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Lakeview Crime Wave Leads to More Police 'Resources,' Alderman Says

By Ariel Cheung | July 31, 2015 7:09am
 Police released surveillance footage of suspects in five armed robberies on the city's north side between June 17 to July 19.
Police released surveillance footage of suspects in five armed robberies on the city's north side between June 17 to July 19.
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Chicago Police Department

LAKEVIEW — As the sweltering days of July finally hit Lakeview, crime is heating up.

Police sent four community alerts over the past two weeks, warning of a recent spate in robberies and burglaries targeting people, garages and businesses.

From July 1 through 23 — the most recent dates for which statistics were available — there was nearly one robbery or burglary per day, totalling 11 robberies and nine burglaries, according to police data.

A total of 184 violent crimes and thefts were reported during those three weeks, including 11 aggravated assaults or batteries, 102 thefts and 14 thefts from vehicles.

Ariel Cheung says area businesses are very concerned:

The Town Hall District is now dedicating "increased resources" to Lakeview "in the wake of a series of recent robberies," Ald. Tom Tunney (44th) said in a Tuesday Facebook post. His office also is surveying the neighborhood for potentially dangerous areas that could be made safer with increased lighting and locking gates.

 Chicago Police Clearmaps data shows 100 incidents of violent crime and thefts in Lakeview from July 10 through the 23.
Chicago Police Clearmaps data shows 100 incidents of violent crime and thefts in Lakeview from July 10 through the 23.
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Chicago Police Department

On Thursday, Tunney's office declined to explain what type of new resources were available.

It's a dramatic change from the start of the month, when 19th District CAPS Sgt. Jason Clark noted "everything's doing pretty well."

"Crime is still down pretty much in every category, which is good for us," Clark said during a July 1 meeting. He noted that despite big crowds during the Blackhawks Stanley Cup celebrations and the Pride Parade, numbers were "really fantastic."

On Sunday, police warned of three robberies between July 19-25 within three blocks of Wrigleyville. Around 12:30 a.m. on July 19, four black men and one white woman forcibly robbed a victim in the 3500 block of North Clark Street, police said.

The next day, around 1:15 a.m., a second robbery took place involving three black men and one black woman in the 3300 block of North Halsted Street. On Saturday, police said three black men robbed a victim around 5:30 a.m. in the 3200 block of North Halsted Street.

"After being hit so many times in the back of the head, I think it just made me loopy and knocked me out. I remember the police officer, I'm guessing, asking if I needed to go to the hospital. But I was so out of it, next thing I know, I was at the hospital and covered in blood," one victim told the blog Crime in Wrigleyville + Boystown.

The college student said his backpack, phone, wallet and headphones were stolen in the attack.

Three businesses were burgled July 13-14, including two within the 2400 block of North Clark Street. The third took place in the 3700 block of North Southport Ave.

In all three cases, burglars forced open rear doors of the buildings after closing time.

Garage burglaries struck three homes over that same weekend, all within a mile of each other. Just north of Irving Park Road, bicycles were stolen from garages in the 4100 block of North Lincoln Avenue, the 4300 block of North Seeley Avenue and the 2000 block of West Cullom Avenue.

Between July 3-5, another garage burglary took place nearby, in the 2400 block of West Belle Plaine.

The Lincoln Avenue burglar was described as a white man in his 20s, approximately 5-foot-8 and between 150-165 pounds. On Seeley, witnesses described two men wearing dark clothing. One appeared to be white with a shaggy hair style, the other with very short hair.

Convenience stores on the North Side also are being targeted, with five armed robberies reported from June 17 to July 19. The sole Lakeview incident took place July 3 at 12:30 a.m. in the 2800 block of North Ashland Avenue.

Police believe those incidents are connected to up to three black men of average height and weight, between 17-25 years old. The men have worn black, hooded sweatshirts and white gloves and carried handguns.

Police are asking residents to report any suspicious people or activity, paying special attention to anyone loitering in the area. They also advise homeowners to ensure doors and windows are secured, while business owners are encouraged to have video surveillance and a hold-up alarm.

Keeping records of serial numbers for electronic items can also increase chances of recovering stolen property, police said.

Anyone with information on the incidents is asked to call detectives at 312-744-8263.

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