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Burglar Takes Less Than A Minute To Loot Lakeview Salon (VIDEO)

By Ariel Cheung | March 23, 2016 5:55am
 Surveillance video footage captures a burglary at Chicago Lashes, 3530 N. Ashland Ave., in Lakeview.
Surveillance video footage captures a burglary at Chicago Lashes, 3530 N. Ashland Ave., in Lakeview.
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Provided/Chicago Lashes

LAKEVIEW — An Ashland Avenue salon is among the latest victims of burglaries that have failed to slow in Lakeview, despite official reassurances.

A lone burglar struck Chicago Lashes, 3530 N. Ashland Ave., around 4:30 a.m. Saturday, its general manager said.

The burglar took less than minute to break the front-door lock, grab the cash register, look around the salon and stop by the front desk one last time to grab a mini iPad before running out again, surveillance video footage shows.

In that time, a security alarm rings out within seconds, triggering an alert to the salon owners, said James Nemecek, the salon manager.

Police didn't show early Saturday, so the salon called 311 the next day to file a police report, Nemecek said.

"We were surprised by how little help [the city] offered us," Nemecek said. The responder told them there was "no point" in filing a police report so long after the crime, he said. Discouraged, they didn't bother.

An officer was never dispatched to handle the report, meaning Nemecek's call was not handled by the Chicago Police Department, said Sgt. Bob Kane, a police spokesman. The department has no record of the incident at Chicago Lashes, he said.

When a 311 caller asks for police services, the emergency management office can divert the call to its alternate response section if the operator decides it doesn't merit immediate police response, Kane said.

That section can help callers fill out a report if they choose, but that is done without police involvement, Kane said. Only if an officer is dispatched would Chicago police have a record of the call.

"Something happened along the line, [and] that process wasn't followed," said Anthony Guiglielmi, a Chicago police spokesman. "There were no calls to police."

Instead of relying on police, Chicago Lashes boosted its security, adding more locks and blocking off a secondary entrance, the manager said.

"It's terrifying when it's a place you go to every day," Nemecek said. "You realize the seriousness and the danger of not being safe anymore."

Still, it helps knowing nobody was injured and the burglar only got away with "hardly any money and an old iPad," he said.

Police issued an alert Sunday concerning garage burglaries in Wrigleyville last week. Burglars forcibly entered three garages and stole bicycles, police said. The incidents took place:

• Around 4:15 a.m. Tuesday in the 1400 block of West Grace Street

• Between 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Tuesday in the 1200 block of West Roscoe Street

• Between 9 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Wednesday in the 3700 block of North Sheffield Avenue

Leading up to the garage burglaries, there were 17 burglaries in Lakeview from March 1-13, according to the most recent Chicago police data.

That's on par with a winter spike in burglaries after a decade-low winter 2015, according to a DNAinfo Chicago analysis of police data. An unusually warm winter saw 45 burglaries reported in January and 37 in February.

The March numbers show little signs of a slowdown promised last month after police arrested a "mini crew" of burglaries linked to various incidents on the North Side.

Nemecek was wary of recent crime in his neighborhood, particularly after he heard about a break-in at Cafe El Tapatio a couple weeks ago.

"Now they're hitting us, so it's obviously still in the area, and it's getting worse and worse," Nemecek said.


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