Saturday, July 22, 2017

Diversey 7-Eleven Robbed At Gunpoint

The 7-Eleven store at Diversey and Sheffield was robbed at gunpoint early yesterday, police said. An armed man entered the store around 12:18 a.m, pulled a gun on the clerk and demanded cash. He then fled northbound on Sheffield.

Surveillance video shows the offender to be a black man in his 30’s who was wearing a black and gray sweater and stonewashed jeans. He had short hair.


Other robbery reports this week:

• A man reported being robbed in the 3700 block of North Broadway around 4:50 a.m. on Thursday. The victim’s call for help went unassigned for 20 minutes because the police district had no officers available to handle his call. The offender was described only as a white male in a gray car.

• Around 3:20 a.m. last Sunday, an out-of-town man reported that two women stole his wallet and phone, then pushed him out of their vehicle near Nelson and Racine.

• At 3:22 a.m. last Sunday, a robbery victim walked into the 19th District station after getting mugged at Halsted and Cornelia in Boystown. The offender is described as a light-skinned, 5’9” tall black man who was wearing a red or orange hoodie with blue and black sweatpants. He is in his late 20’s and was last seen heading westbound on Cornelia.

Stolen was the man’s black and gray camouflage backpack.
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Trio Charged With Tear Gas Theft

Left to right: Davenport; Kimble; and Williams | Chicago Police Dept
Three women are facing theft charges for stealing cans of tear gas from behind the counter at Tenenbaum True Value, 1138 West Belmont.

Felicia Williams—also known as Jason Walker; Italy Kimble—also known as Randy White; and Miara Davenport—also known as Taniko Boyd, were arrested at 5:45 p.m. last Saturday near the Belmont Red Line Station

Each is charged with one count of retail theft.

20-year-old Williams lives in the Auburn Gresham neighborhood.

Kimble, 21, and Davenport, 20, both list the Howard Brown Health Center in Uptown as their home.
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Authorities: Violent Parolee Escaped Electronic Monitoring, Robbed Man In Boystown

Morgan Townsend (inset) was arrested at the Boystown 7-Eleven, police said. | Chicago Police Dept; Google
A violent, repeat robbery offender who’s on parole escaped from electronic monitoring to rob a man in Boystown last weekend, officials say.

The story of Morgan Townsend and his little brother Zikee would nauseate most people. But it’s business as usual here in Chicago.

Mob Attack

On an early Sunday morning in late June 2013, Morgan Townsend and another man viciously beat and stabbed a 25-year-old man who tried to reclaim a stolen cell phone from the duo near the Belmont Red Line station.

The man called police to report the theft and told dispatchers that he and his friend were holding the thieves for police. What the victims didn’t know is that the police district had no officers available and their emergency was placed in a stack with other 911 calls that were awaiting officers to become available.

While they were waiting for the cops who weren’t coming, up to 20 people surrounded the victims and watched as Townsend and his companion beat the two men in an alley next to the train tracks, prosecutors said. One of the victims was stabbed in the face with a broken bottle.

DNAInfo spoke with a witness to the mob scene:
"He was knocked out, completely," said the 36-year-old witness. "He was on the ground, right by the alley. One guy hit him in the face, and another guy kicked him. It looked like he was going to die or something."
Townsend was sentenced to 7 years in prison.

It was the second time he was convicted of robbery in Boystown. He received probation (which he completed unsatisfactorily) for another mugging in the 700 block of West Buckingham in November 2010. The next year, he went to Sheriff's Bootcamp for being a felon in possession of a weapon.

He was paroled for the Belmont L station attack last winter.

On May 30, he was arrested and charged with stealing $200 cash and an iPhone from a woman in the Loop.

Despite the fact that he was on parole and has a history of violent robbery he was placed on electronic monitoring, court records show.

Last weekend, the 26-year-old South Sider escaped from electronic monitoring, traveled to Boystown, and robbed a 36-year-old man near the Sheridan Red Line station, according to authorities.

Later that morning, by sheer coincidence, the victim saw Townsend standing near a bunch of cops at the 7-Eleven parking lot on the corner of Roscoe and Halsted.

“That’s the guy who robbed me,” the victim told an officer, according to a police report. Townsend was taken into custody.

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“He was on electronic monitoring at the time of his arrest,” Cook County Sheriff spokesperson Sofia Ansari said. “He left his residence unauthorized. Our electronic monitoring unit was notified when he left, attempted to contact him, but was unsuccessful, and  later learned he had been arrested by the Chicago Police Department.”

“Any questions on why Townsend was originally placed on electronic monitoring should be addressed with the Chief Judge’s office,” Ansari said.

At the police station, cops searched Townsend and found four bags of cocaine, three bags of pot, and 10 bags of ecstasy in his underwear, prosecutors said. The robbery victim’s debit card was also recovered.

He’s charged with felony robbery and two felony narcotics counts. A judge ordered him held without bond.

Zikee Townsend | Chicago Police Dept
Also arrested in the 7-Eleven parking lot was a 22-year-old man who gave the name “Isaiah Joseph Blackwell.”

Fingerprints later revealed his actual identity to be Zikee Townsend, Morgan’s brother.

Zikee was found to be in possession of the robbery victim’s iPhone and driver’s license, police said.

At the police station, cops found 29 ecstasy pills worth $725 in his “groin area”—pills identical to the ones found in his brother’s underwear, prosecutors say.

He’s charged with theft of lost or mislaid property and possession of ecstasy. A judge ordered him held without bail, too.

This is the third time that Zikee Townsend has been accused of involvement in a robbery around Wrigleyville or Boystown since November 2015. But he has yet to be convicted of the charge.

If your blood isn’t boiling over yet, our 2016 report about Zikee and his other brother, Marcell, may do the trick:   Men Accused In Saturday Robbery Near Wrigley Field Were Accused Of Another Wrigleyville Robbery In November (March 2016)
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Friday, July 21, 2017

GETTING PLAYED: Town Hall District Loses 12 More Cops In July; Alderman Calls It "Disturbing"

Officers assigned to 19th district by month | CPD
The 19th Police District lost 12 more cops this month, taking the district’s force to its lowest point since April 2016.

New data from the city shows that 363 cops are currently assigned to the area, down from 375 last month and well under the 468 officers who worked here before the city started slashing service under Mayor Rahm Emanuel in October 2011.

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Local Alderman Tom Tunney voted in favor of the city’s massive property tax hike plan in 2015 after (he says), Emanuel promised to raise the local force to a minimum staffing of 376 cops—-still well short of the level that used to protect the area.

It's looking more and more like he—and local residents—are getting played.

The effects of short-staffing are evident. As we post this report, the district is in its 67th known “RAP" of the year.

RAP is lingo for Radio Assignments Pending. Chicago’s police dispatchers declare RAP status whenever a district has no police officers to handle incoming emergency calls.

Yesterday morning, a Boystown robbery victim's call for help sat unassigned for 20 minutes because no cops were available to help.

One 19th District resident is not suffering, though. The mayor.

He's Got The Beat

Police patrol areas are called "beats" and they usually cover dozens of city blocks and are assigned one police car.

But Chicago Police Department beat #1926 is different. Beat 1926 protects one city residential lot at 4228 North Hermitage.  The mayor's house.

Whether there's anyone home or not, beat 1926 is served by no less than six police officers and a sergeant. 24 hours a day. Seven days a week. 365 days a year.

At any given time, about 7% of our district's on-duty manpower is dedicated to protecting the mayor's real estate.

The Town Hall District stretches from Fullerton to Lawrence and from the Chicago River to Lake Michigan, making it one of the largest districts in the city geographically and by population.

Tunney today said he has found “a disturbing trend with decreases in manpower” at Town Hall.

Oddly, though, the alderman was not “disturbed” when the staffing level began falling from 468 cops.

His only major public effort to stem the tide came when public outrage became deafening, and the district’s staffing bottomed out at 326 cops.

Now that is disturbing.
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Thursday, July 20, 2017

Lakeview Man Found With Crack, Heroin, Pills At Diversey Harbor, Cops Say (And You'll Never Guess Where He Lives)

Israel Araujo (inset) and two shell casings that were found behind his home in May. | CCSO; Anonymous
Many folks who live near the 1500 block of West Melrose were awakened by gunfire early on May 8. Surveillance video showed the gunman walking through an alley and stopping to fire several shots behind a home before running away.

Days later, we reported exclusively that police sources had concluded that the gunfire was a warning to a drug dealer who lives on the street.

Hold that thought.

A 22-year-old Lakeview man is facing multiple narcotics charges after cops on routine patrol found him in possession of nearly $6,500 worth of drugs at Diversey Harbor last weekend, according to court records.

Israel Araujo of (here it comes) the 1500 block of West Melrose was sitting in his car rolling a cigarette and reeking of alcohol when cops stepped up to see what was going on around 9:30 p.m. on Sunday, prosecutors said.

Between Araujo’s legs was a backpack containing $1,870 worth of crack cocaine; $930 in heroin; $2,175 in powder cocaine; 37 hits of LSD worth $185; $406 worth of pot; empty gelatin capsules; and “109.5 prescription pills” that were not prescribed to him, according to police.

The prescription drugs included 9.5 Oxycontin; 44 Lexapro; 46 Xanax; and 10 Tramadol, officers said.

Altogether the stash was worth $6,495.60.

He’s charged with five felony narcotics charges; possession of drug paraphernalia; and—the least of his worries—possession of alcohol on park property.

Araujo lives literally 100 feet from the spot where May’s gunman opened fire in the alley between Melrose and School this spring.

Court records show that exactly one week before those "warning shots" were fired, Araujo was arrested in suburban Franklin Park and charged with four felony narcotics-related charges for allegedly possessing $175 worth of cocaine; $171 worth of pot; 3.3 grams of MDMA; and eight Adderall.

What happened to those Franklin Park charges? The Cook County State’s Attorney’s office dropped ‘em on June 22.

Araujo’s bail has been set at $100,000. Considering what happened the last time he got arrested, jail may be the safest place for him...and his neighbors.
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Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Lincoln Park HS Grad Found With "Treasure Trove" Of Robbery Proceeds — At Least 7 Separate Mugging Victims

Investigators found a “treasure trove” of property belonging to at least seven separate robbery victims when they searched two backpacks being carried by recent Lincoln Park High School graduate Bryce McGill early Friday.

McGill | Chicago Police Dept.
McGill was arrested outside of Wrigley Field after police recognized him as a robbery suspect who had been profiled in an internal police alert.

A custodial search turned up two wallets; three sets of keys; four cell phones; a MacBook; three Ventra cards; a watch; two credit cards; and—oddly enough—an electrical ballast.

Prosecutors Saturday charged McGill with five felony counts of robbery, one felony count of robbery while indicating the presence of a firearm, and one count each of reckless conduct, resisting police, and theft of lost or mislaid property.

Police have linked recovered property with four robbery cases that McGill is now charged with:

• A MacBook taken after a man was beaten and kicked in the head in the 2400 block of North Orchard at 11:50 p.m. on July 5.

• A Ventra card taken from a man who was beaten up and robbed while the offenders claimed to have a firearm in the 700 block of West Briar at 1:05 a.m. on July 6.

• A phone and Ventra card taken from a woman who was battered in the 500 block of West Briar around 1:50 a.m. on July 9.

• An iPhone taken from a a 24-year-old woman who was punched in the face in the 600 block of West Oakdale at 11:55 p.m. on Friday.

A fifth robbery victim, mugged in the 800 block of West Fullerton at 1:56 a.m. on July 6, identified McGill in a photo lineup, according to court records.

Investigators have also determined that property recovered from McGill’s backpacks were taken in a robbery at 5:24 a.m. on July 2 in the 800 block of West Webster and another, unspecified incident that happened shortly before he was arrested. Charges in these two cases and others may be sought later.

McGill’s lawyer told Cook County Judge Peggy Chiampas on Saturday that the 18-year-old had received a “full ride” to the University of North Carolina—only to have the school deny any knowledge of the LPHS basketball star.

Chiampas set bail at $150,000, and McGill is now free after someone posted 10% of that on his behalf. He (and his attorney) are due back in court on Friday. Chiampas instructed McGill's family to produce proof of his scholarship at that time.

All of the known cases connected to McGill involved two offenders. Police have yet to announce the second arrest.
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Boystown Youth Shelter To Re-Open July 26

After being closed for six weeks, The Crib youth shelter at 835 West Addison will resume overnight operations next Wednesday according to the Night Ministry, its parent organization.

The Night Ministry voluntarily halted nightly operations on June 7, citing staff turnover, training, and other issues.

The Crib | The Night Ministry
"Over the past seven weeks, we have reviewed and revised our policies and procedures and hired and trained new staff,” Night Ministry Senior Vice President Erin Ryan told The Windy City Times.

The shelter’s operating procedures have raised concern in the past.

Major issues have included The Crib’s practice of allowing convicted violent felons to stay in the shelter with younger, marginalized, and easily-influenced youths.

The Crib | The Night Ministry
In February, a 23-year-old man who was on parole for robbery was arrested at the Crib after staff members reported seeing him carrying a gun inside the shelter.

Last October, CWBChicago reported that a different man who was on parole for robbery called 911 to report that he had been robbed inside the Crib.

That man, Keyruni Buford, was arrested in Boystown three weeks later after he punched a senior citizen in the face three times, took the victim’s phone and reached into the man’s pants to take his wallet, according to court records.

As before, the shelter will operate in the basement of Lakeview Lutheran Church beginning July 26.

In announcing The Crib's closure, Ryan said,  “We have had a couple incidents in the space—it's a small space and tensions were high...We had a couple incidents that made us concerned for the safety of the residents. We want to make sure the space is safe and that we review our policies and the way that we use it."

Unclear with today's announcement is what changes have been made to make the small space better suited for the shelter's safe operation.
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Cops Again Warn About Child Luring In Lincoln Park

For the second time in less than a week, Chicago police have issued a community alert to warn about child luring in Lincoln Park.

The newest warning comes after a 14-year-old girl was targeted as she walked in the 1900 block of North Orchard on Monday afternoon.

Police say a 34-42 year old Hispanic man pulled up along side the girl and tried to draw her into his vehicle around 4:45 p.m. The girl ran away.

The suspect has brown hair and triangle-shaped face tattoos. He was wearing a gray baseball cap, gray t-shirt and blue jeans.

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Last Wednesday, police issued a separate alert after a man tried to lure 13-year-old girl into his car near the DePaul University campus.

The girl was walking eastbound in the 1300 block of West Fullerton when the man drove up in an older model gold or brown 2-door sedan around 7:10 p.m., police said.

He then tried to lure the girl into his car, but she ignored him and notified police.

The suspect in last week’s case was described as a 22-30 year old Hispanic man with a muscular build and short black hair that is curly on top and close-cropped on the sides. He had sideburns and a short beard or goatee, police said. Tattoos were visible on his right shoulder and his right ear may be pierced.

If you have any information about either case, contact Area Central detectives at (312) 747-8380
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Suburban Man Charged With High-End Bike Thefts In South Loop; 2 Suspects At Large

Justin Milos (left) was caught stealing bikes on surveillance video, police said. | Chicago Police Dept
A suburban man has been charged with three felony counts of burglary in connection with a series of high-end bicycle thefts across the South Loop.

30-year-old Justin Milos was arrested in an Edgewater apartment complex at 5650 North Sheridan Road yesterday afternoon.

Police credited “community assistance” and surveillance videos with their ability to track Milos down.

A surveillance photo of a bike thief in action was included in a community alert issued by detectives on July 8—and the man bears a striking resemblance to Milos. At the time, police said at least eight premium bicycles had been stolen during burglaries of South Loop garages.

These two men were also shown in the community alert on July 8. They remain at large. | Chicago Police Dept
Also shown in the alert were two black men wearing yellow work vests who were believed to be involved in some of the thefts. Those men, 35-45 years old, remain at large.
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Monday, July 17, 2017

Man Charged With Having Crossbow At Diversey Harbor

Barnett Crossbows
An Alabama man is facing charges after cops say they caught him with a crossbow and razor-tipped arrow near Diversey Harbor.

Patterson | Chicago Police Dept
Police approached 65-year-old Harold Patterson because they saw him drinking a can of beer on park property around 11:30 last Saturday morning, according to their report.

As they approached, the officers noticed a three-foot Barnett crossbow affixed with a scope and a bladed arrow sitting on a picnic table next to Patterson.

“That’s my crossbow,” Patterson allegedly uttered. “I was just showing it to my friends.”

Asked for his identification, Patterson reportedly told cops to “just take me to jail.”

They did.

Patterson is charged with possession of a deadly weapon and consuming an alcoholic beverage on park property.
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