Wednesday, January 16, 2019

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 the western section of the district. 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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Woman’s head slammed into tree stump during argument
A 27-year-old Scottsdale woman was treated for injuries at Advocate Christ Medical Center after a man slammed her head into a tree stump during an argument on the street in the 7900 block of South Kilbourn at 4:41 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 6. The victim told police she was sitting in a parked car with a friend—a 24-year-old man she named—when they started arguing over money he owed her. When she grabbed cash from the vehicle’s center console and got out, the man chased her. He slammed her head into the stump, took her cellphone and sped away in his car. Police assigned an evidence technician to process a blood sample found on the stump.

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Want to work directly with Chicago Police to prevent crime in your neighborhood? Make a New Year's resolution to attend your monthly CAPS meetings in 2019. 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. Check the map to see which beat is yours. Check back with the Southwest Chicago Post in the weeks ahead for meeting times and dates.

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Man wanted on molestation rap caught by cops

A 37-year-old South Side man was charged with four felony counts of aggravated criminal
Valentino Wilbourn
sexual abuse of a family member under 18, one felony count of criminal sexual assault family member under 18 and one felony count of criminal sexual assault/consent after a traffic stop at 3432 W. Marquette Road at 7:50 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 8.

Valentino Wilbourn, of the 8100 block of South Drexel, was taken into custody at the scene.

A charge of unlawful possession of a handgun was added after police reportedly found a handgun wrapped in a black ski mask in the vehicle.

According to public records, Wilbourn has been arrested four times by CPD—twice for failing to register with police as a convicted gun offender.

Walking to bus stop, teen robbed at gunpoint
A 17-year-old Chicago Lawn boy was robbed at gunpoint in front of 6320 S. Francisco at 7:50 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 8. The teen told police he was walking to a CTA bus stop when two men walked up. One waved a pistol and demanded his belongings. They stole his school backpack, cellphone, $20 cash and textbooks and supplies. They then ran away north on Francisco. The victim chased them a short way and saw them jump into a beige car and speed away. The bandits were described as black men age 18-19, one with his hair in an Afro style, the other’s hair was in dreadlocks.

Bandit flees store empty-handed
A would-be robber tried but failed to force his way into the cash room of a store at 4932 S. Kedzie at 11:12 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 8. Two store employees—a 46-year-old woman and a 66-year-old woman—were inside the locked cash room when a man knocked on the door and threatened to rob them if they did not open up. The women refused, and the man fled. He was described only as a black man wearing a black stocking cap. Police declined to name the store.

Whacked in the head, robbed as he sits on bus
An 18-year-old West Lawn man was robbed as he sat on a CTA bus in front of 3154 W. Marquette Road at 5:40 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 8. The victim told police that 4-5 people snatched away his cellphone, hit him on the side of the head and ran off the bus. The robbers were described only as black boys or men.

Phone tracker leads to armed robbery arrest

A 29-year-old West Elsdon man was charged with armed robbery after he allegedly used a
Jose Granados
handgun to rob an 18-year-old West Elsdon man of his wallet and cellphone.

Jose A. Granados, of the 3800 block of West 57th Place, was arrested at his home at about 10 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 8, about 15 minutes after the crime occurred.

The victim told police he was standing near an alley near 57th and Springfield when a white SUV pulled alongside. The driver reportedly waved a pistol and demanded his belongings. The victim complied. A woman in the vehicle demanded the victim’s sweater. He refused and ran away. The SUV then sped away.

The victim, near his home, used a tracking application to trace his phone to Granados’ home. Police brought the victim to Granados’ home, where he was positively identified by the victim. The cellphone and wallet were recovered, police said.

Bandit in hoody robs man near ATM
A 26-year-old Summit man said he was robbed at gunpoint near 63rd and Moody at 10:55 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 8. The victim told police that as he was getting out of his car to go to a nearby ATM at a credit union, a man approached and tried to rob him. He pushed the bandit away, but the man then displayed a pistol in his waistband. He patted down the victim, took his wallet and removed $250 cash. He then ran away north on Moody and east down the alley behind the credit union. He wore a red hoody that concealed much of his facial characteristics. He was described only as a Hispanic man about 5-foot-7.

Bandits steal chicken, cheese sticks from driver
A 61-year-old delivery driver was robbed of a food order as he stood on the street in the 3600 block of West 85th Street at 1:12 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 9. The victim, a driver for Nonna’s Pizza in Oak Lawn, told police that he tried to deliver an order of boneless chicken and cheese sticks to a house, but there was no answer at the door. He then was accosted by two robbers, who showed handguns and took the food. The victim jumped in his vehicle and sped away as the robbers him threatened him with their guns. He told police he heard a pop that he thought was a gunshot. He was not injured. One robber was described as a Hispanic man about 5-foot-10 and 150 pounds. The other was described as a Hispanic boy age 14-15, about 5-foot-11 and 175 pounds, with brown eyes and a light complexion.

Charge two with burglary of Garfield Ridge home
Dion Stone

Two 46-year-old West Side men were charged with burglary after they were arrested at a vacant home in the 5600 block of South Mason at 12:23 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 8.

Dion Stone, of the 900 block of North Lavergne, and Shannon Williams, of the 800 block of North Lawler, were apprehended at the scene.

A CPD spokesman said that Williams “was observed walking to the door of the location with a bolt cutter and cutting a lockbox off the residence. Both offenders then entered the residence and removed property, loading it onto a truck.”
Shannon Williams

The vacant home is owned by a 32-year-old Orland Park man.

Gambling thief swipes $1,000 from bar
A man with a bogus slot machine receipt stole $1,000 cash from Orion bar, 5772 S. Archer, at 1:50 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 8. The bar owner, a 51-year-old woman, told police that the man initially tricked her into thinking the receipt was valid. By the time she realized it was not, she had placed the cash on the counter, and the man grabbed it. She tried to lock the door to prevent the robber from leaving, but he shoved his way past her and ran away north. He was described as an Asian man age 30-40, about 5-foot-8 and 180 pounds, with brown eyes, short brown hair and a medium complexion.

Burglars hit apartment while victim out of town
Burglars broke into an apartment in the 6700 block of West 63rd Street and stole a video game console, assorted gift cards and $450 cash. The crime was reported to police at 4:47 p.m. Friday, Jan. 4. The victim, a 46-year-old man, was out of town when the crime occurred.

Big Coach purse heist at Garfield Ridge home
Burglars forced open the side door of a home in the 5900 block of South Natoma and stole two laptop computers, a wedding ring, a Playstation 4 video game console and 20 Coach purses. The crime was discovered by the victim, a 38-year-old woman, at 2:55 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 8.

Copper piping swiped from vacant apartment
Burglars entered an apartment building in the 6100 block of South Kildare and stole copper piping. The crime was reported to police by the building’s owner, a 48-year-old Scottsdale woman, at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 8. The building is vacant and under renovation. Police said they saw no sign of forced entry.

Tools taken from garage in Clearing
Burglars entered a condominium garage in the 6200 block of South Gullikson and stole assorted tools. The crime was reported to police by the victim, a 51-year-old man, at 3:57 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 6. The victim told police he noticed pry marks on a door.

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Saturday, January 12, 2019

Valentine Bingo fun at St. Sym's!

Our friends at St. Symphorosa have big bingo fun coming up in February. Click the image for details!

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Friday, January 11, 2019

Get the picture, Emanuel Administration

Opinion By Tim Hadac
Managing Editor
Southwest Chicago Post

Since the Southwest Chicago Post was founded in early 2012, we have brought news of crime--large and small--to the people of the Southwest Side.

That's important, we know you agree, because folks want to know what's going on. Where the garage break-ins are occurring. Where the home and business burglaries are happening. Details about robberies, batteries and assaults.

Folks also want to know about people charged with crimes--who they are, where they're from and what they look like.

That last bit of detail--what they look like--requires a mugshot.

And that can be important beyond simply satisfying folks' curiosity. Printing mugshots in newspapers, showing mugshots on TV and posting mugshots online in publications like the Southwest Chicago Post has, on occasion over the years, resulted in everything from apprehension of deadbeat dads to arrests of accused murderers.

Post a mugshot, and every now and then someone seeing it will have an "Aha!" moment and call police.

But not anymore. At least, not in Chicago.

You see, the Chicago Police Department has decided to no longer post mugshots of people they arrest for misdemeanor crimes--in other words, for the vast majority of arrests they make.

And when we say "misdemeanor," please don't think we're talking about a guy who steals a pack of gum from a store.

These days, "misdemeanor" often includes burglary, robbery, assault, battery and domestic battery, weapons violations, you name it. People often charged with violent crimes.

So now, instead of seeing what people charged with crimes look like, we'll see something like this:

Reminder, as always: people charged with crimes are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

So why would the Chicago Police Department suddenly stop posting mugshots?

A CPD spokesman told me that "the state law changed on January 1st prohibiting the release of certain information on misdemeanor offenses. We had to scrub the database to ensure that it is in compliance with the new laws."

When I asked what law he was referring to, he said he could not recall at that moment.

What I assume he was referring to is a change to the Illinois Freedom of Information Act.

Previously--and still, I emphasize--the Illinois FOIA requires law enforcement agencies to routinely furnish information about men and women they arrest--including for misdemeanor crimes. That information, the Act says, is to include the arrestee's name, age, address and mugshot, as well as time and location of the arrest, criminal charges filed and a few other details.

What was amended is whether law enforcement agencies may post mugshots on their "social media websites," according to language added to the Illinois FOIA.

The exception is they may post--on social media platforms-- mugshots of people accused of felonies or people who are wanted for crimes but who remain at large.

The new legislation apparently only prohibits law enforcement agencies from posting mugshots on social media platforms--Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.--not their websites.

That's not just my opinion. That's the opinion of attorneys at the Illinois Press Association and elsewhere. And they confirmed that for me today.

I told that to the Chicago Police Department spokesman I communicated with.

I told him I was seeking an on-record statement from CPD on its interpretation of the law and why mugshots are no longer available.

Told him my deadline was 5 p.m. Monday, January 7.

The deadline came and went. No response at all from CPD.

Whatever. Welcome to the Emanuel Administration, right?

Anyway, here's my view: a mugshot represents a public act performed by a publicly-funded government agency enforcing laws designed to protect the public. Therefore, they may and should be disseminated by law enforcement agencies, routinely and in a responsible manner.

If you think it's important that the Chicago Police Department routinely release mugshots and all basic information required under the Illinois Freedom of Information Act, do something about it.

Get ahold of the mayoral candidate you support and find out if she/he is aware of this situation and has a commitment to put things right, to ensure that CPD is releasing the right amount of information about accused criminals, routinely and in a timely manner. Show them this editorial, if you will.

I think you agree that ordinary citizens like us need all the help we can get--within reason--to confront and thwart crime. For lawmakers and police departments to whittle away at that and withhold information is unacceptable, in my view. And yours, too, I hope.


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Thursday, January 10, 2019

Teens invited to club at Durkin Park

We just heard from Danielle Radojevich, the new supervisor at Durkin Park, 8445 S. Kolin, who wants everyone to know that the park offers a Teen Club for boys and girls age 12-17.

The club meets from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. Fridays.

Good way to keep our neighborhood kids engaged in positive activities in a structured, supervised environment.

No charge for membership. Questions? Call Danielle at (773) 284-7316.

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Monday, January 7, 2019

St. Jane offers Moms N Tots program

Our friends at St. Jane de Chantal School--one of the best grade schools on the Southwest Side--are starting a Moms N Tots program for boys and girls ages 2-3 years and their moms (or other caregivers).

The program is offered free of charge to children who are not yet enrolled in St. Jane's preschool program.

Click on the flyer below for details. But hurry. First session is Saturday, January 12.

Sounds like a fun and gentle way to ease little ones into a school environment!

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Want to meet the new cop commander?

Want to meet Chicago Lawn (8th) District Police Commander
Brian P. McDermott?

Eighteenth Ward Alderman Derrick Curtis is hosting a "meet and greet" with the new top cop.

Starts at 6:00 p.m. Tuesday, January 8 in the auditorium at Bogan High School, 3939 West 79th Street. Park in the lot adjacent to the school's northeast corner. Entrance is there. Once inside, proceed to the auditorium.

If you have questions, call Curtis' ward office at (773) 284-5057.

Saturday, January 5, 2019

Batter up! Archer Manor Little League signup is coming later this month

Batter up! If you live in Archer Heights, West Elsdon, Vittum Park or eastern Garfield Ridge (east of Central Avenue) and you want your son or daughter to play ball this season, mark your calendar.

The Archer Manor Little League, one of the best youth athletic organizations in the city, is holding its signup later this month. Click the image for details or visit the AMLL website.

The Southwest Chicago Post is proud to be a sponsor of the AMLL, which since 1952 has provided athletic opportunities and taught teamwork and good sportsmanship to thousands of boys and girls.

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