BUCKTOWN — Car thefts are on the rise and gains are being made in graffiti and DUI arrests in Bucktown, cops said Wednesday.
Sgt. Felipe Reyes addressed community members at a Beat 1434 CAPS meeting Wednesday at the Bucktown-Wicker Park Library.
Reyes cited statistics from Feb. 20 through April 16 on a beat bordered by Armitage Avenue on the north, North Avenue on the south, Wood Street on the east and Rockwell Street on the west.
Motor vehicle theft dominated the Top Ten crimes for Beat 1434, with 26 thefts reported between Feb. 20 and April 16, as compared to 19 during the previous two-month period (Dec. 19 to Feb. 19) and one motor vehicle theft in the same time period last year (Feb. 15, 2012, to April 18, 2012).
Reyes said that there is no pattern to the cars that are being stolen, though he cited Buick, Honda and Toyota as types of cars stolen in three recent thefts.
Reyes added that in a couple of instances some cars that were reported stolen were actually recovered shortly after owners realized their cars had been relocated for "Chicago Fire," an NBC TV show that films frequently in Bucktown.
"If you know your block is part of the filming, make sure your neighbors are aware. If you know they're out of town, call or text them," Reyes said.
Other top crimes in the beat included burglary, with 10 reports of forcible entry as compared to eight in the previous two-month period, and four reports of burglary with unlawful entry, as compared to two in the prior period.
Reyes said that unlawful entry could be eliminated if people simply "lock their doors."
Reyes said there were 48 arrests made in Beat 1434 from Feb. 20 to April 16, with six of those arrests considered to be "impact arrests," involving issues of concern to residents of an area packed with nightclubs and plagued with graffiti.
Additionally, officers issued 15 tickets to drivers who were observed to be talking on their cell phones.
Recent 'impact arrest' highlights include:
Two taggers were arrested between Feb. 20 and April 16.
Jesse Marroquin, 30, was found tagging the word "Stall" on a wall beneath the elevated Bloomingdale Trail in the 2300 block of West Bloomingdale on March 29, police said. Marroquin was charged with criminal defacement to property and has a May 10 court date.
Ruben Ortiz, 24, was arrested for using a "white marker" to tag the bathroom of Tavern bar at 1958 W. North Ave. on March 23, police said. Ortiz was charged with a felony of criminal defacement to property and has a May 9 court date.
Ramon A. Negron, 25, was found unresponsive in his car at 4 a.m. Saturday in the 2000 block of West St. Paul Avenue in Bucktown, police said.
Negron had a blood alcohol level of .29, almost four times the legal limit, officers said.
Negron, who did not have a driver's license on him, was charged with a felony DUI and remains held on $30,000 bail with a court date of May 10.
Lastly, Ever Velasquez, 24, was stopped in the 1900 block of North Milwaukee Avenue Monday and turned out to be driving a stolen motor vehicle, police said. The car was a 1995 Honda Civic.
Velasquez was charged with a felony of possession of stolen motor vehicle and has an April 22 court date.