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Rocks Smash Through Windows Of Multiple Lincoln Park Storefronts

By Ted Cox | January 20, 2017 1:37pm | Updated on January 23, 2017 8:35am
 Stanley Gallery Antiques was hit by a rock through a window Wednesday.
Stanley Gallery Antiques was hit by a rock through a window Wednesday.
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Josh Moulton

LINCOLN PARK — A stretch of storefronts on North Clark Street had rocks thrown through their plate-glass windows this week — and merchants aren't happy about the police response.

Josh Moulton, owner of his own Fine Art Gallery at 2218 N. Clark St., said he was hit twice this week, on Sunday night and again on Wednesday night.

"It's the same thing," Moulton said Friday. "It's a rock thrown through big plate-glass windows."

According to Moulton, when he called 911 to report it, police told him: "We can't send an officer, not for something like this, because no one came in and burglarized the place. All you can really do is file a report."

Happy Play Cafe was hit with rocks through windows twice this week. [Photo by Josh Moulton]

Moulton canvassed the neighborhood and found that Happy Play Cafe, 2346 N. Clark St., had also been hit twice the same nights, and they were joined by three other victims — Essential Nail Salon, Stanley Gallery Antiques and Mello's restaurant — on Wednesday night.

"An officer told me this is not a high priority for police officers," Moulton said. "When five places get hit it should be."

Police confirmed Friday that it had reports on file for on the vandalism on the 2200 and 2300 blocks of North Clark Street.

Moulton said, "There's no police presence on this block."

"We'd like to see patrols around the neighborhood," said Wei Chenh, manager of the Essential Nail Spa, 2214 N. Clark St. "It's sad that it has to be something so drastic for police to even pay attention."

"All these businesses are the lifeblood of the community," Moulton said. "They look nice. And it makes people want to live here. And our windows get smashed."

That discourages walk-in customers, Chenh said, as she waits for a new window to be installed next week. "Right now it's just taped," she added. "It's not something you want to see."

Moulton said he'd support a bid to hire private police, similar to what the Lakeview East Chamber of Commerce is doing on Broadway and Sheffield Avenue, but he did not expect the Lincoln Park Chamber of Commerce to follow suit. "Their excuse is we don't have the funds for it," Moulton said.

"It's so frustrating," he added. "Excuses are excuses. This community pays a ton of taxes. I understand it's not a shooting or a killing, but the community wants to feel safe."

Chenh said, "Hopefully people will be on the lookout for these horrible actions."

"I'm a little shaken," Moulton admitted, not knowing if he'll arrive at the gallery each morning with a front window intact or not. He replaced it earlier this week at a cost of $650, but now it's boarded up while he awaits delivery of a heavier window said to be "almost bullet-proof."

Moulton said that's all he can do, but he expected more of a response from the authorities. "I pay taxes," he said, "and I want someone to help me when something like this happens."