Monday, August 6, 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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An off-duty Chicago Fire Department captain chased, tackled and subdued a 22-year-old admitted gangbanger who allegedly had just attacked a woman on a sidewalk near 84th and Pulaski at 6:18 p.m. Tuesday, July 31.

The victim, a 27-year-old Palos Hills woman, had just finished work for the day at a nearby chiropractor's office and was walking on the sidewalk. She told police she saw the alleged offender, Scottsdale resident Frank Kiriakakis Jr., walking down the street and yelling into a cell phone.

Frank Kiriakakis Jr.
Kiriakakis reportedly punched the victim in the head, grabbed her neck with both hands and body-slammed her to the concrete. The victim later told police she does not know Kiriakakis and had no idea why he attacked her.

As the victim lay injured, Kiriakakis fled. The off-duty captain, a 52-year-old man, chased him down, tackled him and held him as others on the street called 911 and the Chicago Fire Department station at 8026 South Kedzie.

CFD staff responded to assist their comrade and care for the victim. Police arrived and arrested Kiriakakis. They said that he resisted arrest before being brought under control. Later, at the Eighth District Station, Kiriakakis claimed he was having difficulty breathing. He was transported to Holy Cross Hospital.

The victim was transported by CFD ambulance to Christ Hospital, where she was treated for severe head, neck and back pain.

Kiriakakis was charged with one misdemeanor count of battery and one misdemeanor count of resisting/obstructing a police officer.

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Two armed thugs made off with a safe and about $2,000 cash Sunday night when they robbed El Patrón Mexican Grill, 6832 West Archer.

At about 8:35 p.m., the cashier---a 30-year-old Pilsen woman---heard a noise coming from the rear of the restaurant. She turned around and saw two armed men walking in the back door. One looked at her and asked, "Where's the money at?" and then hollered "Open the register!"

She complied, and the robbers removed the cash drawer. She was then ordered to walk into a back hallway and lie down on the floor.

There were two customers in the restaurant at the time---both 16-year-old girls. They were ordered to leave their purses and cell phones on a table and then instructed to join the cashier on the hallway floor. "I promise you won't get hurt," one of the robbers said, the girls told police later. 

The girls complied, and the robbers disabled one of their cell phones by throwing it hard to the floor.

The cook emerged from the bathroom and was asked at gunpoint, in Spanish, where the restaurant safe is. The cook---a 32-year-old Little Village man---led them to the safe; which the robbers then removed.

Just before they fled out the restaurant's back door, they ordered the four victims not to move for 10 minutes.

Multiple police units arrived a short time later to interview the victims and gather evidence at the scene. The restaurant manager was summoned and shared video taken by the restaurant's surveillance system.

The victims described the robbers as white Hispanic men, both about 25-31 years old, 5'5 to 5'7 and 160-200 pounds, both with olive complexions. One was wearing a black zip-up jacket and blue jeans with a white design on the left knee. The other was wearing a black skull cap, a gray hooded sweatshirt with a black skull and black crosses on it, a white t-shirt, dark pants and white gym shoes.

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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.)

* * *

Burglars smashed a glass window in the back door of a home near 54th and Springfield, entered and stole two TVs, assorted jewelry and $800 cash. They also stole two sets of house keys and sets of keys to two cars; one of which, a 1997 Volkswagen Jetta, was stolen from the garage.

The crime was discovered by the victim, a 35-year-old man, when he came home from work at 5:15 p.m. Thursday, August 2 and noticed his front door ajar.

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A 30-year-old woman doing laundry at her apartment near 61st and Kildare left a side door unlocked, which allowed a criminal to enter and steal two toolboxes filled with tools.

She discovered the crime at 9:40 a.m. Wednesday, August 1, when she heard a noise in the basement. When she went to investigate, the crook carrying the toolboxes ran past her and outside, where he jumped on a BMX-style bicycle and rode away.

He dropped both toolboxes in the alley and pedaled away. The victim and a neighbor recovered the items and brought them back where they belonged.

The victim described the thief as a white Hispanic man, 19-23 years old, 5'6 and 180 pounds, with short black hair.

* * *

Burglars broke the lock and kicked in the service door of a garage near 62nd and Keeler and stole a kitchen stove and a dishwasher.

The crime was discovered by the victim, a 40-year-old woman, at 5:00 a.m. Thursday, August 2.

* * *

An 81-year-old woman planning to walk out of her house near 54th and Kildare noticed that someone had bent and broken the knob and lock on the rear door---in an apparent attempt to break in. She also noticed that her window-unit air conditioner was pushed in.

She made the discovery at 11:00 a.m. Thursday, August 2.

* * *

Burglars broke through the service door of a garage near 69th Place and Lawndale and stole a lawn mower and assorted clothes and shoes.

The crime was discovered by the victim, a 45-year-old woman, when she came home from work at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, August 2.

* * *

Burglars pried open the back door of a house near 67th and Hamlin and stole two safes, personal identification papers, assorted jewelry and $5,200 cash, according to the victim, a 48-year-old man.

The crime was discovered at 4:00 p.m. Thursday, August 2 by a relative of the victim, who lives next door. She initially noticed that the overhead door of the victim's garage was open and called him at work to alert him. The victim told police that nothing appeared to be missing from his garage.

* * *

Burglars broke through rear window of a home near 51st and Hamlin and stole thousands of dollars' worth of high-end watches, pens and jewelry; as well as assorted clothing, a DVD player and $650 cash.

The crime was discovered by the victim, a 51-year-old man, when he came home from work at 7:10 p.m. Thursday, August 2.

* * *

A 55-year-old Homer Glen woman checking the vacant Clearing home of her recently deceased mother discovered evidence that the house---near 62nd and Rutherford---had been broken into.

A chair had been placed outside, under a kitchen window, and the window was open. Also, a bedroom window screen had been moved, and blinds were raised. Despite the break-in, the woman told police that nothing appeared to have been stolen.

* * *

Burglars kicked in the side door of a garage near 52nd and Kolin; then opened the overhead door and stole two ladders, a power rodder, assorted hand tools, two bicycles, four car tires, a lawn mower and two lawn chairs.

The crime was discovered by the victim, a 35-year-old man, at 7:30 a.m. Tuesday, July 31.

* * *

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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