WICKER PARK — Despite a high-profile shooting of a robbery suspect by police early Wednesday, officials say crime in the neighborhood declined from Dec. 19 to Feb. 19.
At a CAPS meeting Wednesday night featuring Shakespeare District Cmdr. Francis "Frank" Valadez, police presented statistics indicating an overall 40 percent decline in "Big 8" crimes such as burglaries and theft during that two-month period.
For Beat 1434, which is bordered by Armitage Avenue on the north, North Avenue on the south, Wood Street on the east and Rockwell Street on the west, there were eight burglaries during the period, compared to 28 in the two-month period ending in mid-December.
There were 43 thefts, compared to 80 during the prior two months.
Beat officers said they continue to make gains in "impact arrests" for crimes such as drunken driving and graffiti, with three DUI arrests and at least three graffiti arrests.
"Most of these arrests were not from people calling in. They were from officers observing people doing what they shouldn't be and being proactive," Sgt. Joseph Giambrone said.
Among the other highlights from the period was the arrest of a parolee from Florida who was found in the 1800 block of North Honore. That parolee was sent back to Florida. Also, on Christmas Day, police arrested a man they said spit into an officer's face at a McDonald's at Western and Milwaukee.
Police also described a burglar who was captured on surveillance video at a condominium building in the 1600 block of North Wolcott Street. Authorities described him as a well-dressed African-American man wearing a three-quarters-length, cream-colored fur coat.
Volunteer CAPS facilitator Sandy Johnson encouraged attendees to consider becoming court advocates, who follow cases important to their communities.
Earlier Wednesday, police shot a burglary suspect in the neighborhood after police said he tried to run down an officer.
Police said an officer shot Jesus Rosas, 23, after cops chased him from a robbery on the Near North Side to near the intersection of Milwaukee, Damen and North avenues.
He has been slapped with nine armed robbery charges and 10 additional felony counts, police said.