Thursday, July 31, 2014

Elderly Man Gets Scammed By Phony IRS Agent, Loses $13,000 in One Day

The following crime did not occur on Chicago's Southwest Side.

It occurred in southwest suburban Palos Park on Thursday, July 31.

But it could have easily happened on the Southwest Side.

Our thanks to Palos Park Police Chief Joe Miller (a Southwest Chicago Post reader), who shared it with us as an important cautionary tale.

* * *
At about 9:30 a.m. Thursday, July 31, a Palos Park senior
citizen receives a phone call from a man who identifies himself as "Jack Copper" and claims to be an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) agent (but in reality is not). The victim's caller ID display showed 1-800-829-1040, an actual IRS phone number (but in reality, it was being spoofed by the con artist). 

"Jack Copper" tells the victim that he is delinquent on his taxes since 2001-06 and owes $4,400 to the government. "Lose your house or pay your debt," the authentic sounding (but fake) "IRS agent" tells the victim.

So the victim goes to a nearby Marquette Bank location with instructions to obtain a Green Dot Money Pak card and then share the card numbers with "Jack Copper."

In the end, the elderly victim lost about $13,000 of his own money.
* * *

In the wake of the crime, Chief Miller has once again shared some good advice:

Tax Scams

Don't fall victim to tax scams. Remember — if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Phony Arguments

No matter how some things are sliced, they're still baloney. If someone tells you that you don't have to pay taxes, check out The Truth About Frivolous Tax Arguments. This exclusive addresses some of the more common false "legal" arguments made by those opposed to compliance with the federal tax laws. Each contention is briefly explained, followed by a discussion of the legal authority that rejects the contention. The second section deals with frivolous arguments encountered in collection due process cases. The final section illustrates penalties imposed on those pursuing frivolous cases.

Identity Theft Scams

The IRS has issued several consumer warnings about the fraudulent use of the IRS name or logo by scamsters trying to gain access to consumers’ financial information in order to steal their identity and assets. Scamsters will use the regular mail, telephone, fax or email to set up their victims. When identity theft takes place over the Internet (email), it is called phishing.

The IRS does not initiate taxpayer communications through email. Unsolicited email claiming to be from the IRS, or from an IRS-related component such as EFTPS, should be reported to the IRS at  within an unsolicited email claiming to come from the IRS may download a malicious computer virus onto your computer.

Learn more about identity theft.  Learn how to protect your personal information. You may also report instances of IRS-related phishing attempts and fraud to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at 1-800-366-4484.  Reporting Tax-Related Schemes, Scams, Identity Theft and Fraud.

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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

St. Rene School Sets Open House, Outdoor Movie Night for August 8th

Just sharing some information from our friends at St. Rene Goupil School.

Looks like fun. Mark your calendars!

# # #

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. 

* * *

The FBI and other law enforcement agencies continue to investigate a strong-arm robbery of the BMO Harris Bank at 6400 S. Pulaski at 12:40 p.m. Thursday, July 24.

According to authorities, the robber handed a teller a note that read, "Give me $50,000 in hundreds."

The teller responded by handing over a stack of $100 bills. When the criminal demanded more, she gave him stacks of $50s and $20s.

A bank security guard said the robber fled out the front door, running west on 64th Street before jumping into the passenger seat of a silver Pontiac, when then sped north on Komensky.

Officials said that the robber dropped his red baseball cap and stick-up note at the scene.

He is described as a black man age 22-30, 6'0 to 6'4 and 160-230 pounds, brown eyes, black dreadlocks, medium complexion, with a birth mark on the left side of his face, wearing tan shorts and a multi-colored top.

* * *

A 21-year-old West Lawn man said by police to be an admitted gangbanger was arrested and
Arthur R. Beristain
charged with burglary and criminal trespass to land, after he allegedly was seen rummaging through a car near 62nd
 and Keating.

Arthur R. Beristain of 62nd and Kilpatrick was apprehended by police after a foot chase at 3:57 a.m. Wednesday, July 23.

Bond was set at $30,000, and Beristain was scheduled to appear in Cook County Circuit Court Branch 48, 155 W. 51st St., on Wednesday, July 30.

* * *

Burglars broke into the Chuangyi Metals warehouse, 3939 S. Karlov, and stole a forklift valued at $15,000 and a front loader valued at $20,000.

The crime occurred at about 8:20 p.m. Wednesday, July 23. A short time later, the same burglars used the forklift to steal six pallets of boxed pedestal fans from a warehouse at 4500 W. 47th St., according to a police incident report. In all, 384 fans were stolen, with a total value of $10,000.

The criminals gained access to the warehouse by smashing their way through a loading dock door. Police said they were reviewing surveillance video.

* * *

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, August 6. 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.

A 34-year-old woman was stabbed by a robber in the backyard of her home near 50th and Kenneth.

The victim told police that she saw a man sitting in her yard at about 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 22. He reportedly stabbed her with a switchblade knife as he said, "Give me your f~cking purse, b~tch."

He fled on foot with the purse, and the victim was transported by ambulance to Christ Hospital, where she was listed in stable condition.

She described the attacker as a Hispanic man age 35-45, 5’6 to 5’7, medium complexion, wearing a black baseball cap and dark blue shorts.

* * *

A thug tried but failed to steal money from two clerks at Family Dollar, 5016 S. Cicero.

According to the 29-year-old store manager, the offender handed a note to a clerk at about 1:30 p.m. Sunday, July 20. The note read, "All your money now, or die."

The clerk passed the note to the manager, who immediately kicked a safe door closed. The robber fled the store, running through the parking lot and then west on 50th Street. He is described as a black man age 28-33, 6’1 to 6’3 and 220-240 pounds, brown eyes, dark complexion, black braided hair, wearing a black baseball cap, gray t-shirt and blue jeans.

* * *

A 62-year-old Archer Heights man told police he was robbed at gunpoint as he walked down a sidewalk in front of 4854 S. Karlov at 10:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 23.

Stolen was the victim’s brown leather shoulder bag, which contained a wallet, cell phone, credit cards, driver’s license and $50 cash. The robber is described as a Hispanic man age 20-22, 5’6 and 170 pounds, light complexion.

* * *

A 36-year-old man from suburban Worth, who police said described himself as a panhandler who works the 79th and Cicero area, was shot by young men with a BB gun.

The shooting occurred at 5 p.m. Tuesday, July 22 at a CTA bus stop in front of 4755 W. 79th Street. The victim could only describe his attackers as Arab males in a white SUV.

* * *

Burglars forced open the front window of a home near 51st and Hamlin and stole a video game console, four gold chains, a tiffany necklace, and $280 cash. The crime was discovered by the victim, a 34-year-old man, when he came home from work at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, July 24.


Burglars forced open the front window of a home near 63rd and Kilbourn and stole two laptop computers, a desktop computer, a TV, assorted jewelry, two video game consoles, an iPod and $3,300 cash.

The same burglars also allegedly forced open the service door of the garage and stole assorted tools, a bicycle, a battery charger, a generator and an air compressor.

The crime was discovered by the victim, a 50-year-old man, when he came home from work at 3 p.m. Wednesday, July 23.

* * *

Burglars entered a garage near 53rd and Kolin and stole a snowblower, a circular saw, a jigsaw and a bicycle.

The crime was discovered by the victim, a 41-year-old woman, at 1 p.m. Tuesday, July 22. There was no sign of forced entry, and she told police she thinks rats may have triggered a motion sensor that raises the overhead door.

* * *

A 90-year-old West Elsdon woman who left a front window open a crack for ventilation when she left her house near 52nd and Hamlin, returned at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 22 to find the premises burglarized and an unknown amount of jewelry missing.

* * *

Burglars broke through a bathroom window of a basement apartment near 49th and Kildare and stole a DVD player and $350 cash.

The crime was discovered by the victim, a 29-year-old man, when he came home at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 22.

# # #

Saturday, July 26, 2014

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

* * *

Dear Editor,

I saw your videos, and I think it's sad that you are endorsing Paulino Villarreal for alderman of the 23rd Ward. We need to keep our alderman, Mike Zalewski working for us!

David Olszewski
Garfield Ridge

Editor's reply: The Southwest Chicago Post has not endorsed any political candidates for any office, including for 23rd Ward alderman. We may possibly endorse at some point in the future. But we have definitely not at this point. Our eyes, ears and minds are open.

We covered Paulino Villarreal's announcement of his candidacy for two reasons: first, it's news. Second, we were available to be there and cover it. Nothing more, nothing less.

Covering it as we did, where we basically just let our cameras roll, C-SPAN style, gives candidates a chance to say what they want, and it gives voters a clear view of the candidates, unfiltered by news reporters. The Southwest Chicago Post is the only Southwest Side news organization that does it that way.

* * *


Are you going to be accepting political advertising? I hope not. This Quinn-Rauner race is getting uglier every day, and these attacks ads are everywhere. Makes we want to turn off the radio, TV and even the computer.

Ellie Swiderik
West Lawn

Editor's reply: Yes, we do welcome advertising from political candidates, under limited circumstances. Our basic package includes a simple clickable-icon, on the right-hand side of each and every page, 24/7. Our upgraded package includes an icon, plus embedded video. That said, we will strive for a balance--in other words, give candidates the exposure they want, yet don't allow political messages to clutter our news content. Candidates who want to advertise should email Southwest Chicago Post readers are Southwest Side men and women who are smart, aware, who are registered to vote and vote, and who are the type of people who typically influence the opinions of others. Campaign dollars spent with the Southwest Chicago Post are well targeted. Candidates who put their trust in mass mailings often don't understand that most of their dollars are wasted because people throw away their message, unread, as junk mail.

* * *


Please keep up the good work telling the truth about Mayor Rahm Emanuel. You're the only newspaper on the Southwest Side doing it. I just about get sick to my stomach when I see other neighborhood newspapers running these press statements from Emanuel, word for word, with absolutely no comment. Same thing with Lipinski.

You guys got backbone. Keep it up. Rahm is a disgrace and has got to go in 2015.

John Wilkosz
Garfield Ridge

Editor's reply: Thank you. We typically don't run press releases from politicians. Why? Because they typically don't send them to us in the first place. Why don't they? Because they know we will actually read them and may comment on them, and that commentary may include criticism. An independent neighborhood news organization that uses its head is something many politicians don't want.

* * *


I saw what the Eighth District police commander said about the bucket boys. I think it's sad that we pay taxes for police protection, and then the police decide they're not going to enforce the law. These so-called bucket boys are panhandlers disguised as musicians. Maybe we should have the bucket boys play outside the police commander's office and see how he likes it.

Lupe Mendez


* * *


Thank you for continuing to give us the news about crime in the district. I especially like that you deliver the news when you get it and don't wait for some daily or weekly deadline. I saw a few weeks back that you posted crime news at 3 in the morning! Don't you sleep?

Delores Murphy

Editor's reply: When you enjoy what you do as much as we do, it's not work. So if it's midnight or later, and we receive a crime-related alert from the Chicago Police Department or Cook County Sheriff, or FBI or anyone--and the information is something useful that the men and women of the Southwest Side may want to know about promptly, we don't roll over and go back to sleep. We're up and on the computer, pulling it together and getting it to you quickly. It's what we do. We're glad you like it. Thank you!



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Friday, July 25, 2014

Sheriff Nabs 36-Year-Old Sleepy Hollow Man in Central Stickney Bar Stabbing

The press release below was just released at 5:19 p.m. today by the Cook County Sheriff''s Office:

~ ~ ~

A 36-year-old man has been charged with attempted murder for a stabbing that occurred at a bar in unincorporated Stickney, Cook County Sheriff Thomas J. Dart said today.

Jorge Rivera-Camacho, of the 4300 block of South Keating Ave in Chicago, appeared in bond court on
Jorge Rivera-Camacho
Tuesday where he was ordered held in lieu of $750,000 bond.

According to the Sheriff’s Police investigation, at approximately 9:45 p.m. on July 20, Rivera- Camacho got into a verbal argument with another person at a bar in the 4800 block of S. Central Ave. 

The 48-year-old victim intervened and also became involved in the argument with Rivera-Camacho. Rivera-Camacho left the bar, went to a parked vehicle, returned to the bar and continued to argue with the victim. Rivera-Camacho then stabbed the victim once in the chest with a knife, according to the investigation.

Rivera-Camacho fled the bar, but responding Sheriff’s Police officers found him and placed him in custody. Officers also recovered a knife.

The victim was taken to an area hospital for treatment.

Rivera-Camacho’s next court date is scheduled for Aug. 14 at the Bridgeview Courthouse.

Sheriff Dart reminds the public that the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty by the government in a court of law.

# # #

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Villarreal Vows to Take on Zalewski, Madigan, Burke in 23rd Ward Race

Garfield Ridge business owner Paulino Villarreal announced his candidacy for 23rd Ward alderman on Wednesday night.

The Southwest Chicago Post was there to record the moment, particularly his opening statement.

Here it is:


Posted below is additional video shot by the Southwest Chicago Post, in which Paulino Villarreal responds to a few questions on local issues.



# # #

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Garfield Ridge Neighborhood Watch Facebook Page All Facts, No Fiction

As they have in the past, leaders of the Garfield Ridge Neighborhood Watch are reminding everyone that while Facebook and other forms of social media can be useful tools to share information, they can harm a community, in cases where they are used to spread rumors and
reckless speculation.

The issue was mentioned briefly at the July 21 meeting of the group, held at European Chalet Banquets at the Mayor's Mansion, 5445 S. Harlem. 

Cacciottolo and other GRNW board members took a moment to point out the differences between their Facebook page and other local Facebook groups that use buzzwords like "watch," "watchdog," "crime" and more.

While careful not to single out any individual Facebook group or issue any sort of blanket criticism, Cacciottolo said of the GRNW Facebook group, “We only put on information that people need to know.

GRNW Secretary Michele Doherty added, “Everything is verified. When we share the information, it has been verified by the police.”

“The [GRNW] Facebook page is not a rumor mill,” Cacciottolo stated.

Also at Monday's meeting:

** The GRNW honored David and Nancy Leno, owners of Midway Tree Service, as the business people of the month.

David Leno (left) and Al Cacciottolo
Midway Tree Service has a 34-year affiliation with Garfield Ridge and surrounding communities. It began in 1980 when David and his brother and former partner Nick, cut down a tree for a neighbor, and decided they liked working in the outdoors. They borrowed a saw from their older brother, threw it in the trunk of Nancy Leno’s 1979 Buick Skylark and a business was born.

Many years, trees and specialized equipment later, the Lenos are still serving the neighborhood where his parents, Nick and Martha raised them.

David Leno thanked the Garfield Ridge Neighborhood Watch for the award, stressing, “I’ve been in this neighborhood all my life.”
** Cacciottolo then went on to introduce Summit Police Sergeant Edward Zieman, the new head of the Summit Neighborhood Watch organization.

Cacciottolo said that many members sit in on the Summit Neighborhood Watch meetings,
Summit PD Sergeant Edward Zieman
and that both groups exchange information to keep abreast of both sides of what is happening on both sides of Harlem Avenue.

“It’s a nice working relationship,” Cacciottolo said. “It’s been awesome.”
** The Garfield Ridge Neighborhood Watch will be participating in National Night Out on Tuesday, August 5. This time they are making the event even more local. Instead of participating with the Clearing Night Force as they have done in previous years, the GRNW will be driving around Garfield Ridge in a police-and fire department-led motorcade. The group will start their motorcade at 7 p.m. from Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, 5259 S. Parkside, and end their evening at Valley Forge Park, 7001 W. 59th St., where they will serve light refreshments.

While driving around the neighborhood, the group will be beeping their horns in acknowledgement of National Night Out, which urges citizens to fight crime in their own neighborhoods. Cacciottolo asked that those who can’t participate to please leave their porch light on as a symbolic gesture.

** The GRNW and Cacciottolo asked members and residents to “Take Pride in Your Backside,” a new initiative by the group to clean up alleyways behind otherwise well groomed houses.

“We are asking residents to worry about their 30-foot backside,” Cacciottolo said.

He added that the group will be taking on a special alley, near 58th and New England, at 10 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 10. They will meet by the alley, where there is parking, according to Mike Doherty, GRNW vice president. They will have rakes, shovels, brooms and more available for volunteers. Everyone is invited to join in. Cacciottolo said it would probably only take a couple of hours.

** Another Sell-A-Bration, a large garage sale type of event, will be held by the GRNW on Saturday, Aug. 23 since the June event was a partial rainout, said Arlene White, one of the GRNW board members in charge of special events.

White said that those who participated in June would get a discount on renting a table and added that anyone who is interested in participating in the Aug. 23 Sell-A-Bration is welcome to rent a space at the Kennedy High School parking lot. The group, she added, only charges space rental, and the participant gets to keep whatever profit is made at the event.

** Donna Gesiakowski encouraged everyone to get involved with Honor Flight Chicago, which honors World War II veterans by taking them on a day-long trips to Washington D.C.

The veterans take a 4:30 a.m. flight chartered by Honor Flight out of Midway Airport to the nation’s capital and they are treated to tours of various war memorials.

For more information, see the Honor Flight Chicago listing in the Southwest Chicago Post's community calendar.

# # #

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Fight or Flight? Self-Defense Tips Shared With Garfield Ridge Neighborhood Watch

Survival in the “concrete jungle” is a matter of awareness, not physical prowess, a group of Garfield Ridge men and women were told Monday night.

“Anything that moves can kill you,” said Nick Moran, a Marine Corps veteran and lead instructor at Innovative
Nick Moran (right) and Armando Bucio.
Survival Arts (ISA), 6537 W. 63rd St, to a group of more than 50 people at the July meeting of the Garfield Ridge Neighborhood Watch, held at 
European Chalet Banquets at the Mayor's Mansion, 5445 S. Harlem.

Moran, and his associate, Armando Bucio, a lead instructor at Bucio’s Martial Arts and an assistant instructor at ISA, said that there are three different kinds of awareness that heightens the chance for survival: awareness of self; awareness of threats and awareness of environment.

Smart Phone, Dumb Move

The worst threat to people’s awareness is something that everyone carries on them:
the smart phone. As people "plug into" their smart phone, they are unplugging from what is around them. That puts them into dangerous situations, Moran said. It brings about “constant partial attention,” which means people are not aware of what’s around them, that their area awareness shrinks to what they are looking at on the screen, and not what is directly around them. This makes individuals targets for criminals.
“There is a predator/prey relationship in the jungle. Predators in the environment look for weaknesses,” Moran said. “Criminals are looking for people who are not paying attention.”
Moran’s first tip was a simple one: “pick your head up.”
Criminals, he said, are looking people who are not aware. To avoid being a victim, Moran said to make eye contact with people, be polite, be friendly. He also prescribed “360 degree awareness,” people knowing what’s around them, in front of them and behind them when they are out walking the streets.

Give Up the Goods, Not Yourself

If you do come in contact with a criminal who wants something of yours, be it cell
phone, jewelry or wallet, what do you do?, asked Moran.
“Give it to him,” the audience answered immediately.
“Right. Anything you own can be replaced," Moran said, “You can’t be.”
However, he added, if a criminal wants you to go to another location, when do you go?
“Never,” was Moran’s blunt reply.
“According to FBI statistics, you have a 90 percent less chance of coming home if you go to a secondary location,” Moran said. “A kidnapping sentence is just about as long as a murder sentence. A criminal doesn’t have any incentive to keep you alive if you’ve seen something he didn’t want you to see.”
He told the audience to stay in the public eye on the street, make a lot of noise, attract attention so someone will call for help. “I’ll scream bloody murder if I have to,” Moran said.
“In an altercation, you want to survive and escape," he added. "Don’t be a Mike Tyson or Bruce Lee. The objective is not to get a lot of bruises, but to cause a few bruises and get out of Dodge."

Know the Signs

Moran and Bucio then demonstrated some ways for a person to protect himself, or
herself as the case may be.
The first is to concentrate on the physical signals the criminal is giving you. This signs may include clenching fists or clapping hands and taking a half step forward on an angle. This is the time to “get your hands up,” Moran said.
Putting your hands up to protect your head and turning on an angle and making yourself smaller can help in a fight, he said.
A person’s first inclination is to make a fist and punch, but this can hurt an individual by breaking a wrist or arm, Moran said. Instead, a person can use a fist as a "gorilla hammer" to strike at a person. Individuals who are trying to get away from a criminal with as few bruises as possible can also use their elbows and knees, the hardest bones in the body, Moran said. They can also use their hands, open palm, to shred and gouge an opponent. Biting is also suggested if that works.

Even the Strong Are Weak

To survive a physical alteration, go for the weak points on the body, Moran said. Those are the eyes, ears, nose, face, throat, solar plexus, groin, shins, the top of the foot and fingers. As Moran put it, “fingers are the worse things for these guys. No matter how big these guys get, the pinkies remain tiny and week.”
He added, “If I disrupt his senses, it makes it more difficult to find me.  For instance, if I go for the eyes, he can’t see and can’t fight.”
He also added, “It takes eight pounds of pressure per square inch to remove the ears from the head. So, don’t wear eight-pound earrings, “ he said laughing.
Bucio played the “criminal” in the demonstration, and was the recipient of Moran’s self-defense moves. An audience member who may have felt sorry for Bucio shouted out, “Armando, there are better jobs out there than this!”
Moran and Bucio demonstrated some moves that had a person defending himself by using the open palm hand to go for the eyes, ears and twisting the person’s head away from him.
 “Think of his head as a twist cap of a mayo jar, a giant jar of evil mayo and that lid needs to be taken off,” Moran said.
If a person is concentrating on other areas of the body, such as the groin, Moran said to “grab, twist and pull.” Raking along the shins, he said, destroys balance. If an individual is grabbed from behind, tucking the chin into an elbow helps a person breathe.
If you have any kind of “environmental weapons,” such as a pen, spoon or phone, use them, he advised. Chairs can be used as blockades to create a distance and allow more time to get away. A bottle of water can be smashed into a person face to discombobulate them and the sound of the crushing plastic is another distraction. Distract the criminal, disrupt his senses and then grab his pinkie finger back.
“The primary focus is to get away,” Moran reiterated.
“Self defense is a way of life, not just physical moves,” Moran concluded.

(l-r) Armando Bucio, GRNW President Al Cacciottolo, Nick Moran

Innovative Survival Arts offers self-defense training for adults, children's programs that include an anti-bullying component, "combat readiness" programs, and sessions that teach sexual assault survival skills.

For more information, visit

(Editor's note: More coverage of the GRNW meeting coming. Stay tuned.)

Do you like receiving crime-related news and other useful information, at no charge, from the Southwest Chicago Post?
There's one easy way to keep the news flowing, for free: patronize our advertisers. Stop by their stores and thank them directly for their support.
This month, please stop by Archer BP. Click here for details. Thanks!

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Monday, July 21, 2014

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 21-year-old Scottsdale gangbanger who reportedly dared police to search his vehicle was charged with unlawful possession of a handgun, after police said they found a 9 mm handgun with seven live rounds stashed in the vehicle's air filter compartment.

Abed A. Ramadan of 82nd and Kolmar was stopped by police in front of 8110 S. Kilpatrick at 9:25 p.m. Tuesday, July 15, about an hour after they stopped his vehicle in front of 4522 W. 79th Place and arrested several passengers on narcotics charges.

Police said that after they found the weapon, Ramadan admitted it was his, saying he needs it because rival gangbangers are harassing him. They added that Ramadan has been a gang member since age 15.

The CPD incident report gave no indication of a court date.

* * *

A 49-year-old Archer Heights woman punched a robber in the head and sent him scampering after he had snatched a tri-color gold chain with a Blessed Virgin medallion from around her neck.

The crime occurred in front of 4700 S. Komensky at 12:15 p.m. Tuesday, July 15. The victim did succeed in hanging onto her purse. The robber is described as a Hispanic man age 23-26, 5’8 to 5’9 and 140-150 pounds, brown eyes, light complexion, black hair in a Mohawk style, wearing a dark gray T-shirt and blue jeans.

* * *

Want to fight crime in central and western Garfield Ridge? Head over to the next meeting of the Garfield Ridge Neighborhood Watch, set for 7:00 p.m. Monday, July 21 at European Chalet Banquets at the Mayor's Mansion, 5445 South Harlem.
Monthly meeting. Open to the public. One of Chicago's most active and effective citizen-led crime fighting groups. If you live or own a business in central or western Garfield Ridge (anything west of Central Avenue), this is the group to join! Guest speaker is Nicholas Moran of Innovative Survival Arts, headquartered at 6537 West 63rd Street, who will lead a self-defense demonstration.

* * *

An alert neighbor appears to have scared away two men attempting to burglarize a home near 53rd and Ridgeway at 11:30 a.m. Monday, July 14. The neighbor, a 39-year-old woman, said she saw two suspicious-looking men in the victim’s backyard. She immediately called the victim, who was at work. Police were then called, but the offenders were gone by the time a squad arrived.

The neighbor said she thinks the two heard her talking on the phone, which made them flee. She described the would-be burglars as two black men age 20-30 who fled in a small, blue, two-door car. Both were wearing blue gloves. They had forced a screen off a rear window before fleeing.

* * *

A 31 year-old Brighton Park man told police that a group of thugs accosted him and then fired a gun at him as was walking near 47th and Pulaski at 1:30 a.m. Friday, July 18. Up to six men were involved in the attack, the victim said. After firing and missing, the attackers fled in a black truck. The victim said he ran to nearby houses and persuaded a Good Samaritan drive him home. The attackers are described as Hispanic men age 18-25.

A 10-year-old West Elsdon boy said he was stabbed by a home invader at 11:37 a.m. Thursday, July 17. The offender reportedly entered via a back basement door and fled after the incident at the home near 51st and Ridgeway. He was described as a Hispanic boy or man age 17-18, 5’4 and 120 pounds, short black hair, light complexion, wearing a black and red hoody and blue jeans. The police report gave no indication if there was any sign of forced entry or speculation on a possible motive. Several other people were in the home at the time.

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A 40-year-old Archer Heights man was taken into custody after he allegedly pushed a police officer. Police said they saw Juan C. Aguillon of 49th and Kostner riding his bike in the middle of the 6500 block of West 63rd Street at 8:23 a.m. Friday, July 18. When they told him to ride in the designated bike lane, he resisted, they said. He was transported to Mt. Sinai Hospital for psychiatric evaluation, police added.

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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, July 22. 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.

A burglar smashed the glass front door of Baby Burritos, 8121 S. Pulaski, at 5:13 a.m. Saturday, July 19, entered but managed to steal nothing of value. The business owner, a 40-year-old Midlothian man, told police the crime was captured by a video surveillance camera. The burglar threw a cash register to the floor, but the business does not keep cash in its registers overnight.

The victim further stated that the burglar is the same individual who burglarized the eatery on July 17, stealing a TV set. The criminal is described as a black man age 25-35, 5'9 to 6'0 and 190-230 pounds, medium complexion,wearing a white baseball cap and a tan hoodie.

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A burglar smashed the glass front door of JJ Fish & Chicken, 4049 W. 79th St., at about 2:45 a.m. Sunday, July 20. The crime was detected when the burglar triggered an alarm, and a security company notified a manager, a 46-year-old Brighton Park man. Stolen was about $400 cash, the manager told police.

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Burglars entered the back door of a home near 49th and Kolin and stole a TV. The crime was discovered by the victim, a 34-year-old man, when he came home from work at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 16.

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