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Top Cop Tours Crime Hot Spots on North Side

By Benjamin Woodard | November 8, 2012 10:04am | Updated on November 8, 2012 10:16am

EDGEWATER — A North Side alderman joined Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy on a ride-along through Edgwater's seediest streets Monday, hoping to persuade the top cop to bring more officers to the area.

In an unmarked SUV, McCarthy and Ald. Harry Osterman (48th) drove up and down Thorndale, Bryn Mawr, Argyle, Winthrop and Kenmore, the ward's hottest spots for crime, said Jared Desecki, staff assistant to the alderman.

Osterman has held several meetings about recent crimes in the neighborhood. Some of the more notable incidents include a sexual assault and robbery on Oct. 26 of a woman who was walking through an alley in the 5600 block of North Kenmore Avenue, a shooting on Nov. 1 near the Thorndale "L" station that sent two men to the hospital and an unsuccessful jewelry store heist at the Bryn Mawr Jewelry Co. last month.

Osterman's office said one of the main goals of the ride-along was to persuade the superintendent to bring a foot patrol officer to Argyle like there are on Thorndale and Bryn Mawr.

"Sometimes, I feel not safe," said Vicki Chou, who has worked at the Viet Hoa Oriental Grocery Store on Argyle since it opened 30 years ago. "Some customers are scared."

Chou said Argyle, which is home to several jewelry stores and restaurants, has cleaned up since the renovation of the Argyle "L" station at the end of the summer, but loitering and drug transactions still take place near the store.

Osterman announced at an impromptu community safety meeting in late September that his office would install new cameras and more street lights in the ward to stifle violence and crime.

Musstaq Khan, 35, said he had worked at an Argyle station convenience store for a year before moving across the street to Argyle "El" Grocery.

He said he had called police several times on people who had been disorderly in the store, but also said the area has improved since the station's renovation.

"It's good to make [the street] secure," he said. "We need more police."