ROGERS PARK — After a recent string of residential and business burglaries, Rogers Park District Police and other neighborhood groups are uniting to form assessment teams aimed at slowing crime.
In a letter to the community, police said burglaries in the district have become a "growing concern" and in many cases, a "crime of opportunity."
In mid-September, police warned Rogers Park businesses and residents of a pattern of burglaries in which cash registers were being stolen after businesses were broken into.
In the three instances cited by police, the thieves had thrown a rock or brick through the property's door or window to gain access to money and other items.
They also said certain precautionary security measures can "significantly reduce" a home or business' likeliness of being burglarized.
Among those involved in the Burglary Assessment Teams are police officers, beat facilitators and community members working together to identify "vulnerable" areas for burglary during an "exterior physical assessment."
"By neighbors and police assessing weak points and strong points on your property, it will create a much greater sense of security, prevention and awareness," police said in their statement.
Similarly, the Rogers Park Chamber of Commerce said it would be helping businesses take walks around their properties to see where security cameras could help boost safety.
On Sept. 29, the Chamber President Bill Morton was at his office at 7231 N. Sheridan Road around 7:45 a.m. when a brick came barreling through his window, shattering glass across the office.
Just weeks later on Oct. 12, a brick was also thrown through neighboring Sheridan Road businesses The Growling Rabbit and Unan Imports around 5:20 a.m. The burglar skipped a hair salon between the two businesses.
In that case, Growling Rabbit Owner Laura Soncrant said her store's register was taken but discarded on a nearby sidewalk after the burglar must have noticed it was empty. The register at Unan Imports was taken with cash inside, she said.
On Sept. 25, two Rogers Park women returned home to their Eastlake Terrace apartment to find it had been burglarized, with cash, a computer and a cellphone taken.
A cellphone with a photo of a man giving the middle finger was left behind at the scene.
A witness said he saw two men outside the women's residence near a front window that had been left unlocked and ajar. The women suspect their housekeeper inadvertently interrupted the burglary when she came by to clean their residence that afternoon.
Police said anyone interested in joining the Burglary Assessment Team can contact the Rogers Park District CAPS Office at 312-744-6321 or email@example.com.