Monday, May 23, 2016

Jewelry Store Heist Suspect Pleads Guilty, Gets Boot Camp

Talk about quick work. Barely a month after police responding to a Lincoln Park jewelry store’s burglar alarm arrested Doel Pizarro with burglary tools and a tray of display rings, a plea deal has been reached.

Pizarro (Chicago Police Dept)
In exchange for his guilty plea, 23-year-old Pizarro was assigned to Cook County boot camp, which consists of “18 weeks of intensive military training and an eight–month supervised post–release program” according to the program’s website.

Police never found the second man was seen running out of Steve Quick Jeweler with Pizarro at 1:30AM on April 11.

Speed Walker

And a second Lincoln Park burglary case has come to a quick resolution, too.

Walker (Ill Dept of Corrections)
James E. Walker, arrested near Southport and Lill after undercover cops caught him leaving the scene of a midday burglary on April 6, has pleaded guilty to one count of theft.

Walker, 22, received a two year sentence in exchange for his plea.
----------
Email us. Facebook us. Twitter us.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Rahm's CVS Gets Robbed Again — 4th Time In 18 Months

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s neighborhood CVS Pharmacy was robbed this weekend for at least the fourth time in 18 months.

Employees at the 4051 N. Lincoln location called police around 2:40AM on Sunday after a man walked up to the counter, pulled out a knife, and took about $60 from the cash register, police said.

The offender is described as a 40-year-old white man with dingy pants who stands about 5’8” tall and weighs about 190 pounds. He was last seen running across Damen toward Belle Plaine.

Similarly-described offenders robbed the same store at knifepoint at 5:15AM on February 17, 2015, and at 4AM on July 24, 2015.

The store was also robbed at gunpoint by a different offender on January 16, 2015. 

Montrose Beach Hold-Up

Four friends from Portage Park were robbed at gunpoint in the Montrose Beach parking lot around 9:15PM on Saturday.

The victims told police that an unknown gunman pulled out a handgun and took their valuables before fleeing over a fence and through some trees. No one is in custody.

The offender is described as a man of unknown race who wore a bandana over his mouth and sunglasses. He stood about 5’6” tall and wore black clothing.

Image: Yelp!
----------
Email us. Facebook us. Twitter us.

Gunman Robs 8th Graders On Lane Tech Parking Lot

Three eighth grade boys were robbed at gunpoint in the parking lot of Lane Tech College Preparatory High School after classes dismissed Friday afternoon. No one is in custody.

The boys told police that the offender brandished a handgun and took their book bags, phones, and other property before he ran toward a nearby Jewel-Osco store.

They described the gunman as a black male teenager with a gap in his teeth and noticeable acne. The offender is about 5’8” tall, 140 pounds, and he wore a black hoodie with black drawstrings.

According to a witness, pings from one of the victim’s phones were later traced to the area of Lincoln and School.
----------
Email us. Facebook us. Twitter us.

The Price For Jäger, Jack, And Some Marlboros? Four Years For This Neighborhood Menace.

A neighborhood pest whose lengthy list of run-ins with businesses and residents ended after he robbed a local 7-Eleven and a Walgreens has reached a plea deal.

Bensfield (Illinois Dept of Corrections)
Raymond Bensfield, 40, pleaded guilty to two counts of theft last week and received two four-year sentences to be served concurrently.

Bensfield pretended to have a gun as he took five packs of Marlboros and two bottles of Jack Daniel’s from the 7-Eleven store at 2619 N. Clark in early January.

The next morning, Bensfield walked into the Walgreens at 2817 N. Clark and claimed to have a gun when workers tried to stop him from stealing a bottle of Jägermeister, prosecutors said.

In the months before the robberies, Bensfield was arrested several times in the same area for charges such as shoplifting, battery, and aggravated assault with a knife.

He has been sentenced to prison twice before in Illinois, receiving a three year sentence for arson in 1995 and a six year sentence for armed robbery in 2010, according to state records.

He arrived at Stateville Correctional Center in Joliet on Friday.
----------
Email us. Facebook us. Twitter us.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

#62: Senior Citizen Mugged In Broad Daylight Saturday


Wrigleyville and Boystown recorded their 62nd robbery of the year this afternoon as a senior citizen got mugged in broad daylight at Addison and Lake Shore Drive around 12:20PM.

No one is in custody.

The victim told police that the robber wrestled away control of her purse near a CTA bus stop and then ran into a nearby tunnel that leads to the lakefront.

Police said the offender is a black man who stands about 5’6” tall. He wore a black hoodie with black pants.
----------
Email us. Facebook us. Twitter us.

Gunman Robs 5 Victims in 30 Minutes Across Lakeview

UPDATE 2:15PM—The CPD alert has now been issued. Our original report follows.
------------------------------
Five people were robbed at gunpoint in less than 30 minutes as a lone gunman swept across the south end of Lakeview late Friday night. No one was injured and no one is in custody. The five victims were targeted in three separate incidents, according to reports.

In the first robbery, a brother and sister were walking near 2901 N. Hermitage at 11:30PM when a single offender walked up, pulled out a black semi-automatic handgun and demanded their valuables.

He was last seen running eastbound on George Street with the woman’s purse and her brother’s wallet.

The siblings described the offender as a black male between 17- and 20-years-old, 5’10” tall, and 160 pounds. He had short hair and wore a black windbreaker (possibly a Nike brand according to a later victim) with blue jeans.

About 20 minutes after the first robbery, a man reported being targeted in a nearly identical robbery near Seminary and Fullerton. The gunman got away with the victim’s iPhone.

Finally, two people were robbed at gunpoint as they walked in the 900 block of W. George Street around 11:55PM.

The robbery offender description and his technique were identical to the two earlier cases, according to investigators.

Friday’s cases are believed to be related to two armed robberies that were reported within 10 minutes Monday evening in Wrigleyville, according to a police source.

Area North detectives were considering the release of a neighborhood alert, the source said.

Image: Riverside Health System
----------
Email us. Facebook us. Twitter us.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Another Lakeview Fire Displaces 8 Residents In Wrigleyville

Crews work the fire at Cornelia and Seminary. (Chicago Fire Dept)
Eight Wrigleyville residents are looking for new homes after a fire broke out on the rear wooden porch of a 3-story house at 1067 W. Cornelia at 4:40 this morning.

The flames spread to a neighboring building’s wooden porch, but no residents of that home were displaced, police said.

A propane tank exploded during the fire and damaged two vehicles that were parked nearby, according to an officer who was on the scene.

Crews hit hot spots after this morning's fire. (Image: the1stMikeC)
One fireman was treated for minor burns to the back of his neck. The injured fireman is assigned to Engine 78, which is based just outside of Wrigley Field’s left field wall.

Arson investigators are on the scene at this hour.

A neighbor has posted YouTube video of firemen hitting hot spots. See it HERE.

Lakefront Fire

Police and CFD responded to a small fire near the Sydney Marovitz Golf Course clubhouse about 15 minutes after the Cornelia blaze was reported. No one was injured and the nature of the fire has not been determined.
----------
Email us. Facebook us. Twitter us.

NUT JOB: Wrigleyville Store Burglarized For Third Time In Two Months

He did it AGAIN! Landmark Wrigleyville snack shop Nuts on Clark was burglarized for the third time in two months this morning.
Image: NBC Chicago

Once again, the burglar pushed through an air conditioning vent and ran out with the store’s cash register. And, once again, police found the cash register lying nearby.

Officers Friday responded to a 1:24AM burglar alarm at the store, 3830 N. Clark. They found the store’s back door open and a rear vent pushed in.

An evidence technician is on scene at this hour, processing the store as well as the cash register that cops found lying in the 1200 block of W. Byron.

The break-in came about 24 hours after five Lincoln Park restaurants lost their cash registers to a burglar who smashed through their glass doors.

Nuts On Clark was burglarized on March 29 and again on April 6.  Both times, the burglar entered by pushing in the rear ventilation shaft.
----------
Email us. Facebook us. Twitter us.

CITY DATA: Local District Has Most Cops Since Autumn 2013 (But We're Still Down 21% Since 2011)

Manpower in the 19th district reached its highest level since autumn 2013 this month according to staffing information released by 44th Ward Alderman Tom Tunney on Thursday.

CWB Chicago received identical staffing numbers independently through a reader’s Freedom of Information Act request on Wednesday.

The 19th district’s manpower is now 100 officers short of its October 2011 staffing level, a decrease of 21%.

Incoming

The manpower replenishment is being achieved in part by assigning some new police academy graduates and their field training officers to the 19th district, according to the information provided directly to CWB Chicago.

Seven field training officers and a similar number of probationary police officers are working in the district.

Another 12 officers who are officially assigned to other police units are currently being “detailed in” to the 19th district. That means they report to work in our neighborhood despite being officially assigned elsewhere.

On Target

Thirty-six police officer vacancies have now been filled in the 19th district since the start of 2016, fulfilling a promise that Tunney and other aldermen said they received from Mayor Rahm Emanuel in exchange for their votes in favor of the city’s record property tax hike last fall.

Tunney revealed the agreement in a newsletter to his constituents after casting his vote in October:
First, I have been assured that 35 additional police officers will be assigned to the 19th District in 2016, including 25 in the first quarter and another ten during the rest of the year.

Refreshing

Uptown Alderman James Cappleman was more than happy to play numbers games and declare “mission accomplished” on the manpower promise two months ago. That’s the approach we’ve come to expect from Cappleman.

It is refreshing to see that Tunney didn't stoop to playing that game. Multiple sources have told CWB Chicago that Tunney has been pushing hard for Emanuel and the police department to fulfill the promises made with no games or gimmicks.

32nd Ward Alderman Scott Waugespack, a frequent Emanuel critic and long-time straight-shooter on our district’s public safety challenges, has also been applying substantial pressure, according to a department source.

Will They Stay Or Will They Go?

The question now is simple. Will the district’s modest replenishment be sustained? Improved upon? Or will the area's manpower again be allowed to atrophy? We’ll all know in short order.

You can support CWB's newsgathering efforts with a donation to our Tip Jar.
----------
Email us. Facebook us. Twitter us.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

UPDATED: Burglar Strikes FIVE (Not Three) Lincoln Park Restaurants Overnight

Google
UPDATE 9:09PM—Also burglarized overnight were Angela's Burrito Style at 2556 N. Clark and Cafe Luigi at 2548 N. Clark. The owner of Cafe Luigi said that the thieves left his place empty-handed because he does not keep cash in his register overnight.

One freshly-emptied cash register was found in an alley behind the 600 block of W. Wrightwood. The emptied register drawer from House of Wings was recovered in the 2400 block of N. Lakeview.

CWB's original report from 5:37AM follows...
-------------------------
Three restaurants in nearby Lincoln Park are the latest businesses hit by early morning burglars who target cash registers in small retail shops and eateries around our area.

House of Wings at 2447 N. Clark was found burglarized after a witness reported seeing its front glass broken and a man in a hoodie running down the street with a cash register drawer around 4:30 this morning.

Locations of this morning's 3 known restaurant burglaries
A half-hour later, police responding to a burglar alarm found the front glass broken at Bacci Pizza, 2557 N. Halsted.

Minutes later, the front glass was found smashed in at Aloha Eats, 2534 N. Clark.

Police said cash registers were missing or disturbed at all three establishments.

No one is in custody.

Dozens of businesses have lost cash from their registers in similar crimes over the past year.

Wrigleyville's Nuts on Clark was struck twice in a week last month.  And police arrested a man on April 25 as he ran down a Lincoln Park street with a cosmetics store's cash register on his shoulder.

Other businesses to be burglarized during overnight hours recently include “Play Soccer” at 4717 N. Clark; the Chicago Dog House at 816 W. Fullerton; First United Auto Sales at 3818 N. Western; and the Sydney Marovitz Golf Course clubhouse near Addison and Lake Shore Drive.

The List

19th district police officers have recently confirmed the following burglaries of homes, garages, and businesses:

DATE/TIME OF REPORTBLOCKTYPE OF ENTRYLOCATION
04/25/2016 7:30:00 AM2500 N LAKEVIEW AVEUNLAWFUL ENTRYAPARTMENT
04/25/2016 1:30:00 PM4100 N LEAVITT STUNLAWFUL ENTRYAPARTMENT
04/25/2016 3:00:00 PM2600 N SHEFFIELD AVEFORCIBLE ENTRYRESIDENCE
04/25/2016 3:00:00 PM2600 N SHEFFIELD AVEFORCIBLE ENTRYRESIDENCE
04/26/2016 4:40:00 AM3400 N CLARK STFORCIBLE ENTRYRETAIL STORE
04/26/2016 4:52:00 AM3100 N BROADWAYFORCIBLE ENTRYRESTAURANT
04/26/2016 8:00:00 AM4000 N OAKLEY AVEUNLAWFUL ENTRYAPARTMENT
04/27/2016 2:50:00 AM2600 N HALSTED STFORCIBLE ENTRYOTHER
04/27/2016 1:22:00 PM4000 N WESTERN AVEHOME INVASIONRESIDENCE
04/27/2016 2:06:00 PM3100 N CLIFTON AVEATTEMPTAPARTMENT
04/27/2016 8:00:00 PM2700 N SHEFFIELD AVEATTEMPTCHA APARTMENT
04/28/2016 10:30:00 AM4400 N BROADWAYFORCIBLE ENTRYRESTAURANT
04/28/2016 12:00:00 PM400 W BRIAR PLUNLAWFUL ENTRYRESIDENCE
04/28/2016 12:00:00 PM1300 W WELLINGTON AVEUNLAWFUL ENTRYOTHER
04/29/2016 2:52:00 AM2800 N CLARK STFORCIBLE ENTRYOTHER
04/29/2016 11:00:00 PM3300 N SEMINARY AVEUNLAWFUL ENTRYRESIDENCE
04/30/2016 4:00:00 AM2200 W BELMONT AVEFORCIBLE ENTRYRESIDENCE
04/30/2016 9:30:00 PM1200 W EDDY STUNLAWFUL ENTRYGARAGE
05/02/2016 6:39:00 PM3500 N RETA AVEFORCIBLE ENTRYAPARTMENT
05/03/2016 3:25:00 AM900 W DIVERSEY PKWYFORCIBLE ENTRYRESTAURANT
05/03/2016 3:39:00 PM800 W GRACE STFORCIBLE ENTRYAPARTMENT
05/03/2016 11:30:00 PM1700 W NELSON STFORCIBLE ENTRYGARAGE
05/05/2016 8:00:00 AM1700 W BELMONT AVEFORCIBLE ENTRYAPARTMENT
05/05/2016 8:30:00 AM1400 W LELAND AVEUNLAWFUL ENTRYAPARTMENT
05/05/2016 7:15:00 PM2900 N RACINE AVEFORCIBLE ENTRYAPARTMENT
05/06/2016 12:50:00 PM1300 W WRIGHTWOOD AVEUNLAWFUL ENTRYAPARTMENT
05/06/2016 1:30:00 PM2900 N MILDRED AVEUNLAWFUL ENTRYAPARTMENT
05/07/2016 4:20:00 AM2800 N ASHLAND AVEUNLAWFUL ENTRYRESTAURANT
05/07/2016 8:00:00 PM3200 N SEMINARY AVEFORCIBLE ENTRYGARAGE
05/08/2016 10:45:00 AM3500 N WILTON AVEATTEMPTAPARTMENT
05/09/2016 1:00:00 AM4700 N MAPLEWOOD AVEUNLAWFUL ENTRYAPARTMENT
05/09/2016 1:20:00 AM4700 N LINCOLN AVEFORCIBLE ENTRYRETAIL STORE
05/10/2016 7:00:00 AM900 W NEWPORT AVEUNLAWFUL ENTRYAPARTMENT
05/10/2016 9:00:00 AM1400 W CUYLER AVEFORCIBLE ENTRYGARAGE
"Forcible entry" means that the offenders forced their way in, typically by breaking through a door or window. "Unlawful Entry" means that no force was used--a window left unlocked, for example.

----------
Email us. Facebook us. Twitter us.