Friday, November 2, 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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Squatters living in a house at 4600 West 79th Place were the subject of complaints aired at a CAPS Beat 834 meeting held Thursday night at Bogan High School.

According to several Scottsdale residents, the home is frequented by prostitutes and is the site of parties that may involve illegal drugs.
4600 West 79th Place

In response to their request to simply remove the squatters and secure the property, police officers at the meeting reminded everyone that squatters have rights under the law, provided that they have established some proof of residency---even something as simple as a letter addressed to them or a pizza delivery receipt with their name and the address on it.

Several in the audience of about 25 people expressed surprise and anger at the answer, saying the law needs to be changed immediately. "I'll bet the politicians who wrote that law never had to put up with what we do," one man said. "Let them come to this neighborhood."

Police, as well as a representative of 13th Ward Alderman Marty Quinn, said they are aware of the home. They said the home's owner had died and that the property is slowly making its way through housing court.

They urged everyone to keep an eye on the place and promptly report any suspected criminal activity to 911, so that officials may better document that there is an ongoing problem at the address and therefore be in a better position to press the court to move the matter forward.

As housing foreclosures have increased greatly during the recession, so too have cases involving squatters. As was the case during the Great Depression, some advocates for the poor have promoted squatting as a necessary practice to provide housing for the destitute.

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A 54-year-old West Lawn man was robbed by two criminals in his garage near 63rd and Tripp shortly after noon Tuesday, October 30.

The victim told police he was working on his car, with the overhead garage door open, when two men suddenly walked in. One was brandishing a hammer in a threatening manner. The pair went through the victim's pockets, stealing his wallet and a total of $110 cash.

They fled on foot south through the alley, then east through a gangway.

They were described as black men, both about 30-33 years old, 5'7 and 160 pounds, short black hair and medium complexion.

The victim added that they may have been driving a brown car with Indiana license plates.

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Burglars broke into a basement apartment near 63rd and Neenah and stole $30 in change from a jar.

The crime was discovered by the victim, a 33-year-old woman, at 2:15 p.m. Monday, October 29, when she came home and saw several window screens cut and lying on the ground.

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Burglars pried open the back door of a home near 50th and Ridgeway and stole two TVs, a camera, a Sony PlayStation 3 video game console, assorted jewelry and 10 baseball caps.

The crime was discovered by the victim, a 48-year-old woman, when she came home from work at 2:00 p.m. Tuesday, October 30.

A neighbor told police that she saw a blue pick-up truck parked in front of the victim's home at about noon. A man was inside the truck.

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Want to work directly with Chicago Police to prevent crime in your neighborhood? If you live in Beats 815 or 821 (see map above), come to St. Bruno School (south side of the school) at 7:00 p.m. Wednesday, November 7. If you live in Beat 814, come to Vittum Park at 7:00 p.m. Thursday, November 8. 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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