony PlayStation 3 video game console.

The crime was discovered by the victim, a 35-year-old man, when he came home from work at 5:00 p.m. Monday, July 30.

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Burglars removed an air conditioner from the window of a basement apartment near 51st and Kilpatrick, entered and stole two TVs, a laptop computer, assorted jewelry, and various personal identification papers that included a Mexican passport.

The crime was discovered by the victims, a 37-year-old man and his family, when they came home at 2:00 a.m. Sunday, July 29.

When interviewed by police, the landlady (who lives in the first-floor unit) said she had heard noise coming from the basement unit; but incorrectly assumed it was her tenants.

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A 54-year-old man was robbed at gunpoint as he sat in front of his home near 72nd and Millard at 8:35 p.m. Friday, July 27.

Two thugs walked past his house and then doubled back---putting a pistol to the back of his head and going through his pockets before fleeing on foot east on 72nd Street and then north in the adjacent alley.

The robbers took the man's wallet, $200 cash, an iPhone, and his house and car keys.

The victim described the criminals as black boys ages 16-17.

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A 15-year-old Garfield Ridge girl was robbed of her cell phone as she was walking from Curie High School at 12:40 p.m. Thursday, July 26.

As she walked on the sidewalk in front of  5010 South Pulaski, a teenage thug rode up on his bicycle, pushed the victim to the ground, grabbed her phone and rode away.

Ashamed of being a victim, she waited a day before telling her 54-year-old mother---who then contacted police. The girl told police she thinks she knows the name of the attacker, and provided it to them. She said she thinks he is a former Curie student.

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An 18-year-old Garfield Ridge man was arrested and charged with two counts of battery after he allegedly hit two men at his home near 58th and Meade at 3:00 a.m. Friday, July 27.

Police responding to a call of a domestic battery said they found Alfredo Perez, bleeding after he apparently punched his fist through a window. While a friend was administering first aid to Perez, he allegedly elbowed the friend in the neck and elbowed the responding police officer in the chest. He was later treated and released from Holy Cross Hospital.

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A 41-year-old Little Village woman visiting a home near Pippin and Hamlin at 6:00 p.m. Thursday, July 26 was robbed of an iPad.

The woman was getting out of her car when a boy with a pistol ordered her to give him her iPad. She did, and he ran away north on Hamlin.

She described the robber as a white Hispanic boy age 14-16, wearing a white t-shirt, tan shorts, black gym shoes and a black bandanna.

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Burglars kicked in the side door of a home near 52nd and Springfield and stole a TV and $500 cash.

The crime was discovered by the victim, a 59-year-old woman, when she came home from work at 1:00 p.m. Thursday, July 26.

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A 28-year-old West Lawn woman was awakened by the sound of a rock hitting a rear window of her home near 60th and Kenneth, at 3:45 a.m. Friday, July 27.

When she went to investigate, she saw her back porch on fire. She grabbed a garden hose and put out the fire by the time police were notified and responded. There was no description of the arsonists.

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Burglars broke through the side window of a garage near 49th and Kilpatrick and stole a 10-speed bicycle.

The crime was discovered by the victim, a 65-year-old woman, 6:15 a.m. Thursday, July 26.

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Want to learn how to reduce your risk of being a burglary victim---and hear useful advice directly from ex-burglars themselves? Attend a free, two-part crime prevention seminar set for 7:00 p.m. Monday, August 20 in the Kennedy High School auditorium, 56th and Narragansett. One part will feature ex-burglars offering tips on burglary prevention; the other will focus on drug and alcohol abuse prevention for teenagers. High school students in need of "community service" hours for school may receive up to four hours' credit for attending the event. The event is hosted by the Garfield Ridge Neighborhood Watch group, and all Southwest Siders---not just Garfield Ridge residents---are welcome to attend.

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