Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween Fun at St. Joe's Trick-or-Trunk

On Halloween, the Southwest Chicago Post stopped by St. Joseph School's annual "Trick or Trunk" event, a safer and fun alternative to door-to-door trick or treating.

Parents (and a few other parishioners) park their cars close together in the parking lot, then open their trunks/hatchbacks to reveal Halloween decorations.

Immediately after school, SJS students in costume go from car to car, trick or treating with their classmates.

This event is lots of fun. A number of parents and teachers dress up, too.

A handful of photos are posted below. Many of the children are Garfield Ridge residents, as St. Joe's serves the westernmost section of Garfield Ridge, as well as Summit and other communities.

We got a chuckle from Vice Principal Jason Porod, who every year finds a unique costume to wear and persona to adopt. This year he chose to come dressed as his boss, Principal Lawrence Manetti. (Bottom photo.) Priceless!

# # #

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Judge for Yourself on Retention Questions

By Tim Hadac
Managing Editor
Southwest Chicago Post

There are a lot of reasons to like the Democratic Party.

But the ad below isn't one of them.

The ad, placed by Democratic political operatives, has appeared in a number of neighborhood and ethnic newspapers in the city and suburbs. Some of those newspapers in our area are the Southwest News-Herald, the Brighton Park and McKinley Park LIFE, Bridgeport News, Beverly Review, Mount Greenwood Express, Worth-Palos Reporter, Evergreen Park Courier, Chicago Ridge Citizen, and probably several dozen others.

As you will notice, the ad does not disclose what individual or organization paid for it---unlike most political ads. Does that raise a red flag for you? It does for me.

Sadly, the newspapers that accepted these ads (and the $$$ that came with them) chose not to require disclosure. Worse, they chose not to comment about the ad in their newspapers. At least not yet.

So I will.

The list of 50-plus judges in the ad is the same as the one touted by the Cook County Democratic Party:

But what the ad does not say is that seven of the judges have been rated "Not Recommended" by the Chicago Bar Association:

The ad does not say anything about why we should vote "yes" to retain any of the judges. No background information---not even a website where we can go to learn why we should vote "yes" on these judges. To me, the ad has an implied "shut up and vote" tone---a throwback to the bad old days of ward politics.

Further, the ad says nothing about Judge Cynthia Brim, beyond her name.

It does not mention that no fewer than 12 local bar associations---lawyers themselves---have urged voters to cast a "No" vote on Judge Brim's retention.

The Chicago Tribune had a few words to say about Judge Brim and a few other judges seeking retention:,0,6726173.story did the Chicago Sun-Times:

So the obvious question is, why are Democrats---from County Chairman Joseph Berrios all the way to local ward committeemen---urging us to vote to keep poorly performing judges on the bench?

Perhaps they ought to answer that.

Like I said, there are a lot of reasons to like the Democratic Party.

But this ad isn't one of them.

# # #

Monday, October 29, 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.

* * *

A 45-year-old West Elsdon woman heard and heeded the burglar alarm in her garage near 58th and Kolmar, resulting in the arrest of two men on burglary charges.

Gabriel Vera
At about 2:50 a.m. Tuesday, October 23, the woman heard the alarm, looked out a back window and saw a man standing in the doorway of the garage. She woke up her husband, who went out to investigate, saw that the service door had been forced open, and saw two men loading his snow thrower into their vehicle, a red Ford SUV.

The homeowner detained one of the men while the other ran away south through the alley, and then east. Police were alerted and apprehended the man near 59th and Keeler. He was brought back to the scene of the crime, where he was positively identified by the victim.

Charged with burglary were Gabriel Vera, 37, of 50th and Marshfield; and Rasilides Pena, 53, of 45th and Campbell. Their SUV was impounded by police.

Rasilides Pena
Police said that while in custody at the Eighth District station at about 3:45 a.m., one of the two confessed to burglarizing a garage near 55th and Kilbourn prior to the burglary near 58th and Kolmar.

Police said that Items stolen in that burglary were found in the impounded SUV---including two ladders, a bicycle, a scooter and a toolbox with tools inside. The suspect rode with police back to the West Elsdon neighborhood, where he pointed out the garage. Police then alerted a 61-year-old woman at the home, who looked at the items and said they are hers. Additionally, the service door and frame had been damaged.

Also found in the SUV, according to police, were two pry bars.

* * *

A 40-year-old Vittum Park woman heard but ignored the burglar alarm in her garage near 50th and Laporte, resulting in the loss of an air compressor.

The victim told police that she heard the alarm at about 4:30 a.m. Friday, October 26, but mistakenly assumed the batteries were low. She then disabled it.

She later discovered the garage's service door had been pried open, and that the air compressor was gone. Additionally, an ashtray with change in it had been removed from her car. The change was gone, and the empty ashtray was found in the alley.

* * *

A pair of thugs robbed the CVS store at 3957 West 63rd Street of about $5,000 in cash and merchandise.

CVS at 63rd and Pulaski
At 10:55 a.m. Friday, October 26, they walked into the store, displayed hand guns, walked behind the counter and demanded cash and merchandise, a 27-year-old CVS clerk told police.

They saw a 36-year-old Englewood woman talking on her cellphone nearby and ordered her to "get off the phone."

They then gathered up over $1,400 cash, a cache of CTA bus passes worth over $1,150, and cartons of cigarettes valued at over $2,400.

The two robbers then fled east through an alley.

Victims and witnesses described the criminals as black men ages 25-30, 5'10 to 6'0 and 190-200 pounds. One robber wore a brown jacket with white letters on it, and beige pants. The other wore a two-tone flannel jacket and black jeans and white gym shoes.

* * *

A 27-year-old gangbanger from West Lawn was arrested in connection with an attempted armed robbery that allegedly occurred in front of the Family Dollar store at 5711 West 63rd Street at 6:32 p.m. Wednesday, October 24.

Marshall Busby
Marshall Busby of 64th and Kostner allegedly pulled a pocket knife and tried to rob a 22-year-old Clearing man who told police he was selling DVDs on the sidewalk.

Busby allegedly said to the victim, "Give me the movies. Give me what you got."

The victim said the attempted robbery was interrupted when a customer exited the store, saw what was occurring and immediately dialed 911.

Busby then allegedly fled on foot, pursued by the victim. According to police, the victim later pointed out Busby. Police gave chase and apprehended Busby in front of 6335 South Austin. He was brought back to the victim and was positively identified.

* * *

A 35-year-old man from suburban Stone Park has been arrested in connection with a reported "road rage" incident in West Lawn.

Anthony Gonzales, 35, was charged with misdemeanor battery.

At 6:40 p.m. Sunday, October 21, Gonzales allegedly got out of his vehicle in front of 4435 West Marquette Road and used a Fanta pop bottle to hit another motorist in the head while he was still sitting in his car.

The victim, a 34-year-old Oak Lawn man, then got out of his vehicle and punched Gonzales in the head. The victim and a witness then held Gonzales until police arrived.

Chicago Fire Department paramedics treated several cuts on the forehead of the victim and transported him to the emergency room at Holy Cross Hospital.

* * *

A 23-year-old Garfield Ridge man told police that he was robbed at knife point on a sidewalk in front of 5559 South Mayfield at about two minutes after midnight Wednesday, October 24.

The victim said a robber ran up to him and demanded his cell phone and wallet. After saying he was not carrying a wallet, the victim was robbed of a cell phone, an mp3 player and headphones, two sets of keys, a flash drive and a container of lip balm.

The robber was described as a white Hispanic man age 18-23, 5'2 to 5'5 and 150-160 pounds, light complexion, wearing a black hoodie and black pants.

* * *

A 22-year-old West Elsdon woman told police she was robbed at gun point on a sidewalk near 54th and Ridgeway at 2:15 p.m. Sunday, October 28.

The victim was walking to work when a woman approached and asked "Hey, do you have the time?" When the victim looked at her cell phone to check the time, the robber snatched it away from her. The victim tried to snatch her cell phone back, but stopped when the robber pulled a pistol and said "Don't try anything."

The robber then took the victim's purse and fled on foot north on Ridgeway. In the purse were a debit card and $3 cash.

The criminal was described as a black woman age 25, 5'7 and 170 pounds, short black hair, medium complexion, wearing a gray zippered hoodie.

* * *

A 33-year-old Clearing man told police he was robbed and bitten while sitting in his car at a traffic light at Marquette and Kedzie.

At 2:15 p.m. Sunday, October 28, he was approached by a beggar seeking change---but who instead reached in and snatched the victim's cell phone and white braided neck chain.

When the victim grabbed the offender to get ahold of him, the criminal bit the middle finger of the victim's left hand---drawing blood.

The offender was described as a white Hispanic man age 35-40, 5'1. No other information was provided.

* * *

Burglars forced open the service door of a garage near 52nd and Leamington and stole a lawn mower and a leaf blower.

The crime was discovered by the victim, a 46-year-old woman, at 9:00 p.m. Thursday, October 25.

* * *

Burglars pried open the service door of a garage near 68th and Kenneth, broke a window on a 2010 Dodge Charger parked inside and stole a handheld scanner, a pair of Nike Air Jordans, two pairs of sandals, two jackets and several razor blades.

The crime was discovered by the victim, a 35-year-old man, at 6:00 a.m. Tuesday, October 23.

* * *

Burglars entered a side window of a home near 54th and Kolin and stole a cell phone, about $1,000 cash and an estimated $18,000 in assorted jewelry.

The crime was discovered by the victim, a 43-year-old woman, when she arrived home from work at 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, October 23.

* * *

A 34-year-old West Side man visiting his girlfriend's house in Vittum Park foiled a burglary attempt.

At 8:23 a.m. Tuesday, October 23, the man saw two people breaking a basement window at the home near 47th and Lamon. He hollered at them, and they fled on foot.

One of the criminals was described as a white Hispanic man age 18-23, black hair, wearing a green t-shirt, The other was described as a white Hispanic woman age 18-23, long black hair, wearing a black jacket.

* * *

Burglars forced open the service door of a garage near 56th and Austin and stole assorted power tools.

The crime was discovered by the victim, a 40-year-old man, at 1:00 p.m. Thursday, October 24.

* * *

Burglars entered a garage near 49th and Karlov and stole a lawnmower and a toolbox with tools.

The crime was discovered by the victim, a 35-year-old man, at 3:30 a.m. Thursday, October 25 when his neighbor called to tell him that both the service door and overhead door of his garage were open.

* * *

Burglars forced open a rear window of a house near 51st and Keeler, crawled inside and stole about $20 cash from a change purse and about $300 cash from a coffee can.

The crime was discovered by the victim, a 92-year-old woman, which she returned home at 11:40 a.m. Monday, October 22 and saw a wooden sawhorse under the window.

* * *

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Kids Line Archer to See Pumpkin Parade

The annual Pumpkin Parade along Archer Avenue stepped off at 11:00 a.m. today.

The weather was brisk, but the sun bathed everyone with warmth.

We plan to post video on Sunday. (Update: Video posted below.)

Hundreds of boys and girls in costume along the parade route---along with moms, dads, grandmas, grandpas, aunts and uncles.

A fun event, as usual!

While we're editing the video, here are a few stills we shot of some of the boys and girls at the parade.

And here's 24 minutes of video:

# # # 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

CPD Touts Tech Tool to Detect Gunshots

By Tim Hadac
Managing Editor
Southwest Chicago Post

At mid-day today, I stumbled upon a Chicago Police Department press conference at the CPD Eighth District Station. I had just finished up reviewing crime reports and was walking out the door at noon when I caught sight of the event in the community room.

Though uninvited, I walked in to see what was up.

The noon press conference started 22 minutes late, as about 15 or so members of the downtown press (news reporters, videographers and photographers) and various CPD officials waited for Superintendent Garry McCarthy to arrive and then review press conference details in a side room.

The press conference was staged for McCarthy to announce that back in early September, CPD deployed, on a very limited basis, the newest version of wide-area acoustic surveillance system for gunshot detection in several of the highest crime areas in the city.
From the ShotSpotter Facebook page.

Called ShotSpotter, the system essentially features microphones mounted at various outside locations in such a way as to enable police to immediately detect gunshots and their location within (according to McCarthy) a foot. 

(More details in the CPD press release below.)

If it works as advertised, it may wind up being an effective tool for CPD to use to catch criminals it currently does not catch. And if that's the case, the Southwest Chicago Post will be among the first to congratulate and thank Superintendent McCarthy and Mayor Emanuel. Truly.

What does all this have to do with the six neighborhoods around Midway Airport---the neighborhoods served by the Southwest Chicago Post?

Not much---at least not directly.

Officials said that parts of four police districts (including the Eighth District) would be covered by ShotSpotter technology---at least for now. They declined to say what part of the district would be covered---although doubtless, it's the eastern third or so. I'm going to guess anything east of Kedzie and north of 74th Street---but that's just a guess.

And that makes perfect sense, because that's where gun-related violence is at its worst---by far.

In response to an idiotic (and frankly, irresponsible) question from a reporter, police officials declined to give exact locations of the audio sensors---which also makes sense, because gangbangers and others criminals read and watch the news.

CPD officials did not explain why they waited a month and a half to announce the news---but doubtless it was to make sure the kinks, if any, were worked out; and they doubtless wanted to generate some ShotSpotter-related success stories. They did exactly that---and shared a couple, including one of a gun-related incident at 6431 South Talman in which ShotSpotter reportedly gave CPD the edge it needed to quickly arrive on the scene, arrest a couple of gangbangers and confiscate two guns used in a crime.

At the press conference, one reporter expressed a little healthy skepticism by noting that CPD has tried and failed with this type of audio-sensor technology before, from 2003-07. McCarthy responded by claiming that what is now in place is "dramatically" better than what went before, although he did not say how.

McCarthy also said that when he was head of the police department in Newark, New Jersey, he used the same technology successfully---although he did not offer details. He added that Baltimore also uses ShotSpotter---and a top aide produced a list of other jurisdictions that utilize it.

(ShotSpotter has its share of critics, and has been in the news.

McCarthy added that ShotSpotter is especially effective " some of our most distressed neighborhoods, where people hear gunshots and don't even call 911."

He claimed that ShotSpotter is "99 percent accurate" in distinguishing between gunshots and other noises like fireworks, engine backfires, etc.

As they typically do, the downtown press nitpicked about the price tag (which appears to be $200,000 for a year for the leased units); McCarthy noted that the funds are coming not through taxes but asset-forfeiture revenue for now. He also said that future funding (especially for expansion) is uncertain, and various avenues (including the private sector) are being explored.

Appropriately, McCarthy countered their price-tag questions with a few words about the public costs of gun violence, which dwarf the cost of ShotSpotter.

Perhaps anticipating a press question about CPD manpower (which was not asked), he added that he wants to make sure that the cost of ShotSpotter "supports, not supplants" existing CPD resources.

McCarthy also said that the ShotSpotter technology can be integrated with the CPD surveillance camera network---although it is not currently and he offered no specifics on when or how that might occur.

"With this technology in place, police officers can make (gun-related) arrests even before 911 calls come in," McCarthy said.

Let's all hope that's exactly what happens.

* * *

CPD Press Release---At a press conference today, Chicago Police Superintendent Garry F. McCarthy announced the installation of ShotSpotter gunshot detection technology that will enhance police response to incidents involving gunfire on the City’s West and South Sides. The tool will deliver critical, actionable information in real time to officers, supporting the most effective violence reduction strategies and operations in violence prone communities.

The new technology will be positioned in two 1.5 square mile areas of the City, allowing for coverage in portions of the Englewood (7th) Chicago Lawn (8th) and Harrison (11th) and Grand Crossing (25th) Districts. The data obtained in these areas will be instrumental in officers’ preliminary response to gunfire incidents as well as the forensic and crime analyses that drive successful investigations and strategic initiatives.

“Accurate information is vital to thorough investigations and effective problem-oriented, intelligence-led policing strategies and tactical operations,” said Superintendent Garry McCarthy. “The integration of gunshot detection technology into our repertoire of crime-fighting tools and initiatives will advance our mission and further diminish the opportunity for violence in our communities,” he added.

ShotSpotter uses acoustic sensors to detect and locate with great accuracy any activity possibly involving shots fired in an area. Within seconds of a discovery, officers in the Crime Prevention and Information Center (CPIC) are notified and enabled to immediately direct field resources to the location of occurrence. At the same time, CPIC officers can access nearby surveillance cameras for greater situational awareness and officer safety.

The new gunshot detection technology already has yielded several successes during its short time in use, including the arrests of two felons and the recovery of a dangerous handgun, a shotgun, and narcotics. The program will continue to be monitored for continued effectiveness and possible expansion.

# # #

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Working Together Can Work Wonders

Here's an example of city government and a community group working together to take action---with commendable speed and efficiency.

At the Chicago Police Department's CAPS Beat 811 meeting on Tuesday evening, October 16 (at Good Shepherd Presbyterian Church), a Garfield Ridge woman who says she's at her very first CAPS meeting complains about clusters of local punks---mostly junior high age---who are walking down the alley and streets near her house (near 54th and Rutherford) and causing trouble: intimidating local senior citizens, flipping over garbage carts, harassing people by ringing doorbells, and even spraying graffiti on the overhead door of her garage.

The people at the meeting, including CPD Sergeant Allen Cain and two officers with him, suggest several constructive solutions. One is to work with the Garfield Ridge Neighborhood Watch on the issue.

The woman, clearly fed up with the young punks (at least one of whom lives on the same block), expresses exasperation with the idea and doubts that anything at all can be done.

As is usually the case at Beat 811 meetings, Kevin Chojnowski of the GRNW is in attendance. He sits down with the woman immediately after the meeting to get a few details and assure her that the GRNW is on the case.

Minutes later, he's on the phone with GRNW President Al Cacciottolo, who was recently named 23rd Ward superintendent for the Chicago Department of Streets and Sanitation. He relays details of the situation.

Before noon the next day, Streets and San goes to the woman's home and removes the graffiti from her garage door.

Several days later (delayed only by steady rain), a Streets and San crew heads over there to put a fresh coat of paint on the overhead door. The door looks like new.

On top of that, both CPD and the GRNW are keeping extra eyes on the block to lean on any teens who might be causing trouble.

So we tip our cap to Streets and San for working with lightning-quick efficiency; to the Garfield Ridge Neighborhood Watch for being a fast and faithful conduit of information; and to CPD for hosting CAPS meetings that among other things offer a good place for folks to come with concerns.

As we have said before, CAPS meetings are what we make of them. If you go there and sit passively, it's mostly a waste of your time. If you go ready to air concerns and contribute common-sense, constructive ideas, then everyone wins.

# # #

Monday, October 22, 2012

Eighth District Court Advocates Saluted for Standing Up for Justice and Against Crime

As you may have read in the story (with video) that we posted on June 22:

...our local court advocates are some of the very best people on the entire Southwest Side---standing up for justice and against crime.

Of all the court advocacy programs in all the police districts in the city, the Eighth District's is by far the largest and most successful---a model frequently held up for others to emulate.

About 20 of the volunteer advocates were saluted at a dinner at the Eighth District Station last week. The Southwest Chicago Post was there to capture some rough video, posted below.

Our congratulations to the advocates. Thank you and please keep up the good work!

Interested in joining their ranks or at least learning more information? Call the CPD Eighth District CAPS Office at (312) 747-8724, or contact coordinator Barbara Ziegler directly at (708) 269-8833 or via email at

# # #

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 confidence artist tricked an 85-year-old West Elsdon woman into letting him in her house near 59th and Springfield---and she later discovered that her home's second floor was ransacked, with about $100,000 in savings bonds and cash stolen, along with other valuables.

The victim told police that at about 4:15 p.m. Tuesday, October 16, she was outside working in her yard when a man approached her and said he would be digging holes next to her property, but needed access to her house to check her electrical sockets.

The woman initially refused, saying "No. I don't let strange people in my house."

The man then became irate and hollered "Do you want your house to blow up?!"

The victim then relented and let the man in her house, but attempted to follow him through the rooms to make sure he stole nothing. After a while, he left. Later she noticed that he had apparently let an accomplice in via a seldom-used side door.

Missing from the ransacked second floor was a strong box containing $14,500 cash, four Series I U.S. Savings Bonds worth a total of $80,000, bank books for four savings accounts, five certificates of deposit, a life insurance policy, and a birth certificate.

The victim described the con artist as a white Hispanic man about 35-40 years old, 5'6 to 5'8 and 170-180 pounds, black hair, wearing a gray shirt and gray pants.

* * * 

5119 South Pulaski
A burglar used a key to enter the Dollar Tree store at 5119 South Pulaski at about 10:40 p.m. Monday, October 15, entered a code to disarm and open the store's safe, and stole $4,177 cash before fleeing.

The crime was discovered by two employees who opened the store at about 7:50 a.m. the following day.

Surveillance cameras caught the crime as it occurred. To cover his tracks and apparently mask the fact that it may have been an inside job, the burglar left a note near the safe---in which he claimed that a careless store manager had let him use a bathroom just before closing time and that he hid in the bathroom until after everyone had left.

* * *

A criminal attempting to rob the Blockbuster video at 6639 South Pulaski was essentially laughed out of the store by four women inside.

6639 South Pulaski
The would-be robber walked in at about 9:35 p.m. Friday, October 19, brandished a pistol and hollered "It's a stick up!"

The store employees told police they did not believe the pistol was real---that it appeared to be a BB gun or even a toy.

One of the women ordered the crook to leave. Instead, he held the muzzle of the pistol to another employee's head and said "Give me the money." She responded by batting the gun away from her head and resuming her cleaning task.

The hapless man then walked out in frustration, last seen running east through an alley.

He was described as a black man about 34-35 years old, 5'8 to 5'9 and 160-180 pounds, brown eyes, wearing a white mask, black baseball cap, black jacket and gray sweatpants.

* * *

A thug with a pistol robbed the Payless ShoeSource at 8055 South Cicero at 12:20 p.m. Thursday, October 18.

8055 South Cicero
The robber walked in the store. When approached by a 34-year-old clerk and ask if he needed assistance, the criminal asked her "Is this job worth your life?"

She told police she responded, "I love my job." The thug then said "If you love your job, open up the register before you get hurt. I have a gun with me." He then raised his shirt and exposed what appeared to be a hand gun.

After taking $40 from the cash register, he ordered the clerk to walk with him to the door, saying "I need to make sure I'm out before you press any panic alarm."

At the door, he then demanded that the clerk walk with him to the corner. She refused, and he fled north through the shopping center's parking lot.

She described the crook as a white man about 30 years old, 5'11 and 200-210 pounds, brown eyes, black hair, light complexion, with a scar on his face. He was wearing a long-sleeve black shirt and black sweatpants.

* * *

Three gangbangers robbed a 29-year-old Maywood man at 10:30 p.m. Saturday, October 20 on the street at 64th and Lorel and then drove off in his SUV.

The trio approached as the man sat in his parked vehicle. Speaking in Spanish, one of them told the victim not to move, or he would be shot.

The three thugs said they were members of a street gang and then stole the victim's cell phone and $30 cash before taking his vehicle, a 2004 white Chevy Silverado.

The robbers were described as white Hispanic men ages 21-23, 5'6 to 5'9 and 160-190 pounds.

* * *

6434 West 63rd Street

Burglars broke into the Salvation Army thrift store at 6434 West 63rd Street, stole a small safe with $115 cash inside and damaged a larger safe and several cash registers.

The crime was discovered by a manager when she arrived at the store at about 7:00 a.m. Thursday, October 18.

* * *

A garage burglary near 54th and Melvina was interrupted when a 22-year-old woman came home and saw the overhead door open and the criminal inside---holding the automatic garage door opener and rummaging through boxes.

The crime occurred at about 9:00 a.m. Saturday, October 20.

Upon seeing the victim, the crook fled on foot---west on 54th street and then south towards Archer---still holding the door opener but nothing else. The woman attempted to follow him but lost sight of him.

He apparently stole the opener from an unlocked car belonging to the family living at the residence.

The burglar was described as a white Hispanic man age 20-30, 5'5 to 5'8 and 130-160 pounds, black shaved hair, wearing a blue-and-white striped hoodie and blue jeans.

* * *

A 53-year-old Clearing man was robbed by a thug with a pistol as he waited for a bus at 59th and Kedzie at 10:35 a.m. Friday, October 19.

The robber stole the victim's wallet (with IDs and $78 cash inside) and then fled on foot east on 59th Street.

The crook was described as a black man about 23 years old, 5'5 and 180 pounds, short black hair and dark complexion.

* * *

A 32-year-old man from the central Illinois town of Sheldon was robbed at knife point while waiting at the CTA Orange Line station at 5106 South Pulaski.

The crime occurred at 1:30 p.m.Friday, October 19. The victim was robbed of his cell phone and $150 cash. The offender then ran north on Pulaski.

The victim described the robber as a black man about 18-20 years old, 5'9 and 140 pounds, brown eyes, black braided hair, dark complexion, wearing a black sweater and blue jeans.

* * *

Three thugs beat and robbed a 45-year-old Archer Heights man of his cell phone at about 8:25 p.m. Friday, October 19 on a sidewalk in front of 5018 South Kolin.

The man was taking a walk when one of the attackers approached from a gangway. Two accomplices approached shortly thereafter and began hitting the victim in the head with a blunt object, while the first attacker tried unsuccessfully to grab his wallet and house keys.

The victim was later treated by CFD paramedics and transported to Stroger Hospital. He had two lacerations in the back of his head.

* * *

Burglars pried open the service door of a garage near 54th and Luna and stole a bicycle, a used auto tire and about 20 assorted hand tools.

The crime was discovered by the victim, a 40-year-old man, at 6:00 a.m. Friday, October 19.

* * *

Burglars pried open the back door of a house near 64th and Lockwood and stole a TV and a desktop computer.

The crime was discovered by the victim, a 43-year-old man, when he returned home at 10:35 a.m. Friday, October 19, after being away only about 90 minutes.

* * *

Burglars entered a garage near 54th and Narragansett and stole a snow blower, a leaf blower, a circular saw, a power drill, a TV, a Nintendo Wii, a Sony PlayStation 3 and games, and a sound dock.

The crime was discovered by the victim, a 31-year-old man, at 8:00 a.m. Friday, October 19 when he noticed the overhead door open.

* * *

Burglars pried open the service door of a garage near 51st and Central, entered two unlocked vehicles inside and stole credit cards and a pair of sunglasses.

The crime was discovered by the victim, a 64-year-old man, at 5:00 a.m. Friday, October 19.

* * *

Burglars entered a rear window of a home near 85th and Kilbourn and stole a TV, a Nintendo Wii, an Xbox 360, assorted jewelry and assorted tools.

The crime was discovered by the victim, a 31-year-old woman, when she returned home from work at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, October 18.

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Want to work directly with Chicago Police to prevent crime in your neighborhood? If you live in Beats 813 or 833 (see map above), come to West Lawn Park at 7:00 p.m. Tuesday, October 23. 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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