Wednesday, February 27, 2013

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.

* * *

Two criminals made off with nearly $9,000 worth of merchandise after robbing the Radio Shack at 6643 South Pulaski at 7:20 p.m. Tuesday, February 26.

6643 South Pulaski
According to the two women working there at the time (a 29-year-old manager and a 25-year-old clerk), the pair of thugs walked in, held the door closed, pulled a small black hand gun and ordered them to walk to the rear of the store and lie down on the floor.

The women complied. The manager was then ordered to get up and open the safe. When she explained that it would take at least 10 minutes to do that, the thugs ordered her to unlock a gate to a stockroom cache of merchandise. She did that and was ordered to fill a bag with various items.

After she did, the two women were ordered into a bathroom and told not to come out. The robbers then ran out the back door with the stolen goods.

Stolen were two laptop computers, three Xbox systems, two PlayStation systems, seven computer tablets, six cameras, 15 cell phones, 40 flash drives, 40 memory cards, and $250 cash.

Both offenders are described as black men age 25-30. One is about 5'6 and 140-150 pounds, wearing a long black coat with fur lining. The other is about 5'2 to 5'5 and 150-160 pounds, wearing a black baseball cap, black scarf and gray jacket.

* * *

A trio of thugs robbed a 44-year-old Back of the Yards man at gunpoint near 54th and Springfield at 9:35 p.m. Tuesday, February 26.

The victim told police he was there to re-charge a car's battery when the three walked up, waved a hand gun and took his wallet, cell phone and tool box with assorted tools inside.

He described them only as white Hispanic men age 18-24, because they ordered him not to look at them.

* * *

Burglars entered an apartment near 50th and Kolin and stole a VCR, a cell phone charger and various medications.

The home invasion was discovered by the victim, a 40-year-old man, when he woke up at about 2:00 p.m. Tuesday, February 26.

There was apparently no sign of forced entry, and the victim told police he may have left his door unlocked.

* * *

Burglars broke into an apartment near 54th and Long and stole $1,000 cash that was sitting on a table.

The crime was discovered by the victim, a 30-year-old man, when he arrived home from work at 5:00 p.m. Tuesday, February 26.

Police noted that the burglars may have entered the apartment by first entering an attached garage, because the overhead door's emergency-release cord was disengaged.

* * *

Burglars broke through a kitchen window of a home near 55th and Meade and stole a laptop computer, assorted jewelry and a bottle of tequila.

The crime was discovered by a relative of the victim, a 45-year-old woman who was away at work, at 1:30 p.m. Monday, February 25.

* * *

Burglars tried but failed to break into a garage near 63rd and Austin.

The crime was discovered by a tenant, a 32-year-old man, at 4:45 p.m. Friday, February 22. The tenant called the landlord, a 42-year-old man, and told him about the pry marks.

* * *

A 37-year-old Vittum Park man foiled a burglary at his garage near 48th and Lamon at 3:06 a.m. Monday, February 25.

The crooks had forced open his service door. He saw them in the garage and came out to confront them. They then fled in a black 1997 Ford truck.

The victim called 911. A "flash" message was sent, and a CPD unit spotted the truck and attempted to curb it. The truck stopped in front of 3511 West 56th Place, and the burglars bolted and escaped after a foot chase.

The CPD incident report gave no description of the offenders.

* * *

Want to work directly with Chicago Police to prevent crime in your neighborhood? If you live in Beat 815 or 821 (see map), come to St. Bruno School (south entrance) at 7:00 p.m. Wednesday, March 6. If you live in Beat 834, come to Bogan High School at 7:00 p.m. Thursday, March 7. 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.

# # # 

Snow Doesn't Stop CAPS Beat 813/833

While Tuesday evening's snowstorm held down the attendance at the CAPS Beat 813/833 monthly meeting at West Lawn Park (an audience of 17, about a third of the usual turnout), there was nothing to hold down the lively discussions of crime and crime prevention.

CAPS facilitator and West Lawn resident Barbara Ziegler livened up the usual admonitions about confidence artists with two recent anecdotes about crooks attempting to swindle senior citizens.

"An elderly woman was at her own front door with her key, having difficulty trying to get inside when a man walks up and says 'I'm from the 13th Ward, and I'm here to shovel your snow. But it will cost you sixty dollars,'" Ziegler related. "So the woman walks around the back and goes in the house. This guy follows her and watches her get the money from the kitchen cabinet. So now he knows where she keeps her cash. Then he says, 'Come on, let's see about fixing that front door.' And while they both go back to the front, his accomplice slips in the back door and goes through her bedroom and steals several things, including her wedding ring and her late husband's ring."

"Now obviously, that guy wasn't from the 13th Ward," Ziegler added. "I mean, we do have volunteers who shovel snow for seniors, but they don't charge. The lesson here is, don't open your door for anyone like this, don't let them in your house; and if you think anything is suspicious, call 911 right away and let the police come and check it out."

The other anecdote concerned a woman who refused entry to a man knocking on her door on a Saturday night, holding a bucket and claiming to be a plumber in need of water for a job at a neighbor's house. The woman refused him entry. The man claiming to be a plumber went next door to knock on that door. The woman's brother happened to live next door and didn't answer his door. The "plumber" came back to the woman's house.  She said she saw him using a screwdriver to try and pry open her storm door. "She refused to open her door and hollered 'I'm calling the police!' and even told him she was going to get her gun, and 'blow him away.'"

The would-be home invader fled. Later reflecting upon her boldness with the would-be home invader the woman said, "It's obvious I watch too much Law and Order," Ziegler added, drawing chuckles from the audience.

"Senior citizens are targets. We all know that," Ziegler added. "And you can just look at the houses on a block and tell which ones are seniors."

Crime prevention flier.
Noting the night's sparse turnout, she implored everyone at the meeting to spread the word among local seniors by passing out a CPD Community Alert crime prevention flier.

In other action at the meeting, CPD Officer Jose Sepulveda went over crime data and offered two local success stories.

** He credited good follow-up work by CPD detectives in a case where two women were apprehended and charged in connection with a residential burglary in Garfield Ridge (near 57th and Neenah), chronicled in a recent SWCP Crime News Update.

Sepulveda said that shortly after the arrest, detectives checked a pawn shop data base and found that one of the two women had recently pawned a number of items of jewelry. At least one of the items she pawned matched the description of jewelry stolen in a residential burglary in the Clearing neighborhood. Detectives then succeeded in recovering the jewelry and returning it to the woman who owns it.

James Gardner
** Sepulveda praised the work of police on patrol near 67th Place and Lawndale, who earlier in the month chased and apprehended 19-year-old James Gardner, a South Sider (104th and Corliss) on multiple felony charges, including unlawful use of a weapon.

Sepulveda said that police responding to a 3:00 a.m. call of a possible gang-related criminal damage to property saw Gardner and several other men walking down the street. Upon seeing police, Gardner allegedly bolted and threw a black object away, onto a driveway. Sepulveda said the object turned out to be a hand gun.

He added that Gardner was wanted on a parole violation and was carrying marijuana on him.


** In response to a man's question for an explanation of the rioting that occurred on Saturday in and around Ford City Mall, Sepulveda claimed that he had no additional information to share, beyond what people already knew from news media reports.

** A West Lawn man who said he was attending his first CAPS meeting complained about what he described as a long-standing struggle with an auto repair shop near 59th and Kolmar, regarding where they park the cars they service as well as noise. Police made a note of the situation and said they would keep an eye on the situation.

** Ziegler mentioned that the Citizens Utility Board (CUB) will be in the area twice in March, offering local men and women a free review of phone and utility bills.

"This is a great service where you bring them your bills, and they will show you how you can easily save money," Ziegler said and added that last year, CUB officials showed her how to save $50 a month on her phone bills.

The "CUB Clinics" are set for 5:00 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 19 at Hale Park and 5:00 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 21 at the Madigan-Quinn service office, 6500 South Pulaski. To register for a free bill analysis, call Jennifer Solski at (773) 581-1313. Click here for a more detailed view of what a CUB Clinic entails.

** West Lawn neighborhood advocate Dawn Ferrarini let everyone know that CAPS Beat 813/833 now has a Facebook page and encouraged everyone to check it out.

** The next CAPS Beat 813/833 meeting is set for 7:00 p.m. Tuesday, March 26 at West Lawn Park.

# # #

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Hale Theatre Friends Hosting Fundraiser

The Friends of Hale Theatre will host a fundraiser from 6:30 to about 11:00 p.m. Saturday, March 16 at the Des Plaines Valley VFW hall, 7256 West 63rd Street, Summit.

There will be food, an open bar, entertainment and dancing, fun contests, and raffles for such prizes as Chicago White Sox tickets, a 32-inch TV and more.

Local businesses and individuals interested in donating additional raffle prizes are encouraged to do so. Donors will be recognized and thanked during all 2013 shows.
Hale Theatre Company

Admission tickets are $30 at the door, $25 in advance. To purchase tickets, contact any member of the theater company or call (773) 616-9911. Additionally, Friends President Crystle Saylor Lohse has stated that she will be selling tickets personally at Hale Park from 4:00 to 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, February 27.

For additional information about the event, send an email to

The fundraiser is listed on Facebook at:

The Southwest Chicago Post encourages all Southwest Siders to support local theater. We agree with the American Association of Community Theatre statement: "Community theatre enriches the lives of those who take an active part in it, as well as those in the community who benefit from live theatre productions. On either side of the footlights, those involved represent a diversity of age, culture, life experience, and a strong appreciation of the importance of the arts."

# # #

Monday, February 25, 2013

Letters to the Editor

Editor's note: We respect your opinion and are privileged to share it via this website. All letters to the editor will be reviewed before being posted. We do allow anonymous comments, yet we will not allow the Southwest Chicago Post to serve as a forum for bigotry of any kind. We also will not allow personal attacks against anyone, including elected officials and other public figures. On this site, all of us need to keep our tone respectful and our criticisms constructive. That's important as we work together to build better Southwest Side neighborhoods for all. So please join the conversation by sending your letter to

* * *


Thanks for being the only newspaper I know of that included the various YouTube videos of the riot at Ford City. It's one thing for a newspaper to write about what happened, but there's no substitute for seeing it with your own eyes and hearing it with your own ears.

Why did the Chicago Tribune and Sun-Times not include these videos? Are they trying to be politically correct? Are they afraid to show the truth?

John Wasascz
Garfield Ridge

Editor's reply: We only saw one or two of their reports. We can only speak for ourselves, of course. Perhaps you could put the question to the Trib and Sun-Times and let us know what they say. If they don't respond, then folks will have to draw their own conclusions.

* * *

Dear Editor,

I think you are way off base in blaming Ford City Mall for what occurred. Here is a mall that tries to do something nice, a charitable act, for the public by bringing in a popular boy band, and you blame them when something goes a little awry.

Perhaps Ford City should stop doing nice things for the community.


Editor's reply: Thanks for writing. We would not characterize Ford City's hosting of a meet-and-greet with Mindless Behavior as a charitable act. We'd say it was a business decision designed to attract the group's young fans (and their parents) to the mall, to generate foot traffic and retail sales in the short and long term. Nothing wrong with that concept, of course. It's smart.

But our questions, as you know, focused on what Ford City did or did not do in terms of planning for security and crowd control. Ford City management chose not to answer our questions directly; but instead posted a brief statement on their Facebook page in which they insisted there was no connection between their event and the "unruly teens" who caused "a disturbance" (their terms for a mob of about 200 engaged in looting, criminal damage to property and intimidation of dozens of innocent people, including children).

The Chicago Police Department told us (and all other members of the press who asked) that there was a connection between the Mindless Behavior event and the crimes.

So it's one or the other. No connection at all (and therefore a whopper of a coincidence) or there is a connection, with teenage thugs using the event as an excuse to show up and riot. Which was it? You decide.

We recall a similar situation about 30 years ago, when Evergreen Plaza brought in a top Michael Jackson impersonator to perform (at the height of Jackson's "Thriller" mega-popularity). A huge crowd of teens showed up. Some started acting like animals, with thefts, criminal damage to property and intimidation---so much so that the mall was evacuated and shut down. And then many of the young barbarians reportedly fanned out into the Beverly neighborhood directly east and caused trouble there. (Sound familiar?)

* * *


Instead of asking questions of Ford City, perhaps you should be asking questions of those teenagers' parents. Where were they? How could they let their children act that way?

Those are the real questions.


Editor's reply: We did not ask those questions because we think all of us already know the answers. Rest assured, these teenagers weren't Wally and the Beaver, or Denise and Theo Huxtable. Watch the video. These are teen thugs, some of whom were hell-bent on rioting, most of whom contributed to the riot by egging on the worst of them. One of the thugs said it best when he declared (regarding Ford City Mall) "We gonna rock this b~tch!"

* * *


Your news site sucks. I'm from Tennessee and I found your site in a search online about the riot in Chicago at Ford City. Why did you censor my comment? Looks like freedom of speech for big-city liberals like you but not for the rest of us.


Editor's reply: The several reader comments we declined to post were in violation of our stated guidelines. (Same as those that appear above.) Yours fell into the "bigotry" category, as you can probably guess. But that's the beauty of a free and open Internet. Don't like a website? Start your own. It's free and not at all difficult. Really.

* * *


Arch-conservatives like you shouldn't have websites. Your thinly-veiled, race baiting report on what happened at Ford City was loaded with code words and phrases.

Barbarism? Thuggery? Come on. Who are you, Rush Limbaugh?


Editor's reply: It's not race baiting. Thugs come in all shapes, sizes and colors. We've always been clear on that, as you can see from the even-handed way we report crime every week.

But really folks, make up your minds. Are we arch-conservatives, big-city liberals or what?

* * *


The "Best Buy Riot" video you embedded on your website no longer appears on YouTube. I didn't see it. What was on that video?


Editor's reply: The "Best Buy Riot" video was, we are told, shot by an employee working at the Best Buy in Burbank, directly across the street from Ford City. We don't know for a fact if that's who actually shot it, but it obviously was shot by someone who was there and who witnessed the incident. If it was shot by an employee, it's our guess that Best Buy ordered the employee to remove it from YouTube. In any event, the video showed at least a couple dozen teenage thugs running through the store, hollering, knocking over merchandise displays, grabbing merchandise and then bolting out the store and back east toward Ford City, while Best Buy employees and customers looked on in shock, disbelief and fear while they surveyed the damage.

* * *


You have yet another subscriber!  I just joined and want to extend my appreciation to you, for your efforts at informing residents of this Southwest Side Midway community with much needed local news coverage.

Your paper is unlike any other local paper in that it acts like it should-- a reporting of "on the spot" news, crime (and I appreciate the disclosure of photos of criminals), productive activity and issues of concern (or let me put it this way-- that should be of concern to the community), 
as well as the usual events of churches, businesses, etc.  I also like your use of video and hope to see more of that.

Since exploring your website, I was amazed to learn of at least two local crimes right around my home that I would otherwise not have been made aware of-- one that occurred recently, and another some time ago (which I found by checking your archival news). Your paper will be a welcome "eye" besides my own, in helping me be more aware of what's going on in my neighborhood and surrounding area.

So, I want to add my congratulations and wish you many years of successful reporting.  

And, while congratulating you, I also want to address the other local papers, publicly-- that it would be advantageous to learn a thing or two from this "new kid on the block"! That is, if you already aren't rigidly "beholden" to act as mouthpiece (something I already suspect) for local politicos or orgs, and can either only publish these "honchos" photos or their stories and their news; or, otherwise only milquetoast coverage of bazaars and bake sales (not that there is anything wrong with a bazaar or a bake sale). But...

While we need human interest coverage, we need much more, to address the serious issues affecting our community-- esp. the more controversial topics, like those that expose growing criminal activity; and commentary that challenges the local "powers-that-be" when they are doing nothing, or too little to address some community concern-- or worse, doing something that will harm the public good. Just because they're the current leaders, does not make them sacrosanct (take a lesson from the pope)! They can be made to leave, and a public forum such as in an online newspaper as this one-- where the public has instant access to respond--is a great place to discuss such community matters.  I thank you for providing this forum.

1ofUfromtheOtherSideoftheTracks (aka, 1ofU)

# # #

Marquette Bank Offering $2,500 Scholarships to High School Seniors

A press release from Marquette Bank:

Marquette Bank, a locally-owned neighborhood bank, has announced the 54 local high schools selected to participate in the 2013 Marquette Bank Education Foundation Scholarship Program.

The program has a 47-year tradition of providing scholarships to graduating seniors from neighborhoods near Marquette Bank’s 23 branch locations. Funded by the Marquette Bank Education Foundation, the scholarships are available to students who demonstrate financial need, have an outstanding record of community service and maintain at least a “B” average. Since 1967, over $2.5 million has been awarded to around 1,300 Chicagoland high school students. 

“As a neighborhood bank, we want to give recognition to the most involved and dedicated kids in our communities,” George Moncada, President said. “By giving kids scholarship money, they will be able to further their education and develop the tools needed to improve their communities even more as adults."

Scholarship recipients are selected by their school’s principal, guidance counselors or principal appointed committee and are recognized at an awards ceremony attended by friends and family. The scholarship amount is $2,500 and can be used to cover expenses at any higher education program including: four-year colleges and universities, community colleges, vocational training or trade schools. To apply, students from participating schools can pick up an application from their guidance counselor’s office and the schools must submit their recipient by April 27, 2012.

Listed below are the schools participating in the 2013 Marquette Bank Education Foundation Scholarship Program: 

Alan B. Shepard High School, Palos Heights
Amos Alonzo Stagg High School, Palos Hills
Andrew High School, Tinley Park
Argo Community High School, Summit
Benito Juarez Community Academy, Chicago
Bogan Technical High School, Chicago
Bolingbrook High School, Bolingbrook
Brother Rice High School, Chicago
Carl Sandburg High School, Orland Park
Chicago Christian High School, Palos Heights
Cristo Rey Jesuit High School, Chicago
Curie Metropolitan High School, Chicago
De La Salle Institute, Chicago
Dwight D. Eisenhower High School, Blue Island
Evergreen Park High School, Evergreen Park
Farragut Career Academy, Chicago
Gage Park High School, Chicago
Hales Franciscan High School, Chicago
Hancock College Prep. High School, Chicago
Harper High School, Chicago
Hubbard High School, Chicago
Kelly High School, Chicago
Kennedy High School, Chicago
Lemont High School, Lemont
Leo Catholic High School, Chicago
Lincoln-Way Central High School, New Lenox
Lindblom Math and Science Academy, Chicago
Little Village Lawndale High School Campus, Chicago
Maria High School, Chicago
Marist High School, Chicago
Morgan Park High School, Chicago
Mother McAuley Liberal Arts High School, Chicago
Mount Assisi Academy, Lemont
Mount Carmel Academy, Chicago
Neuqua Valley High School, Naperville
New Luther Math, Science, Fine Performing Arts High School, Chicago
Oak Forest High School, Oak Forest
Oak Lawn Community High School, Oak Lawn
Our Lady of Tepayac High School, Chicago
Paul Robeson High School, Chicago
Providence Catholic High School, New Lenox
Queen of Peace High School, Burbank
Reavis High School, Burbank
Harold L. Richards High School, Oak Lawn
Romeoville High School, Romeoville
Saint Ignatius College Prep., Chicago
Simeon Career Academy, Chicago
St. Laurence High School, Burbank
St. Rita of Cascia High School, Chicago
Tinley Park High School, Tinley Park
Trinity High School, River Forest
Universal School, Bridgeview
Urban Prep/Englewood Campus, Chicago
Waubonsie Valley High School, Aurora

The Marquette Bank Education Foundation Scholarship Program is part of the Marquette Neighborhood Commitment, where each quarter the bank focuses on a different area of need: shelter, hunger, education and health/wellness. For more information on the Marquette Bank Education Foundation Scholarship Program, call 1-888-254-9500 or visit 

About Marquette Bank:

Marquette National Corporation is a $1.6 billion diversified financial holding company for Marquette Bank. Marquette Bank has been a locally owned and operated bank providing personalized banking service since 1945. Marquette Bank is a full-service, customer-focused neighborhood bank that serves the financial needs of Chicagoland communities, offering an extensive line of financial products including retail banking, home financing, trust services and business banking. Marquette Bank has a lending portfolio of almost $1 billion in Chicagoland and offers home mortgages, multifamily lending, commercial mortgages, lines of credit, commercial real estate loans and small business lending. Marquette Bank regularly offers free financial literacy and education seminars, workshops and classes to customers, schools, senior groups, community organizations and local residents including personal financial and home buyer education classes. Marquette Bank has 23 retail branches located in Chicago, Aurora, Bolingbrook, Bridgeview, Evergreen Park, Hickory Hills, Lemont, New Lenox, Oak Lawn, Oak Forest, Orland Park, Romeoville and Summit, Illinois. Marquette Bank provides customers mobile banking, online banking and telephone banking options and free access to over 50,000 Allpoint and Starsf ATMs worldwide.

Marquette Bank is an Equal Opportunity Lender, Equal Housing Lender and Member FDIC. Follow Marquette Bank on Twitter or like the Bank on Facebook for special offers and news.
For more information visit: or call 1-888-254-9500.

# # # 

Sunday, February 24, 2013

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.

* * *

In the wake of yesterday's acts of barbarism and thuggery by about 200 teenagers in and around Ford City Mall, mall officials maintain that the thefts, destruction of property and intimidation of dozens of innocent people had no connection to Saturday afternoon's appearance by recording artists Mindless Behavior.

Ford City officials have not responded directly to Southwest Chicago Post requests for comment, but last night Ford City officials posted this on their Facebook page:

"Thank you to all the Mindless Behavior fans who attended today's meet & greet. Totally unrelated to today's event, a group of unruly teens entered the mall and caused a disturbance. On the recommendation of the Chicago Police Department the mall was closed for the safety of the shoppers and tenants. The mall will re-open at 11 a.m. tomorrow."

The Southwest Chicago Post shared Ford City's assertion with Chicago Police for an official reaction. They responded:

"A large number of teens at a rap group promotion at Ford City Mall caused a disturbance. Mall closed for safety reasons. Three people sustained minor injuries and were transported to area hospitals. Approximately 20 arrests. NFI." (no further information)

Antoine Rosario
According to CPD, 15 teenagers were arrested on charges of mob action. Fourteen are ages 13-17. The other is Antoine Rosario, 18, of 83rd and Marquette on the South Side.

Of the 15 arrested, two are Southwest Siders (a 14-year-old boy who lives in the Leclaire/Hearst area and a 14-year-old boy who lives in Chicago Lawn.)

The other 13 are all South Siders living as far north as 61st Street, as far south as 85th Street, as far west as Claremont and as far east as the lake.

Police said that the 15 teens arrested "...were part of a group of about 200 youths engaged in mob action, obstructing traffic and jumping up and down on cars that were both moving and stopped in the south parking lot of Ford City Mall."

At least two people were taken to area hospitals with minor injuries. One, a child, was transported to Christ Hospital. The other, a 39-year-old CTA bus driver, was taken to Holy Cross Hospital after shards of glass lodged in his left eye when a thug used a chair stolen from a nearby Wendy's to smash the bus windshield.

Police are said to be reviewing surveillance video from the bus and several stores in an effort to identify more people who committed crimes.

* * *

A 50-year-old Archer Heights man was arrested and charged in connection with the burglary of a garage near 61st and McVicker.

Scott Stanek of 46th and Avers is scheduled to appear in Cook County Circuit Court Branch 48, 151 West 51st Street, on Thursday, February 28.

Scott Stanek
According to a witness living near the scene of the crime, he heard the burglar alarm on his garage go off at about 11:20 a.m. Thursday, February 21. He said he then looked out his window and saw Stanek trying to kick in the service door of the garage.

The witness told police that he got dressed quickly and ran outside. He said he then saw Stanek several houses down, exiting a garage and carrying a red toolbox.

The witness reported that Stanek then set the box down, spotted him and started walking away north on Moody. Police responding apprehended Stanek in front of 6135 West 61st Street.

Police alerted the victim, who identified the red toolbox as his. The witness positively identified Stanek, police said.

* * *

A 25-year-old Vittum Park man was arrested and charged with aggravated assault after he allegedly waved a loaded pistol at a 61-year-old Archer Heights man trying to cross the street.

Brian Bosman
Brian Bosman of 52nd and Cicero is scheduled to appear in in Cook County Circuit Court Branch 48, 151 West 51st Street, on Friday, March 1.

The victim told police that at about 9:00 p.m. Saturday, February 23, he was walking near Archer and La Crosse when a black Nissan Altima drove up and blocked the crosswalk.

Bosman, sitting in the front passenger seat, allegedly jumped out, pulled a pistol from his waistband, pointed it in the victim's face and said "I'm gonna cap you, n~gger."

Archer and La Crosse
He did not fire the weapon, but instead reportedly got back in the car, which drove away east toward Cicero Avenue. The victim flagged down a passing police car and pointed out the Altima at Archer and Cicero.

Police curbed the car moments later and arrested Bosman. He was positively identified by the victim.

Police said that Bosman immediately let them know he was carrying a gun and surrendered it to them. He apparently admitted guilt and said he did not know why he pulled a gun on the victim, according to police. Bosman reportedly stated that he only carries a gun for personal protection out of concern about gang-related crime.

Bosman was carrying a valid FOID card, police said. The gun was confiscated.

* * *

Burglars entered a side window of a home near 49th and Kedvale and stole a TV, a PlayStation 3, assorted jewelry and cosmetics, five credit cards and $670 cash.

The crime was discovered by the victims, a 35-year-old woman and a 23-year-old woman, when they arrived home at about 3:15 p.m. Saturday, February 23.

* * *

Home invaders broke a rear window of a home near 53rd and Avers and stole assorted junk jewelry.

The crime was discovered by a woman who was home at the time. Upon hearing the window break, she called 911. When police arrived on the scene, the criminals were gone.

* * *

Burglars pried open the rears doors of a home near 67th and Lawndale and stole two TVs and about $8,000 worth of jewelry.

The crime was discovered by a 27-year-old man when he came home at 5:00 p.m. Friday, February 22.

A hammer apparently used as a burglary tool was left at the scene.

* * *

Burglars entered a garage near 54th and New England and stole three power saws, a chipping hammer, a grinder, a rachet set, a box of drill bits, 16 razor arrows, three pipe wrenches and a 14-inch manual pruning saw.

The crime was discovered by the victim, a 31-year-old man, at 6:30 a.m. Thursday, February 21. There was no sign of forced entry. The victim told police the garage was locked.

* * *

Burglars kicked in the service door of a garage, as well as the back door of a home near 45th and Knox and stole a snowblower, two TVs, a cell phone, two computers, an Xbox 360, a Wii, an iPad, two iPods, assorted jewelry, a portable DVD player, a tablet computer, two cameras, and $3,000 cash.

The crime was discovered by the victim, a 55-year-old man, when he came home from work at 5:30 p.m.Thursday, February 21.

* * *

Burglars broke into a garage near 72nd and Avers and stole assorted tools.

The crime was discovered by the victim, a 41-year-old man, at 11:00 a.m. Thursday, February 21. The overhead door of the garage was damaged, police said.

* * *

A 29-year-old West Lawn man was robbed of his iPhone by a thug on a CTA bus that was northbound at 56th and Pulaski.

The crime occurred at 4:41 p.m. Wednesday, February 20. The victim was seated on the bus, holding his phone, when the robber snatched it out of his hands, ran off the bus and fled east.

Police took the victim home, where he was able to go online and track the phone to a location near 58th and Carpenter. Police gave no word on if the phone was recovered.

The robber is described as a black boy age 16, 6'2 and 170 pounds, brown eyes, black hair, dark complexion, wearing a black skull cap, a red hoodie and tan pants.

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Burglars entered a garage near 62nd and Narragansett and stole a snow blower and a lawn mower.

The crime was reported to police by the victim, an 83-year-old man, at 7:00 a.m. Wednesday, February 20. There was no sign of forced entry.The victim explained that by telling police he had left the service door unlocked because he was concerned that the winter weather might make the lock freeze up.

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Burglars pried open a loading dock door of a warehouse at 40th and Pulaski and stole five cashier scanners valued at $500.

The crime was reported to police at 10:02 a.m. Wednesday, February 20 by a 47-year-old manager of the building.

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Burglars entered the back door of an apartment near 59th and Lawndale and stole two TVs, a laptop computer, a tablet computer, assorted jewelry and various IDs and personal papers.

The crime was discovered by one of the victims, a 31-year-old woman, at 6:15 p.m. Wednesday, February 20.

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Want to work directly with Chicago Police to prevent crime in your neighborhood? If you live in Beat 813 or 833 (see map), come to West Lawn Park at 7:00 p.m. Tuesday, February 26. 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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Saturday, February 23, 2013

Ford City, You Owe Us All an Explanation

By Tim Hadac
Managing Editor
Southwest Chicago Post

(Update: Please read Ford City's statement at the end of this opinion piece.)

Ford City Mall, you owe us all an explanation.

The people of the Southwest Side (as well as nearby suburbs) want to know what exactly happened at your shopping center on Saturday, February 23, and why.

Police and others in authority are describing scenes of fights, looting and more---both in the mall and spilling onto adjacent areas.

(Videos below were shot by individuals who were on the scene and who chose to post them to YouTube.)

Now---right now---is the time for full disclosure.

A few questions:

~~ What was the purpose of inviting Mindless Behavior to the mall?

Surely, you had to know that Mindless Behavior would attract a large and potentially rowdy crowd. Mindless Behavior pushed their appearance in advance to their 821,645 Twitter followers---many of whom, in turn, notified thousands of others.

And Mindless Behavior promoted their appearance via YouTube and other avenues:

And you yourself promoted the event via your website, Facebook and Twitter.

~~ How many mall security officers were on duty when the situation got out of hand?

~~ Did you have extra mall security on hand that day? If so, how many?

~~ Did you alert Chicago Police in advance? How about the Burbank, Bedford Park, Hometown and Oak Lawn PDs? If yes, how far in advance? If no, why not?

~~ In light of what occurred, do you plan to apologize to Ford City customers, Ford City business tenants, the people who were injured (including a CTA bus driver who was taken to a hospital) and the tens of thousands of men, women and children living in the immediate area? If so, when do you plan to make that apology? If not, why not?

Ford City, we at the Southwest Chicago Post are consistently pro-business and supportive of your efforts to attract customers---as we are of all retailers in the area. But clearly, something went very wrong today.

Ford City Mall, you owe us all an explanation.

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Update: At about 9:00 p.m. tonight, Ford City posted this on its Facebook page:

"Thank you to all the Mindless Behavior fans who attended today's meet & greet. Totally unrelated to today's event, a group of unruly teens entered the mall and caused a disturbance. On the recommendation of the Chicago Police Department the mall was closed for the safety of the shoppers and tenants. The mall will re-open at 11 a.m. tomorrow."

We ran Ford City's statement by Chicago Police for an official response. A CPD spokesman replied:

"A large number of teens at a rap group promotion at Ford City Mall caused a disturbance. Mall closed for safety reasons. Three people sustained minor injuries and were transported to area hospitals. Approximately 20 arrests. NFI." (no further information)

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Thursday, February 21, 2013

St. Joe's Invites All to Lenten Mission

A press release from our friends at St. Joseph Parish:

All are invited and welcome to the St. Joseph Parish Lenten Mission at St. Joseph Church, 7240 West 57th Street. The Lenten Mission will take place on Monday, February 25 and Tuesday, February 26 at 7:00 p.m.

The theme of this year’s mission is “Love. Grow. Serve.” The focus of the Mission speaker will revolve around “Love – For Christ, His Church and One Another,” “Grow – In Faith and Spirituality” and “Serve – Christ, His Church and One Another.”

On Monday, February 25 at 7:00 p.m. a special invitation is extended to all those who are sick as well as their nurses and caretakers. Those suffering physically, emotionally or spiritually are invited to receive the Anointing of the Sick. All caretakers, including family members, friends, doctors, physician’s assistants and nurses are invited to receive a special Caretakers Blessing and receive a special prayer gift.

On Tuesday, February 26 at 7:00 p.m. all are welcome to partake in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Confessions will be heard individually. This is a perfect way for the faithful to cleanse and prepare the soul to be at one with Christ during the Lenten season, so they can rejoice fully when Easter Sunday arrives.

Father James Presta
The mission speaker will be the Reverend and author, Fr. James Presta. He is happy to be returning to the southwest suburbs for the St. Joseph Parish Mission. He has previously served on the Catholic Charities Southwest Board and worked in area parishes.

Fr. Presta attended Our Lady of the Snows School, St. Laurence High School, Niles College Seminary and University of St. Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary. He earned his doctorate in Mariology, the study of the Blessed Virgin Mary, at the Marianum Pontifical Institute.

Fr. Presta is a popular Catholic Blogger online and his scholarly writing has been published in various Catholic documents and text books. Following his ordination, he served as associate pastor at St. Christopher Parish in Midlothian (1986-93), Queen of Martyrs Parish in Evergreen Park (1993-96), rector and president of St. Joseph College Seminary (1996-2010) and as vice rector and dean of admissions at Mundelein Seminary (2010-11).

He is a highly respected and well-received speaker for retreats and missions. Those who attend are asked to consider bringing a friend or neighbor to the mission. Refreshments will be served in the Narthex both nights. Donation boxes will be set up for anyone who wishes to make a voluntary donation.

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