Sunday, September 24, 2017

Cops: Catalytic Converter Thieves Return To Lincoln Park

They’re baaaack.

Police are once again warning North Side residents about catalytic converter thieves. The current crew seems to be concentrating its efforts around DePaul University and nearby Lincoln Park.

As usual, the thieves work during overnight hours, sawing catalytic converters off of parked vehicles. They’re focusing on Lexus and Honda models currently, police said in an alert.

The criminals will eventually sell the stolen converters for a couple of hundred bucks each. And the victims will typically pay a couple of thousand dollars to have the damage repaired.

A community alert from Area North detectives lists seven cases connected to the current pattern:
• In the 2100 block of North Fremont overnight on August 7-8.
• The 1000 block of North Bissell overnight on August 7-8.
• The 2100 block of North Lakewood late on August 18 or early August 19
• The 2200 block of North Lakewood early on August 19.
• The 2300 block of North Lakewood between August 18 and 20.
• The 500 block of West Fullerton between August 21 and 23.
• The 500 block of West Fullerton early on September 11.
The suspects, according to the police alert, are two black men who wear hoodies. Their work is often quite noticeable as it involves sawing through metal in the middle of the night.

Anyone with information should call Area North detectives at (312) 747-8380.
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Young Thieves Target Lincoln Park Shops On Saturday

A local businessman says these young men entered Clark Street stores on Saturday, taking money from tip jars.
A group of young thieves made their way up Clark Street in Lincoln Park on Saturday afternoon, following a well-established pattern of behavior that Chicago businesses have seen many times.

“Three teenagers came into my mom’s shop with one being a lookout and the other two asking who else was in the shop,” a local businessperson told us last night. “They were asking dumb questions to kill time and took $2 from her tip jar.”

The three fled after a nearby merchant--tipped off that the woman was in distress--came to check on her.

“They then proceeded to a nearby restaurant and did the same thing.”

All of the affected businesses are located on Clark Street between Webster and Wrightwood.

Chicago has repeatedly seen waves of similar crimes in recent years—usually in the colder months.

Typically, groups of three or four teens will enter salons, spas, and small retail shops along the major corridors. Once inside, some team members distract customers and employees while others pick up unattended valuables, including key fobs and phones.

The team on Clark Street yesterday were 14-18 years old, our source said. One is very tall, wearing red. The youngest one is very short. The third is about 5’6” and wore a black hat.

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Saturday, September 23, 2017

Humboldt Park: Creepy Man Exposing Self Near Daycare, Cops Say

That is one creepy photo—and police say it shows a very creepy man.

In a brand new community alert for the Humboldt Park area, police say the man shown here repeatedly exposed himself to people near a daycare center near North and California during May and June.

After disappearing for a while, the man is back in the same area, and police want to find him.

He’s described as a Hispanic man 30-35 years old, 5'08" tall and 180 pounds. He has dark hair and a full mustache and beard.

Detectives are encouraging people to not let children walk alone in the alert area.

Anyone with information about the suspect is asked to call Area North investigators at (312) 744-8261.

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Man Opens Fire After Disagreement At Wrigleyville Bar; Suspect In Custody

The man opened fire after a disturbance involving a bar in Wrigleyville, police said.
A 29-year-old Woodlawn man pulled out a gun and shot at least four times after having a disagreement with a Wrigleyville bar early Saturday, witnesses and police said. No one was injured.

Cops on patrol reported hearing gunshots and seeing people running for cover near the Clark Street bar strip at 1:18 a.m.

Officers converged on the area and found a man trying to conceal himself next to a parked vehicle, according to Officer Michelle Tannehill of the police department’s Office of Communications. “The offender was uncooperative, at which time it was discovered that he was in possession of a weapon.”

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At least four separate witnesses identified the detained man as the person who opened fire in the 1100 block of West Cornelia. According to multiple sources, the man had either been denied entry to or been removed from a bar on Clark Street .

Police recovered four shell casings from the mouth of an alley west of Clark on Cornelia. It could not immediately be determined what (or who) the man was shooting at.

CWBChicago is withholding the man’s name until charges are finalized. He is expected to appear in bond court on Sunday afternoon.

In 2015, the Chicago City Council passed an ordinance that authorizes police to immediately and indefinitely close bars in which “illegal discharge of a firearm, aggravated assault or battery, [or] criminal sexual assault [are reported] on the premises or on adjacent property.”
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Gunman On Bike Robs Victims In Lakeview, Lincoln Park

This morning's first robbery took place in the 2400 block of North Stockton, police said. | Google
A bike-riding gunman robbed people this morning in Lakeview and Lincoln Park, police said. No one is in custody.

Shortly before 6 a.m., the robber pedaled up to a man in the 2400 block of North Stockton in Lincoln Park, pulled out a gun, and demanded the victim's wallet and phone. The robber was last seen biking southbound toward Fullerton. The mugging is the eighth to be reported near Diversey Harbor since late June.

The second victim was robbed here, at Mildred and Oakdale, just south of Illinois Masonic Medical Center
A few minutes later, a woman was robbed by the same man near Illinois Masonic Medical Center. The woman was in the 2900 block of North Mildred around 6 a.m. when the offender approached on a bike, pulled out a handgun, and announced a robbery. He fled eastbound on Oakdale after the hold-up.

Both victims provided similar descriptions of the offender: A black man in his early 20’s with cornrows who rode a white bicycle. He stands about 5’7” tall, weighs about 160 pounds, and wore a dark hoodie with the word “PUMA” on the front.
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Men Charged With West Ridge Robbery: "I think we have to put him down!"

Guy Cabrol (left) and Hunter Gregory are each charged with aggravated robbery. | CPD; Google

Two men are charged with threatening to shoot a victim during a robbery in the West Ridge neighborhood Sunday night.

18-year-old Hunter Gregory of Skokie and 30-year-old Guy Cabrol of Rogers Park approached the man near Green Briar Park around 11:55 p.m., prosecutors said.

“Give me your shit,” Gregory allegedly ordered, adding, “I think this guy’s looking to get shot” when the victim refused.

Cabrol reportedly agreed, saying “yeah, I think we have to put him down” as Gregory reached into his rear waistband.

The victim dropped to his knees on a sidewalk in the 6000 block of North Talman.

“Drop your shit. Drop everything on the ground,” Cabrol is alleged to have ordered. “This guy is going to get shot.”

Cabrol then took the 21-year-old victim’s headphones and threw them into the park while Gregory sifted through the man’s backpack and took a phone and wallet, police said.

Gregory and Cabrol ran from the scene, but cops found them nearby minutes later.

Both men are charged with one count of aggravated robbery-indicating the presence of a firearm. On Friday afternoon, court records indicated that they will be freed on electronic monitoring.
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Friday, September 22, 2017

Last Chance To Enjoy Mag Mile K9 Exhibit

"Savior," (left)  a charitable K9 sponsored by Friends of the Town Hall District, stands watch outside of the Wrigley Building this week. "Savior" raised more than $3,500 for two great Chicago charities.
This weekend’s fantastic weather is perfect for exploring the city. If you find yourself near the Mag Mile, take a minute to check out the K9s For Cops art exhibit—it’s your last chance.

More than 120 oversized police dog statues dot Michigan Avenue, each sponsored by a different business or community group and each uniquely decorated by its own artist. But the doggies are heading to new homes early next week.

Passers-by spend time with "Savior" and learn more about officers who gave their lives while serving in the 19th (Town Hall) District.
Funds raised by the project are going to the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation to help families of fallen Chicago police officers and PAWS Chicago, a no-kill animal shelter.

Officer Hurly, K9 Rambo, and Savior pose on Michigan Avenue | K9s For Cops
Unique in our heart is “Savior,” a beauty of a dog that keeps a watchful eye on Tribune Tower from its post near the Wrigley Building.

Friends of the Town Hall District sponsored Savior—raising over $3,500 for the charities along the way. Even cooler? The piece was designed and decorated by students at The Nettelhorst School in Lakeview.

Savior will be returning to Nettelhorst in a couple of weeks. While many of the other K9s will go up for auction, Friends of the Town Hall managed to raise enough money to take ownership of this special pooch. And there’s no place better for our superhero to call home than the school that brought it to life.

By the way, Chicago Tribune columnist John Kass wrote a fantastic piece a couple of weeks ago about Officer Bernard "Bernie" Domagala who passed away recently—29 years after his life was irreversibly changed by being shot in the line of duty.

Give the piece a read. We highly recommend it.
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Lakeview: Doggy Daycare Center Robbed At Gunpoint Friday

Police are investigating the brazen armed robbery of a Lakeview doggy daycare center and pet supply shop this afternoon.

The gunman, armed with a silver semi-automatic handgun, walked into Bark By The Park, 2936 North Clark, just after 4:30 p.m.

He put the gun into the back of a female store worker and ordered her to open the register, police said. No one—and no doggies—were injured.

After securing the store’s cash, the man fled south on Clark Street.

He is described as black, in his 50’s, about 5’8” tall and 160 pounds. He was wearing a construction-type vest, glasses, and gray cargo shorts.

Shortly after 5 p.m., a message was posted to the store's Facebook page saying that it would close for the remainder of the day due to an incident.

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Thursday, September 21, 2017

Pair Charged With Home Invasion, Armed Robbery Near Wrigley Field

A 25-year-old man who spent time in prison for strangling a robbery victim in Boystown five years ago is accused of committing a home invasion and armed robbery in Wrigleyville early Wednesday morning.

Robert Zajler of Des Plaines and 24-year-old William Haley pushed the victim into his home in the 3800 block of North Clark Street around 2:45 a.m., prosecutors said. Armed with a handgun, the two took the 46-year-old victim’s phone and fled in a silver Toyota SUV, according to police.

Zajler and Haley were arrested 45 minutes later as they stepped out of Zajler’s silver Toyota SUV at Belmont and Clark. Officers on patrol noticed that the two men matched the robbery offenders’ descriptions and detained the duo for investigation.

Both men are charged with felony armed robbery with a firearm and felony home invasion with a firearm, police said.

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Zajler was sentenced to four years in prison for strangling a victim during a robbery in the 700 block of West Brompton on August 17, 2012. He was paroled in June 2014.

Court records show that he’s currently facing two felony theft charges related to a burglary in suburban Berwyn.

Zajler was ordered held without bond. Bail for Haley is set at $20,000, which means he will need to post just $2,000 to gain his freedom to await trial.
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Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Lifelong Felon Steals Beer, Threatens Clerk With Metal Baton, But State Refuses To Charge Him With Robbery

Wayne Jones is accused of threatening a clerk with a metal baton to steal a Coors Light.
A career criminal, sentenced to a combined 67 years in prison since 1983 and currently on parole, allegedly walked into a Boystown convenience store Monday, entered the walk-in cooler, took a Coors Light, and headed for the door.

When a clerk asked him to pay, 55-year-old Wayne Jones pulled out a collapsible baton and threatened him, police said.

Despite the fact that Jones took the beer while threatening the clerk with bodily harm—the very definition of “robbery,”—a Cook County State’s Attorney refused to charge the fourteen-time convicted felon with the crime, police said.

Instead, Jones is being charged with retail theft, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, and two counts of being a felon in possession of a weapon. A judge set his bail at $100,000.

Jones is currently on parole after serving half of a ten-year sentence for robbing and battering a victim on the street at State and Madison in 2012.

Jones, who lives in the South Side’s Roseland neighborhood, snagged the beer at 4:40 a.m. from the cooler at 7-Eleven, 3726 North Broadway, according to court records. Cops found him enjoying his "taste of the Rockies" nearby and took him into custody.

According to state data, Jones’ previous prison sentences include:
• Four years for aggravated battery of a merchant in 2008
• Three years for retail theft in 2007.
• A concurrent three-year sentence for retail theft in 2007.
• Two years for retail theft in 2006
• Three years for retail theft in 2004
• Eighteen months for retail theft in 2002
• Thirteen years for carjacking in 1995
• Two years for narcotics in 1994
• Five years for aggravated battery in 1987
• A concurrent ten-year term for robbery in 1987
• Five years for burglary in 1983
• A concurrent five-year term for theft in 1983
• Another concurrent five-year term for burglary in 1983
• Yet another concurrent five-year term for burglary in 1983
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