Saturday, May 27, 2017

Man Taps On Woman's Car Window, Displays Gun While She's Parking In Lakeview (Her Quick Wits Saved The Day)

A woman was threatened by a man with a handgun as she parked her car Wednesday night in Lakeview, about three blocks from Mayor Rahm Emanuel's home.

The victim had just parked her car in the 4100 block of North Greenview and was collecting her belongings when a man wearing a red hoodie approached the front passenger window, tapped on the window, and displayed a handgun, the 19th District CAPS office said in an email to residents.

Police said the man fled when the woman began honking her horn. His intentions are not known.

She said she saw the offender walking north on the west side of the 4100 block of Greenview while she was looking for parking about 5 minutes before the incident unfolded around 11 p.m., police said.

He is described as a thin young male, 6-feet tall who was wearing a red hooded sweatshirt pulled tightly around his head and dark pants, and carrying a backpack. The woman was not sure of the offender's race, but he said he had a "tan" complexion, the email said.

After threatening the woman, the man fled northbound on Greenview and then west on Berteau.

Police are asking residents to check home surveillance systems to see if they captured images of the offender.

The 19th District police station may be reached at (312) 744-8320.

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Bump 'N' Run Auto Theft Leaves Woman Carless On Ashland

Cops are investigating a bump ’n’ run auto theft that played out on bustling Ashland Avenue on Friday afternoon.

The stolen car is similar to this 2014 Lexus.
A woman told police that another car hit her vehicle from behind in the 2900 block of North Ashland around 3:45 p.m.

When the woman got out of her car to check the damage, two men jumped into her vehicle, pulled a U-turn and sped off.

Taken was a gray 2014 Lexus 4-door with a license plate beginning with Z89. It was last seen heading southbound on Ashland, the woman said.

The offenders were described only as two young black men.

Police have warned about a series of similar auto thefts in Bucktown and the Near West Side this month.

In one recent high-profile case, Chicago Bears receiver Kevin White’s Maserati was taken during a West Loop bump ’n’ run.

A police alert described the Bucktown suspects as two to three black men between 18- and 25-years-old. They are shorter and weight 140- to 160-pounds. One offender may have a scar on his face. Another suspect reportedly has dreadlocks.

Chicago police have advised drivers of minor auto accidents to stay in their vehicles and to drive to the nearest police station with the other motorist. At a minimum, a driver should turn their car off before stepping out to exchange information with the other motorist, police say.
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Friday, May 26, 2017

Parolee Cracked Man's Skull, Took His Mom's Purse In Gold Coast Robbery, Prosecutors Say

Williams (inset) was arrested after he ran into Lake Shore Drive's traffic lanes, cops say. | Google; CPD
A 21-year-old Englewood man who’s on parole for robbery beat a woman and fractured her son’s skull during a robbery in the Gold Coast on Monday, prosecutors said.

A group of men punched and kicked the 48-year-old woman to the ground in the 1500 block of North Dearborn and then took her purse around 10:45 p.m.

The woman's 25-year-old son was also knocked to the ground, cracking his skull.

Cops arrested Deandre Williams minutes later as he ran in the traffic lanes of Lake Shore Drive near North Avenue.

He’s charged with robbery, reckless conduct, aggravated battery causing great bodily harm, and battery. Bail was set at $350,000.

Officers recovered the woman’s purse, which contained over $4,100 in cash plus foreign currency.
Harris | Chicago Police Dept

Her son was admitted to Northwestern Memorial Hospital for treatment.

Williams is currently on parole after being sentenced to six years in prison for a 2012 armed robbery in Edgewater. Cops say he’s a member of the Black Disciples street gang.

Also arrested while running in the Lake Shore Drive traffic lanes was 23-year-old Victor D. Harris of Englewood. He is charged with reckless conduct.

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Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Senior Citizen Accused Of Stealing 1,300-Pound I-Beam (And Other Weird Reports)

Here are a few of the more unusual arrest reports we've come across recently:

A 61-year-old East Garfield Park man has been charged with the nearly superhero-like feat of stealing a 1,300 pound I-beam from a construction site at Western and Belmont.

Police went to the site last Friday after a construction supervisor reported that the alleged thief—Curtis Stewart—was back at the site.

Cops say Stewart admitted to taking the $3,300 I-beam and scrapping it for $35.

The pick-up truck that he allegedly used to haul the beam away was impounded, and prosecutors charged him with theft of lost or mislaid property.

Pot Bust

A Wicker Park man is facing serious charges after he threw a potted plant at an off-duty federal agent and then punched the officer in the face outside of the Vic Theater this month, prosecutors said.

The agent said he identified himself as an off-duty officer and told 36-year-old Dwayne Milton to stop causing a disturbance in the 3100 block of North Sheffield around 10 p.m. on May 9.

Upon hearing that the man was a federal agent, Milton picked up a potted plant and threw it at the man, causing the plant to shatter on the agent’s shoulder, police said.

Milton went on to throw several punches at the agent, striking him once in the left eye, prosecutors said.

At that point, the officer unleashed some pepper spray and held Milton for police.

Milton, a member of the Gangster Disciples street gang, is charged with aggravated battery of a peace officer and criminal damage to property. His bail is set at a whopping $200,000.

Career Ender?

22-year-old Tysean Hunter of South Chicago was charged with trespassing after he refused to leave Wrigley Field around 9:45 p.m. last Monday, according to court records.

The Cubs were not playing, and Hunter’s arrest report contains no information about why he so desperately wanted to be at Wrigley that day. The only clue may reside in the answer he gave when cops asked what his career is. Answer: “Future ballplayer.”

Hunter was wearing a Cubs jersey at the time of his arrest.

Interesting Choices

Gosh, people are accused of shoplifting the strangest things around here.

While it’s not 41 tubs of Oil of Olay or 29 Butterfingers, Derek Smith’s arrest report still managed to catch our eye.

Prosecutors have accused the 26-year-old Boystown man of trying to steal a unique collection of goods from the Jewel-Osco store at 3531 North Broadway: Two watermelon slices, a bottle of Simply Lemon, 1 bubble toy, and a pair of flip flops.

Total value: $8.48. If nothing else, he knows how to spot a bargain.
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Six Armed Robberies Prompts Community Alert For Lincoln Park

Approximate locations of six armed robberies reported in nearby Lincoln Park | Batch Geo
Chicago cops are warning residents about a series of six armed robberies that took place in nearby Lincoln Park on Monday and Tuesday. Three of the hold-ups happened during the 10 p.m. hour on Tuesday.

In each case, a group of offenders approached victims on the street and demanded valuables at gunpoint. The men threatened to shoot their victims if their demands were not met, police said.

Locations and times of the hold-ups:
• 700 block of West Dickens at 3:35 p.m. Tuesday
• 600 block of West Webster at 10:15 p.m.on Monday and again at 10:22 p.m. Tuesday
• 2300 block of North Halsted at about 10:15 p.m. Monday
• 500 bock of West Belden at 10:48 p.m. Tuesday
• 500 block of West Fullerton at 10:56 p.m.Tuesday
Police say the offenders are four black men between 17- and 20-years-old. Their heights ranged from 5’2” to 6”4” and their weights range from 160- to 185 pounds.

CWBChicago independently learned that two reportedly wore red hoodies, one wore a black and gray shirt, one had a gray vest with a hoodie underneath, and one was wearing a hoodie of unknown color, police said.

As CWBChicago reported this afternoon, the offenders ditched their carjacked vehicle behind Lincoln Hall at 2424 North Lincoln before fleeing on foot around 11 p.m. last night.

Anyone with information about the crimes is asked to call Area North detectives at 312-747-8380.

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Lincoln Park Gas Station Burglar Was Carrying 68 Packs Of Smokes, Cops Say

Melvin Smith (inset) stole dozens of packs of cigarettes from this Lincoln Park gas station, prosecutors say.
A Lincoln Park man who broke into a gas station and stole dozens of packs of cigarettes this month is charged with felony burglary, prosecutors say.

A witness reported seeing a man break into the gas station at 2670 North Lincoln around 12:30 a.m. on March 14. Arriving officers found a smashed window, a brick, blood on some shelving and “multiple empty cigarette shelves,” according to their report.

Cops stopped 57-year-old Melvin Smith nearby because he matched the witness’ description of the offender. Smith was holding a backpack, and his hand was bleeding, officers said.

The bag contained 68 packs of smokes, including Marlboros, Pall Malls, Capri Violets, and L&M Menthols, police said.

A judge set Smith’s bail at $75,000.

The May 14 break-in was the second time that Lincoln Park Gas had been burglarized in three weeks. A smash 'n' grab burglar took smokes from them on April 28, too.
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After Crime Spree, Carjackers Ditch Ride Behind Lincoln Hall

Five men ditched a carjacked vehicle behind Lincoln Hall after committing a series of robberies | Google
UPDATE 6:34PM: Police say the robbery crew was responsible for seven hold-ups in the Lincoln Park area on Tuesday evening. Our full updated report is HERE.
A carload of armed robbery suspects bailed out of a carjacked vehicle and fled in nearby Lincoln Park late Tuesday night. No one is in custody.

Four to five men pulled off a series of robberies and then ditched the car around 11 p.m. behind Lincoln Hall, 2424 North Lincoln. The last hold-up took place in the 600 block of West Webster moments earlier, police said.

Victims reported that the offenders were armed with a handgun during the robberies.

Tuesday evening’s hold-ups bear a strong resemblance to a Sunday night mugging in Boystown. In that case, five men forced a victim to lie on the ground at gunpoint while they searched him for valuables near Halsted and Brompton.

The Lincoln Park offenders were described as black males—two in red hoodies, one in a black and gray shirt, one in a gray vest with a hoodie underneath, and one wearing a hoodie of unknown color, police said.

In Boystown, the gunman was described as a black man with dreadlocks who wore a black hoodie with dark pants that had blue and white writing on the side. He was armed with a silver handgun. The other robbers were described only as four black men, two of whom carried green drinking bottles.

Police have not yet connected the Boystown and Lincoln Park incidents.

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Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Neighbor Finds Cookbook Taken In Boystown Robbery — "I Found It While Walking My Dog!"

Well, here's a delicious dish.

Our Monday night report about a man who got held at gunpoint in Boystown while a group of robbers took all of his valuables—and his cookbook—sounded awfully familiar to a neighborhood woman.

“I’m pretty sure I found the man's cookbook!,” she told us via Facebook yesterday.”I found it laying on a tree stump as I walked my dog early Monday morning", she said.

“I just saw a really nice moleskin book sitting on the stump while waiting for my dog to pee. I opened it, and the pages were filled with recipes.”

She dropped the recipe book off at the 19th District police station after work Tuesday and cops are trying to reunite book and owner.

“At least the owner has all his hand-written recipes back. Hopefully, that means something to him,” the woman said. “Thanks for sharing the neighborhood news! I really appreciate knowing what's happening.”

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Man Charged With Halsted Mugging Is No Stranger To Robbery, Prison, Or Boystown

A collection of Edward R. Smith's mugshots | Chicago Police Department
Edward R. Smith, the 22-year-old charged with robbing a man on Boystown’s Halsted bar strip last week, is no stranger to being arrested, to robbery, or to prison, according to court records.

Back in 2012, he reportedly beat up and robbed a passenger on-board a CTA bus in the 3500 block of North Ashland. The judge gave him a gift in exchange for his guilty plea: Three years of probation instead of prison time.

Just four months later, Smith was arrested for shoplifting at Macy’s on State Street—that's not how probation is supposed to go—and he was sent off to serve a three-year prison term.

Released after serving a fraction of his sentence, Smith has been arrested four times in the past two years, according to Chicago police records.

Two of those times, he gave his home address as The Center on Halsted—-a massive LGTBQ service agency at 3656 North Halsted.

And one of those arrests was for battering another client inside the Center itself. Charges were dropped when the victim failed to appear in court.

Funny Story…Or not so funny, we suppose.

At a CAPS meeting last August, a resident asked why criminal arrestees list local service agencies such as the Center on Halsted as their “home.”

Officer Tom Walsh, who was leading the meeting, stated that he had been in the police district for many years and he had never seen the Center on Halsted listed as an offender’s home address.

A CWB Chicago editor in the audience rolled his eyes at that statement. Smith had used the Center as his home address twice already in 2016.

When Walsh is not working for the police department, he runs a private security firm. The firm received $137,850 from the Center on Halsted for security services in 2014 and another $136,793 for security services in 2015, according to the Center’s tax records. Last year’s tax information is not yet available.

Former Classmates Lead FBI To Serial Bank Robber

Hanson (left) admitted to three bank robberies, the FBI says | Facebook; FBI
A west suburban man is charged with robbing three North Side banks in six days this month, and he may be regretting his decision to get a new tattoo in April

34-year-old Eric Hanson admitted to robbing the banks after being taken into custody by the FBI at an Elk Grove Village motel on Saturday, according to an agent’s affidavit.

Hanson | Facebook
Hanson is charged with robbing the Byline Bank at 1401 West Belmont on May 13; the Byline Bank at 3401 North Western on May 16; and the TCF Bank at 4355 North Sheridan on May 18.

One of the bank tellers told cops about a tattoo of two "X"s behind the robber's ear.

Ultimately, it was the May 18th hold-up that did him in, according to the FBI.

While surveillance images from the first two robberies were poor, the TCF hold-up produced clear photographs that prompted two of Hanson’s former schoolmates to turn him in, according to prosecutors.

An agent checked out Hanson’s Facebook profile and quickly came across his April 20th post:

“Tattoo number 4” Hanson wrote about the two freshly-inked “X”s behind his left ear. “Life is great right now.”

Not for long.

Acting on a tip, FBI agents went to a northwest suburban Motel 6 on Saturday and knocked on Hanson’s door.

“Hanson invited myself and other agents into his hotel room, and I arrested him for bank robbery,” an agent later wrote.

The G-men recovered items from Hanson’s room that appeared on surveillance images of the robber, including a gray baseball cap, a White Sox hat, and sunglasses.

Back at FBI headquarters, Hanson waived his right to remain silent and freely admitted to robbing all three bank branches, an agent said.

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