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.

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.

You can support CWB's newsgathering efforts with a contribution ot our operating fund.

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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Bogus $100 Bills Being Passed, Businessman Says

Heads up to local businesses—a woman is working the neighborhood with fake $100 bills.

The woman seen here tried to pass a bogus Benjamin Sunday evening at a restaurant near Ashland and George, an employee told us. She’s 23-28 years old and was last seen walking east toward Southport, the man said.

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Saturday, July 15, 2017

Robberies, Pepper-Spraying Reported In Boystown Mayhem Early Saturday

It was one of those nights in Boystown.

A rainbow pylon on Halsted Street | David Rivera via Flickr
At least two robberies, a pepper-spraying, and plenty of good old-fashioned mayhem were reported along the Halsted bar strip early Saturday.

The first robbery was reported around 4:30 a.m. when six offenders stopped a man on the sidewalk near 730 West Roscoe and forcibly searched him for valuables. They took his cell phone and wallet, then fled southbound on Halsted, the victim said.

You can support CWB's reporting efforts with a donation to our operating fund.

He described the muggers only as a group of black men, one of whom wore a red shirt.

While police were driving that man around Boystown on a search for the robbers, they got flagged down by another robbery victim nearby.

Incredibly, as police were working with the two victims at Roscoe and Halsted, a man was pepper-sprayed by another man while cops looked on.

At least the pepper-spray guy got arrested.
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Lincoln Park Hoops Star Charged In North Side Robbery Spree; Had Free Ride At UNC, Lawyer Says

McGill on the court of the Milwaukee Bucks' BMO Harris Bradley Center | Facebook
UPDATE JULY 17 11:27AM:  In response to an inquiry from CWBChicago, UNC spokesperson Kate Luck this morning stated, "We have no record of an applicant or enrollee by the name of Bryce McGill at UNC-Chapel Hill."

It appears that McGill and his attorney will have some explaining to do when he returns to court on Friday. Our original report follows.
18-year-old Chatham resident Bryce McGill graduated from Lincoln Park High School on June 11. A standout basketball player, he earned a full ride to the University of North Carolina starting this fall (spoiler alert) his lawyer said.

McGill | Chicago Police Dept
He won't be going.

Instead, McGill is now accused of pulling off a series of robberies across Lakeview and Lincoln Park in July. Detectives are still looking to connect him to a sixth case, according to a source.

McGill was arrested outside of Wrigley Field early Friday, about 90 minutes after he and another man battered a 24-year-old woman and stole her phone in the 500 block of West Oakdale, prosecutors said.

Officers saw McGill walking with two backpacks near the Addison Red Line station around 1:20 a.m. and recognized him as a suspect in a previous robbery, according to a source.
McGill graduated from Lincoln Park High School on June 11 | Facebook
Cops screeched their car to a stop at Addison and Wilton—slamming a parked car in the effort—and gave chase. McGill was tased and taken into custody near the Harry Carey statue at Wrigley Field’s bleacher entrance.

Inside his backpacks, officers later found a phone belonging to the woman who had been mugged earlier that night as well as proceeds taken in other muggings, according to police.

Prosecutors today 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.

Chicago Tribune reporter Will Lee was in bond court today when McGill's attorney told no-nonsense Judge Peggy Chiampas about the UNC scholarship:

"Young man,” Chiampas said, “that was gold in your hands.”

An “enraged” Chiampas set bail at $150,000 before taking a break to clear her head, Lee Tweeted, later reporting that McGill's family will have to produce proof of the scholarship in court next week.

Approximate locations of five robberies believed to be connected to McGill.
In addition to Thursday night's mugging, McGill is accused of taking part in a rash of robberies across Southeast Lakeview and nearby Lincoln Park since July 5. Among the cases that investigators considered to be connected to the pattern are:
#1) 11:50 p.m. on Wednesday, July 5, near Clark and Arlington 
#2) 1:05 a.m. on Thursday, July 6, in the 700 block of West Briar
#3) 1:00 a.m. on Sunday, July 9, in the 600 block of West Deming 
#4) 1:50 a.m. on Sunday, July 9, in the 500 block of West Briar  
One of the two offenders in each case was consistently described by victims as being about 6’2” tall and decked out in track suits. The second offender remains at large.
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Friday, July 14, 2017

Woman Mugged In Southeast Lakeview Overnight — At Least The Fifth Hold-Up Since Last Wednesday

Today's mugging is at least the fifth hold-up since last Wednesday that is believed to be connected to the duo.
Cops got close but ultimately came up short early today in their pursuit of two men suspected in a series of robberies across Southeast Lakeview and nearby Lincoln Park.

Around 11:55 last night, the men beat up and robbed a woman in the 600 block of West Oakdale.

Officers caught up with one suspect at the Diversey Brown Line station around 12:25 today. But the man jumped from the platform onto the roof of a nearby Potbelly restaurant and then fled, police said.

He was last seen by a resident—crawling out of a trash can in the 1000 block of West Montana around 1 a.m. He may now be limping.

The robbers’ descriptions closely matched those from a series of similar muggings in the area: two black men in dark hoodies—one about 6’2” wearing a black track suit with a red stripe and carrying a backpack; the other shorter and possibly sporting an Afro. Some victims have said that the men displayed a handgun.

Detectives were said to be preparing a community alert about the robberies on Sunday, but that has yet to materialize.

Other muggings connected to the two offenders include:
  1. 11:50 p.m. on Wednesday, July 5, near Clark and Arlington 
  2. 1:05 a.m. on Thursday, July 6, in the 700 block of West Briar 
  3. 1:00 a.m. on Sunday, July 9, in the 600 block of West Deming 
  4. 1:50 a.m. on Sunday, July 9, in the 500 block of West Briar
Additionally, a 911 caller reported that he encountered a man and a woman who had just been robbed near Lincoln and Montana at 1:15 a.m. on Thursday. The offenders’ descriptions were consistent with the other robberies in this pattern, but police were not able to immediately locate the couple.
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