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Wrigleyville Burglaries Up, Robberies Down in First Four Months of 2014

By Serena Dai | May 12, 2014 6:39am
 Burglars often ring apartment and condo unit buzzers just to see if anybody's home, police said.
Burglars often ring apartment and condo unit buzzers just to see if anybody's home, police said.
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flickr/Daniel Hoherd

LAKEVIEW — A Wrigleyville police beat that has had its share of high-profile robberies has seen a sharp drop so far this year, but burglaries in the area have jumped, police said.

Beat 1924 — bordered by Addison, Belmont, Halsted and Southport — had 15 robberies between Jan. 1 and May 8, down from 28 during the same period last year.

Meanwhile, there were 30 burglaries in that time, up from 11 during last year.

The area saw a larger increase in the number of burglaries than any other beat in the Town Hall police district, which also covers parts of North Center, Uptown and Lincoln Park.

There have been nine arrests in connection with this year's burglaries, police said.

Serena Dai joins DNAinfo to break down the neighborhood crime data:

Earlier in the year, police suspected that snowy, unshoveled sidewalks tipped burglars off to an empty home, making it an easy target for crime.

But since the snow melted, police have not spotted a clear trend in the targeted homes, said Sgt. Jason Clark, the community policing officer for the district.

That said, half of the 30 burglaries this year happened in condo or apartment buildings, and burglars can often tell if someone's not home by buzzing all the units, Clark said.

"We ask people to call the police if anyone’s going around doing buzzers," he said, "just to make sure they’re licensed and legitimate — to make sure they’re not doing it to see if anyone’s home or not."

Despite this year's rise in burglaries, the trend over the decade seems to be heading downward. Last year saw the fewest burglaries at the start of the year since at least 2005. And despite the rise in burglaries at the beginning of this year, there were still fewer than the beginning of 2005, as the chart below shows.


Clark said the community policing office will continue to offer safety seminars, speak to neighborhood groups and employ other strategies to combat burglaries and robberies, Chicago Police Cmdr. Elias Voulgaris's two top priorities.

He encouraged any neighbors with questions about securing their homes to contact his office.

"As trends change, whether it's in one beat or another, we do adjust," Clark said.