Friday, March 16, 2018

Police Seek Man Who Has Grabbed 10 Women On Red Line Since Summer

Chicago police are trying to track down a man who has repeatedly grabbed and held women on the Red Line, according to a new community alert. Ten women and girls have reported being grabbed by the man between August 23 and yesterday. All of the incidents have occurred on the Red Line between Clark/Division and Cermak, police said.

Around 7:25 on Thursday morning, a 15-year-old girl was on her way to school when the offender wrapped his arms around her and held her at the Roosevelt Red Line station, the alert said. After holding the girl for several seconds, the man released her and walked away.

Nine similar incidents are part of the pattern.

Police said the man is black, 20- to 35-years-old, and 5’1” to 5’8” tall. He was wearing a black hat and a black or gray jacket during Thursday’s incident, police said.

The alert asks anyone who recognizes the suspect seen here to call 911 with information. Information may also be called into Area Central Detective Mansell at (312) 747-8380.

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Overnight Death On Brown Line Believed To Be Natural

Image: File
A man believed to be in his 50’s was found dead overnight on a Brown Line train at the Belmont station, 945 West Belmont. Police believe the man died from natural causes.

An ambulance was called to the station around 1:55 a.m. after the unknown white male was found unresponsive on a southbound train. Detectives conducted a routine death investigation on the scene.

As of 7 a.m., the police department had classified the case as a non-criminal death.

Police on-scene said the man was not carrying identification and he appeared to be homeless. The medical examiner will conduct a further investigation.

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Thursday, March 15, 2018

Accused ATM Skimming Guru Went AWOL Monday; Today, Skimmers Returned To The North Side

Today's skimmer was found at this Lincoln Square Walgreens.
It’s probably just a coincidence, but three days after a man charged with possessing a stack of skimmed debit cards skipped bail, police today recovered a skimming device from an ATM in Lincoln Square.

According to police records, today’s was the first skimming device recovered by police on the North Side since suspected skimming guru Marius Manolache was arrested February 11.

The skimmer was found around 1 o’clock this afternoon on an ATM at Walgreens, 4801 North Lincoln, police said. An evidence technician was seen retrieving the device a couple of hours later.

Skimmers are small devices that criminals plant on ATMs to secretly capture users' banking information and PINs. After allowing the sneaky contraptions to collect data for a period of time, fraudsters return to the ATM, collect the skimmers, and then create fake ATM cards using the captured data.

A couple dozen skimmers had been found in recent months. Before today, the last time a skimmer was recorded by police on the North Side was February 8 in the 400 block of West Armitage.

A warrant is out for Marius Manolache.
Four days later, cops found Marius Manolache withdrawing cash from an Avondale ATM with a stack of homemade debit cards, according to charges. Each fraudulent card had the victim’s PIN written on the back. The PINs and embedded card numbers were captured earlier by skimming devices, prosecutors allege.

Manolache, 42, was living in a hotel room near Clark and Diversey at the time of his arrest. Cops who arrested him said he had seventeen fraudulent debit cards and $3,040 worth of $20 bills in his pockets.

Prosecutors charged him with felony burglary, felony aggravated identity theft of a person over age 60, and felony theft of identity from more than three victims. Judge Sophia Atcherson ordered him to surrender his Romanian passport and set bail at $5,000. Manolache—a man with $3,040 worth of twenties in his pocket—easily posted the $500 deposit to walk free.

He was never seen again. Court records show he skipped his court appearance on Monday. A warrant has been issued for his arrest.

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Uptown: Teen Charged As Adult In Shooting Of Truman Student

Santos throws up gang signs while sitting on a CPD squad car in the 20th (Lincoln) District. | Facebook
A West Ridge 17-year-old has been charged as an adult with attempted murder for allegedly shooting a Truman College student near the school’s Uptown campus on  March 8.

Bryan Santos of the 6000 block of North Claremont was ordered held without bail this afternoon by Judge Sophia Atcherson.

Santos was arrested at his home on Tuesday after being positively identified as the person who shot a 21-year-old rival gang member in the 4500 block of North Magnolia during a dispute, police said.

A police source confirmed a CWBChicago report that Santos was first taken into custody about 30 minutes after the shooting. Witnesses tipped off cops to a man who had been hiding under a porch near the shooting scene. Officers approached the porch and apprehended Santos after a brief chase, according to the source.

In court today, prosecutors said Santos approached the victim on the street around 12:10 p.m. with his face covered by a mask and hoodie. He initially pistol-whipped the victim, but when the 21-year-old fought back with brass knuckles, Santos opened fire, prosecutors said.

Santos and the victim were both studying in a Truman program that helps young adults secure their high school diplomas.

According to posts on Santos' Facebook page, he is a Latin King gang member.

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Released On A Recognizance Bond For Uptown Burglary, Man Is Arrested In Lincoln Park...For Burglary

Phipps' February mugshot | Chicago Police Dept
Just under a month ago, 20-year-old David Phipps starred in our weekly “Monday Gunday” feature. Now, he’s back in jail.

When last we heard from Phipps, he had been released on a recognizance bond after cops arrested him in Uptown. He had stolen credit cards in his possession and a 9-millimeter handgun and ammunition in his car, police said. Prosecutors charged him with possession of ammunition without a Firearms Owner ID card, felony identity theft of two or more persons, two felony counts of unlawful possession of a credit card, and burglary.

Judge Sophia Atcherson, carrying the torch of "affordable bail" in Cook County, released him on a recognizance bond.

Phipps' March mugshot | Chicago Police Dept
So, what’s the Hazel Crest resident been up to since his CWBChicago debut? Well, it looks like he got his hair done. Everything else is pretty much the same. Police arrested him on Sunday after a Lincoln Park resident reported seeing Phipps breaking into a car in the 1400 block of West Shakespeare.

Cops searched him and allegedly recovered an iPhone, money, a wallet, and credit cards belonging to other people. There was no gun found in his car this time, though cops did recover four broken spark plugs from his center console, according to their report.

(Broken pieces of ceramic from spark plugs are commonly called “ninja rocks” because car burglars use them to easily shatter vehicle windows. Like this.)

Phipps has been charged with burglary, possession of burglary tools, and possession of cannabis. Judge John Lyke ordered him released on electronic monitoring, but Phipps was rejected from the program and is now sitting in jail with bail set at $50,000. Lyke also revoked Phipps' recognizance bond in the Uptown case.

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"Toni Speedwinkle": Board President Roars Through Town

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle says she does not condone speeding. She says any speeding tickets issued to her county car “are paid.” We found the truth to be a little different.

There must have been quite a political emergency in the Austin neighborhood at 11:15 a.m. on Sunday, February 25. That’s when Preckwinkle’s county car—captured on video above—went barreling along Central Avenue at 45 MPH in a 30 MPH park zone. (She’s lucky. On school days, the speed limit is 20 MPH.)

The emergency lights on Preckwinkle’s car are flashing. In the video, you can even see an on-coming driver pull over to make room. The driver was probably wondering what terrible emergency the oncoming SUV with flashing lights was heading to.

It was nothin'. The lights were on to get the peasants out of the way.

Preckwinkle has yet to pay the $100 ticket, according to a City of Chicago website.

“Any tickets issued are paid”

Back in October 2016, CWBChicago tweeted a speedcam pic of Preckwinkle’s county car barreling down South Cottage Grove at 47 MPH in a 30 zone. Emergency lights a-blazing.

“Here's @ToniPreckwinkle en route to what must be ‘emergency’ county business,” we sassed. “Will the $100 speed cam ticket be waived?”

Preckwinkle tweeted back the next morning: “I don't condone speeding. Any tickets issued are paid.”

One small problem, Toni. You didn’t pay that ticket. You had it dismissed, according to the city’s website.


That's right. City of Chicago records show that Preckwinkle didn't "pay" the ticket she said she would. She fought it and had it thrown out.

Here's the proof, Toni. Below is a speedcam pix of your car rocketing along on September 15, 2016. It's the same incident that we tweeted about back then. We've inset information about that ticket from the city's website. "Dismissed." Nice.

That's pretty bold. Saying "any tickets issued are paid" and then turning around and having that exact same ticket dismissed. Almost as bold as speeding around the city with your emergency lights on for no apparent reason.

Since March 2015, Preckwinkle’s primary county car has been cited 10 times for speeding in Chicago:
• One ticket was a warning.
• Six tickets were paid
• Two speed cam tickets are unpaid
• One speed cam ticket has been dismissed
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Judicial "Cheat Sheet" Helps Make Voting Decisions Easier

Separating the wheat from the chaff. | Parris Blog
With early voting underway for the March 20th primary, a lot of people are asking us for our thoughts on judicial candidates. We don't make recommendations per se, but we do research criminal court judges' performance on the bench. The information is passed along to our subscribers via a Judges Scorecard before the current and November election cycles.

An excellent resource to look at is this PDF from the Alliance of Bar Associations For Judicial Screening. The authors have collected recommendation and qualification ratings from eleven bar associations for each judge on the ballot this month. (Of course, just because a candidate is "qualified" does not mean that they will use common sense on the bench.)

You are allowed to take this list into the voting booth. So print it out, and take it with you.

The candidates on the ballot this month are running to replace judges who have exited since the last elections. Their vacancies have been temporarily filled by appointment. Now, the appointed "temps" must win a race to get the job for a full term.

Two judges appearing on some ballots this cycle will be familiar to CWBChicago readers: Judge Stephanie Miller and Judge David Navarro. Miller and Navarro oversee initial hearings and set initial bonds in court cases. Those are the only two judges up for election who have established track records in criminal court. Again, simply because a candidate is "qualified" to be a judge does not mean that they will make the decisions you may hope for.

BTW — once a Cook County Judge passes this initial election state, they're usually on the bench until they quit. The November election cycle will call on voters to decide whether judges should be retained for another six-year term. No judge has lost a retention vote since 1990. Not even one who had been declared "insane" by a court hearing a criminal case against her.

A final note: Virtually every judicial candidate in Cook County is running as a Democrat. If you take a non-Democrat ballot in the primary, you will probably not have any judges to vote for.

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UPDATE: Cops Release Pix Of Lane Tech Sex Abuse Suspect

Police said this man inappropriately touched and solicited a girl near the Lane Tech campus on Thursday. | CPD
Chicago police have issued new information about Thursday morning’s attempted sexual abuse of a Lane Tech student near the school’s campus. CWBChicago first reported on the incident yesterday afternoon.

Last night, police issued these photos of the suspect which were taken by surveillance cameras at McDonald’s, 2608 West Addison. The restaurant is located across the street from Lane's campus.

In updated information from an earlier statement, the new community alert said the incident unfolded around 7 a.m. when the offender sat down next to the 15-year-old girl and tried to solicit sexual favors in exchange for money.

The man then touched the girl’s buttocks, exposed himself, and grabbed the girl’s arm, police said.

The girl immediately reported the incident to staff members at Lane and the staff then summoned police. She was not injured.

Police said the suspect is a Hispanic man between 23- and 30-years-old who stands 5’6” to 5’9” tall and weighs 170 to 195 pounds.

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

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Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Teen Girl Sexually Abused In Restaurant Near Lane Tech This Morning, Police Say

The girl was abused inside the McDonald's across from Lane Tech High School, according to reports. | Google
UPDATE 3 AM MARCH 15—Updated story with suspect photos and new details HERE.
Area North detectives are investigating the reported sexual abuse of a teenage girl near Lane Tech High School this morning.

Police said an unknown man approached and started talking to the 15-year-old around 8:15 inside McDonald’s at 2608 West Addison. The man then touched the girl’s buttocks, exposed himself, and grabbed the girl’s arm.

The girl immediately reported the incident to staff members at Lane, which is located across the street from the restaurant, and the staff then summoned police.

Surveillance video showed the man to be white or Hispanic, 20- to 25-years-old, about 5’8” tall, and 200 pounds with a full beard. He was wearing a blue sweater, a black jacket, and a black ski cap.

The student was not injured.

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Jimmy John's Worker Pleads Guilty To Robbing Loop Subway Sandwich Shop

Slue was wearing her Jimmy John's uniform when she was arrested for trying to rob this Loop Subway.
The woman accused of trying to rob a Loop Subway restaurant while wearing her Jimmy John’s uniform pleaded guilty yesterday. Cherene Slue also entered a guilty plea to charges that she held-up a nearby Dunkin’ Donuts the same week.

Slue was sentenced to two years probation on each count and was given credit for 58 days time served by Judge Neera Walsh, who approved the plea deal.

On January 14, still decked out in her Jimmy John’s t-shirt, 27-year-old Slue walked into the Subway at 604 South Wabash and handed the clerk a note: “I have a gun and give me $60,” it said.

When the Subway sandwich artist said he had no money, Slue insisted that she had a gun. The clerk walked to the back of the store and Slue left empty-handed, police say.

Police found Slue standing on the sidewalk about two blocks south of the Subway ten minutes later. A police lock-up guard reported that Slue told her “I did something stupid. I just needed money.”

In her left jacket pocket, prosecutors said, was a note: “I have a gun. I don’t want to hurt you. Please don’t speak, just give me $60 now!!”

A few days after being charged in the Subway case, police went to Slue’s home and arrested her again. She had been identified as the person who robbed Dunkin’ Donuts at 1231 South Wabash on January 12.

According to a Dunkin’ Donuts worker, Slue walked into the donut shop, stated that she had a gun, and demanded that the clerk hand over $40. The worker handed over exactly $40 and Slue reportedly left satisfied.

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