Monday, October 22, 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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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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  1. White Hispanic as opposed to black Hispanic?

    Can't we just say Mexican? We don't say "Italian White" as opposed to "Irish White". Or "Kenyan Black" as opposed to "Jamaican Black". If they're not White, then this blog shouldn't feel the need to adopt the descriptors forced on law enforcement by inane politicians.

    The political correctness in even the descriptions of offenders that police are forced to use when processing an arrestee is ridiculous.

    Just say Hispanic. Or Black. Or White. Or Asian. Or whatever the offender looks like. For the rare Dominican committing a crime that may look Black but speak Spanish, say "Black/Hispanic" - because that's what they look like. But this "White Hispanic" is goofy.

  2. Our information comes directly from Chicago Police Department incident reports. Our verbiage is consistent with theirs, and out goal is to paint as accurate a picture as we can---not to wag a finger at any group of people, but to give law abiding people the tools we need to be on the lookout for a particular crime suspect. Second, "Hispanic" is not a race. It is an ethnicity. There are white Hispanics, black Hispanics, and mixed-race Hispanics. The argument that Hispanics can't possibly be white is nearly identical to the argument that was popular among some anglo-Americans a century ago---that Italians (particularly Sicilians) are not white people; which of course is nonsense. The same "these aren't white people" assertion was also applied, to a lesser degree, against American immigrants from Poland and other Slavic lands. And it was equally nonsensical.