Monday, December 10, 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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Statement released today by the Chicago Police Department Office of News Affairs:

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At approximately 12:30 a.m. today, an off-duty Chicago Police Officer parked his vehicle in the 6300 block of S. Nashville and began to escort his child from the vehicle.

A male offender approached the officer and announced a robbery while armed with a handgun.
Looking south from 63/Nashville at 10:30 AM
Due to this action, the officer removed his weapon and announced his office.
The offender fired multiple shots and the officer discharged his weapon.
TV news vans just west of 63/Nashville

The offender, described as a male wearing dark clothing, fled the scene in a silver 4-door vehicle. 

The officer was transported to a local hospital, where he was treated and released for gun shots to his wrist and chest.

Area Central Detectives are investigating.

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Reaction in the neighborhood was swift, with people asking questions and making comments in local stores, at the Clearing Branch Library and on local Facebook pages.

Clearing Night Force neighborhood watch group President Judy Ollry said "Our prayers are with the police officer, his family and neighbors. This unfortunate event is a reminder that this can happen anywhere. We must all be "nosey neighbors" and look out for each other and get involved in our community. As the saying goes, 'There are people who make things happen, people who watch what happens and those that say "What happened?" We want our community to be the one that 'makes things happen'."

Lynn Marszewski, an active member (and last year's president) of the Clearing Night Force, said the shooting "...shows how badly we need neighbors to get involved. We can't all just stand by and be complacent. This is our neighborhood and we all need to take a stand and take it back to make it the safe neighborhood it once was."

The shooting occurred just four blocks south of the Garfield Ridge neighborhood. Garfield Ridge Neighborhood Watch President Al Cacciottolo weighed in with this statement:

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All of us in the Garfield Ridge Neighborhood Watch offer our prayers and best wishes for the off-duty Chicago Police officer who was shot near 63rd and Nashville, in the Clearing neighborhood. Like everyone, we are relieved and encouraged that his injuries were not life threatening, and that he is said to be in good spirits as he recovers.

As I said back on June 12 when I spoke at a meeting of the Clearing Civic League, the people of Garfield Ridge and Clearing "...are brothers and sisters divided only by a set of railroad tracks." Rest assured, we stand with Clearing today, as we always do.

Armed robbery, like all crime, is entirely unacceptable. We trust that the good men and women of Clearing will use this crime as a motivator to get more involved in crime prevention----everything from simply being a more aware and involved neighbor on your block to getting actively engaged in CAPS and the Clearing Night Force.

For decades, Clearing has been one of the best neighborhoods in all of Chicago. It still is and will remain so---as long as the good men and women of the community stand up for each other and against crime.

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In other crime news:

A 19-year-old Chicago Lawn man was stabbed in the face as he struggled with a thug attempting to rob him at the BP station at 6702 South Pulaski.
6702 South Pulaski, from Huck Finn's lot.

The crime occurred at 8:28 a.m. Wednesday, December 5. The victim was standing outside, talking on his cell phone, when the offender walked up and demanded the phone.

When the victim refused, the robber punched him in the face. Both fell to the ground; and during the struggle, the thug snatched away the cell phone and stabbed the victim in the right cheek. The criminal then ran away south into the Huck Finn restaurant parking lot. He jumped into a red four-door Pontiac and sped away.

The attacker was described as a black man age 17-20 wearing blue jeans.

The victim was treated by CFD paramedics and transported to Holy Cross Hospital.

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5500 South Pulaski
A quick-thinking cashier who hollered for a co-worker who wasn't there frightened off a would-be robber at the Shell gas station at 5500 South Pulaski.

The criminal walked into the station at 8:23 a.m. Thursday, December 6. He briefly dawdled at the coffee station before pulling a gray mask over his face, waving a pistol and demanding the money from the cash register.

The crook ran away when he thought another worker was on the scene.

The cashier described the thug as a black man age 30-35, 5'5 to 5'7, black hair, dark complexion. Police said they were reviewing surveillance video.

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Burglars entered the garage of Blue Sky Restaurant, 4807 South Pulaski, and stole a snow blower, a lawnmower, a tool box and about $2,000 worth of beer, vodka and other alcohol.
4807 South Pulaski

The crime was discovered by the victim, the 64-year-old owner of the restaurant, at 9:00 a.m.Wednesday, December 5---although he did not report it to police until over 48 hours later.

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4727 South Cicero
Burglars smashed the front glass door of the Buy & Cell Mobile, 4727 South Cicero, and stole an unknown number of cell phones.

The crime was discovered by a manager at 9:35 a.m. Wednesday, December 5. Police said they planned to review surveillance video.

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Multiple "shots fired" 911 calls by startled residents of the Scottsdale neighborhood, complaining of loud bangs in the early morning hours of Thursday, December 6, appear to have been caused by fireworks or some other type of explosive device.

Police said they discovered two aftermaths of explosions in alleys. Each caused damage to garages and downspouts. One was found at 2:03 a.m. near 85th and Tripp. The other was discovered at 3:10 a.m. near 84th and Kedvale. Police said the Bomb and Arson Unit is investigating.

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A 23-year-old Chicago Lawn man was arrested and charged with assault for threatening a 32-year-old North Riverside man with a knife.

Johnathan Suarez of 61st and St. Louis is scheduled to appear in Cook County Circuit Court Branch 34, 155 West 51st Street, on Friday, December 28, according to police.

Police said that a sergeant from the CPD Ninth District was driving near Archer and Kilbourn when he saw Suarez holding a knife and chasing the victim on foot. The sergeant apprended Suarez in front of 5230 South Archer.

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Three thugs robbed a 37-year-old man as he washed his vehicle in an alley near 56th and Keeler at 4:40 p.m. Friday, December 7.

One of three was holding a baseball bat. After asking him, in Spanish, what's up, the trio pushed the victim onto his vehicle and rifled through his pockets.

They stole his cell phone and his wallet, which contained $150 cash, credit/debit cards and a Matricula ID.

The robbers ran away and got into a white Daewoo. The victim chased them in his vehicle to 56th and Tripp, where they threw their vehicle into reverse, smashed into his and sped away. The victim followed them to 49th and Komensky, where the Daewoo hit another vehicle and sped away in an unknown direction.

The robbers were described as white Hispanic men age 18-22.

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A 24-year-old West Lawn man walking with his three-year-old son near 61st and Karlov at 5:00 p.m. Friday, December 7 was robbed of a gold chain by a pair of criminals---one of whom carried a black baseball bat.

As one robber swung the bat at the victim (and missed), the other snatched the chain off his neck.They pushed the child to the ground and then ran away. The man said they may have fled in a blue Chevy Monte Carlo.

The thugs were described as white Hispanic men age 20-25.

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Three thugs robbed a 25-year-old man as he walked near his home in an alley near 50th and Keeler, at 10:03 p.m. Friday, December 7.

One of the three yelled a gang slogan as the trio pushed the victim to the ground, kicking him repeatedly and then going through his pockets. They stole his cell phone and his wallet, which contained $135 cash.

The three then ran away south through the alley and jumped in a red Chrysler Town & Country minivan, which sped away west on Archer.

The victim declined medical attention and described the attackers as white Hispanic men age 18-22.

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A 15-year-old Archer Heights boy was robbed as he walked toward the CTA Orange Line in an alley near 51st and Keeler, at 5:40 p.m. Wednesday, December 5.

A pair of robbers approached, asked "What are you?" and then grabbed him and snatched away his cell phone, iPod and headphones. They ran away south down an alley.

The victim described them as white Hispanic men age 18-20. One was 6'0 and 160 pounds. The other was 5'4 and 150 pounds.

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(As originally reported by the Oak Lawn Patch)---Oak Lawn Police arrested a Scottsdale man for possession of illegal drugs just several minutes after midnight Wednesday, December 5.

Juan Jose Cano, 26, of 83rd Place and Kolmar, was driving a gray 2000 Nissan Maxima near Southwest Highway and 54th Court when he was pulled over by police for an expired license plate.

Police said Cano also had no proof of insurance and was driving on a suspended license.

When police asked if the vehicle contained anything illegal, Cano allegedly acknowledged that there was a small bag of pot in the center console. Police said they found that, as well as a clear plastic bag with suspected hashish and a blue plastic egg containing a pill identified as an amphetamine. Cano allegedly said he was given the drugs by a friend, but refused to give police any further information.

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Burglars removed the back window of an apartment near 87th and Kolin, crawled inside and stole about $1,500 cash.

The crime was discovered by the victim, a 55-year-old man, when he came home from work at 3:30 p.m. Friday, December 7.

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Burglars broke into a garage near 56th and Nagle and stole a snow blower.

The crime was discovered by the wife of the victim, a 58-year-old man, when she saw a garage window broken and the inside light on at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, December 6.

* * *

Burglars forced open the back door of a home near 80th and Tripp and stole two laptop computers, two cameras, a PlayStation 3, two cell phones and assorted jewelry.

The crime was discovered by a victim, a 20-year-old woman, when she came home at 9:20 a.m. Thursday, December 6, saw the back door open and called police.

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Burglars broke into a storage container at a construction site at 5150 West 55th Street and stole assorted tools and copper items.

The crime was discovered by the victim, a 35-year-old employee of a Hillside-based electrical contractor, at 7:00 a.m. Thursday, December 6.

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Burglars forced open the service door of a garage near 59th and Merrimac shortly before 7:00 p.m. Thursday, December 6 but were frightened off when discovered.

The 37-year-old victim told police she heard a loud noise coming from the back of her property. When her 15-year-old son went to investigate, he saw both garage doors open and two men inside. When they saw the teen, they ran away north through the alley.

The victims were not sure initially what, if anything, was stolen.

The burglars were described as black men age 40-45. One was 6'0 to 6'4 and 160-170 pounds, black hair, dark complexion. The other was 5'7 to 5'9 and 180-200 pounds, short graying hair, light complexion.

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Burglars entered the service door of a garage near 65th and Long and stole a bicycle and assorted hand tools.

The crime was discovered by the victim, a 26-year-old man, at 3:30 a.m. Thursday, December 6. He told police that when he let his dog out (because his dog was barking), he noticed that both his back gate and service door were open. There was no sign of forced entry, although the victim said he had locked the service door.

Police later recovered the bike in an alley near 64th and Lockwood.

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Want to work directly with Chicago Police to prevent crime in your neighborhood? If you live in Beat 812 (see map), come to the Clearing Branch Library at 7:00 p.m. Wednesday, December 12. If you live in Beat 814, come to Vittum Park at 7:00 p.m. Thursday, December 13. 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. Does the male offender who tried to rob the officer have a race? It may help in actually finding out who it is.

    1. Agreed. We've put the question to CPD on why their description does not include race. We await their response.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.