Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Armed Robbery Alert Issued For Lakeview, Uptown

Area North detectives this afternoon released an armed robbery alert in which they connect five cases across Lake View and Uptown.

Multiple offenders are approaching people as they walk alone or sit alone in cars. One of the offenders produces a chrome or silver handgun and demands the victim’s property or vehicles, police said.

CWB Chicago has learned through a source that detectives have high-quality surveillance images of the suspects, who are 3 or 4 black men between 18- and 20-years-old.

Cases linked by police occurred at the following locations, dates, and times;
• October 11 at 3:30 a.m. in the 2200 block of West Melrose
• October 11 at 4:15 a.m. in the 3000 block of North Ravenswood (Details here
• October 11 at 4:30 a.m. in the 1000 block of West Byron (Details here) 
• October 11 at 5:15 a.m. in the 500 block of West Briar (Details here)
• October 14 at 4:46 p.m. in the 800 block of West Lakeside
On Lakeside Place, the offenders pulled a handgun and forced the victim out of his gray 2003 Jeep Grand Cherokee, according to a law enforcement source. Four or five robbers climbed in and drove off with the vehicle, the source said.

Another source told us that the Ravenswood incident might have also been an attempted carjacking. In that case, a Lyft driver who had pulled over to take a nap was startled by the robbers. She managed to drive away before a robbery was carried out.

Anyone with information about the incidents is encouraged to call Area North Detectives at (312) 744-8261. You can refer to pattern P16-N186

Milwaukee Women Charged With Lincoln Park Mugging

Prosecutors charged two Milwaukee women with robbing a woman near her Lincoln Park home on October 8.

36-year-old Ellise Franklin and 37-year-old Tamisha Bass knocked the victim to the ground and wrestled away her purse around 5:45 a.m. in the 2600 block of North Lincoln, according to court records.

Cops tracked Franklin and Bass to 1600 block of North Wolcott in West Town where police recovered the victim’s purse, credit cards, identifications, and cell phone, police said.

Cops gave the property back to the victim.

Bass is currently on probation for retail theft, according to Wisconsin state records. Her criminal history includes several shoplifting and fraud convictions, the state said.

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Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Photos: Unidentified Man Ignores City's Anti-Robbery Tips

October's looking ugly. We're on pace to have more robberies reported in Wrigleyville and Boystown this month than nearly any other month in the past 15+ years.

So, we decided to revisit some robbery prevention tips that local Alderman Tom Tunney has been sharing over recent years.

In a real stroke of luck, one of our editors remembered that she had some pictures on file to illustrate what you should not do, according to the alderman's tips.

Last October, the editor blew off work a couple of hours early, headed to her usual bus stop and there--right before her eyes--was a dapper businessman who clearly had not heard many of these valuable tips from the city.

Tips like these:

1. "Stay off your cell phone."
By using barely more than one finger to hold his phone to his ear, this poor fellow is just asking to have the device ripped away by a passing criminal. Our gracious editor could have reached out, snatched it from his hand, and run around the corner before he knew what happened.

2. "Don't advertise your property!"


3. "Remain alert at all times!"

Oh, now this is even worse.

Here he is, wrapped up in his own little world, unaware of his surroundings. (He didn't even notice that our editor was taking a bunch of pictures of him.)

A less scrupulous individual could have run up at this moment and taken the fellow's phone *and* wallet from his fingertips.

That Bank of America card would've come in handy for a less-trustworthy citizen.


Ironically, two of the 19 robberies reported in our neighborhood this month have targeted residents who were standing at CTA bus stops on their way to work.

One was in the 3300 block of North Halsted and the other was in the 800 block of West Sheridan.

Imagine how inviting the man in our pictures would be in a robbery situation--just going about his daily routine, unaware of his surroundings, flashing his cell phone and wallet to the world.

P.S.--If you know the gentleman in these photos, please do him a favor. Point him to this link for important safety tips from Alderman Tom Tunney.
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Monday, October 17, 2016

3 More (Yes, MORE) Robberies In Boystown; October Pace Among Worst In 15 Years

Police said that at least three more people reported being robbed in Boystown yesterday and early this morning, bringing the total number of street muggings this weekend to at least six.

With two weeks remaining in October, Wrigleyville and Boystown have already scored more robbery reports than the entire month of October 2015.

Two victims were robbed during daylight hours yesterday.

Inter-American Magnet School
- Two men dressed as women beat up and robbed a victim of an Android phone outside Inter-American Magnet School, 851 West Waveland, at 3:20 p.m.

One offender is Hispanic, 5'8" tall, heavy-set, and has blue and beige hair. He wore a red dress with a black jacket.

The other offender is black, 6'1" tall, skinny, and has red hair. He wore a see-through black dress and a black cap.

- Shortly before 7 p.m., a man who lives in the 800 block of West Roscoe told police that he escaped from an offender who threatened him with a large knife during a robbery attempt nearby.

He described the offender as a 140-pound, 5'9"-tall Hispanic man with short hair. The offender wore a black shirt with black jeans.

The victim, who was not injured, declined to file a police report.

- Patrol officers summoned paramedics for a robbery victim that they found in the 700 block of West Belmont just before 3 o'clock this morning.

An ambulance crew transported the victim to Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center for treatment.

No offender description is available.

Bad Weekend

CWBChicago previously reported details of Boystown attacks this weekend in the 3400 block of North Halsted; the 3300 block of North Halsted; and the 3300 block of North Broadway. Another robbery occurred in the 2900 block of North Broadway, just outside of the immediate neighborhood.

Bad Month

With 17 robberies confirmed in Wrigleyville and Boystown already, October is on track to record the most muggings of any month since August 2013.

It has already tied or exceeded full-month robbery totals for nine of the last 15 Octobers.
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Former Lincoln Park Hoops Star Killed In Uptown

“He wasn't no thug, no gangbanger, yet he met the fate of so many other folks in Chicago... And for what?”

So go the memories of friends, family, and fans of Gregory Dion Tucker Jr, a former Lincoln Park High School basketball star who was shot to death last night as he drove in Uptown.

Two city sources identified Tucker as last night's victim and family members are now confirming the death.

Tucker attended Whitney Young Magnet School before graduating from LPHS in 2010. From there, he played hoops at North Dakota State College of Science before returning to Chicago to study criminal justice.

He turned 25 last month.

“If you knew Greg, you knew he was a genuine guy, always could make you laugh, and just had a love for the game and family was everything,” friend John Kinsler said.

“He just had a baby girl and he was so proud and excited! He wasn't in a gang. He WASN'T in a gang. HE WASN'T IN A GANG!” one friend wrote on Facebook this morning.

"Greg's death is tragic and unsettling for so many reasons. Not only because he left behind a loving family and an infant daughter," Daniel Poneman said on Facebook this afternoon, "But because the way in which he died truly shows us that it could happen to anybody, at any time, in any part of Chicago. This isn't just a west side problem, this isn't just a south side problem, this isn't just a gang problem, this is a Chicago problem, an America problem, a human problem - that affects all of us."

Chicago police records show that Tucker was arrested on October 9 for a warrant related to a domestic battery case in suburban Cook County.

Images: Facebook
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Man Shot Dead While Driving In Uptown Sunday Evening

Rescue workers rush the shooting victim from the scene. (Image: Uptown Chicago Rocks)
UPDATE 12:10PM--The victim is identified (Story here). Our original report follows.
Rack up another homicide for Uptown.

A 25-year-old man was killed Sunday after being shot as he drove in the 4500 block of North Hazel around 8:50 p.m., police said.

The scene moments after shots rang out. (Image: Uptown Chicago Rocks)
The man was transported to Illinois Masonic Medical Center with a single gunshot wound to his head.

A neighbor who spoke with us believes the shooting is related to an earlier incident at the same intersection.

Around 4 p.m., a group of men was seen selling drugs when another man emerged from a gray vehicle and pulled a gun from under the car’s front seat.

The gunman did not shoot during the earlier incident and he fled before police arrived, the witness said.

Sunday's homicide was Uptown’s second shooting of the weekend.

A 24-year-old man suffered gunshot wounds to his leg and ankle in the 1100 block of West Wilson on Saturday evening. He is a known gang member.

Uptown has logged 7 homicides and 23 non-fatal shootings so far this year. One of the homicides was ruled a justifiable killing of a would-be carjacker, according to police.
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Lakeview Man Sexually Assaulted During Home Invasion, Prosecutor Says

A registered “sexual predator” broke into a Lakeview home Saturday morning and sexually assaulted a man who lives inside, prosecutors said Sunday.

Kopacz (Cook County Sheriff)
52-year-old Joseph Kopacz of Uptown broke into a first-floor apartment in the 3800 block of North Kenmore around 8:30 a.m,  crawled into a 23-year-old man’s bed, put his face on the victim’s crotch, and tried to remove the man’s underwear, according to court records.

Kopacz fled when the victim woke up, but he didn’t get very far.

The victim and his roommates tackled Kopacz in their back yard and summoned police.

The roommate’s neighbor said that Kopacz bit the 23-year-old victim during the struggle and added that Kopacz had been seen in the area recently.

Prosecutors charged Kopacz with aggravated criminal sexual assault, home invasion, and burglary. A judge set his bail at $500,000.

State records show that Kopacz was convicted of aggravated criminal sexual abuse in 2003 when he was 39-years-old. His victim in the case was 24.
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Sunday, October 16, 2016

Three More Robbed In Boystown This Weekend; At Least 15 Victims This Month

An increased police presence in Wrigleyville for Cubs post-season games is having no effect on skyrocketing reports of robberies in nearby Boystown.

Image: Creative Review
Police say at least three more people have been robbed in the LGBT playground since Friday evening, bringing the number of muggings in the area this month to at least 15.

This weekend's trouble began when officers on patrol came across a robbery in progress near Roscoe and Broadway at 11:50 p.m. Friday. The victim appeared to be getting mugged by two offenders who fled as police arrived.

Officers stopped two suspects in the 500 block of West Roscoe, but the victim, who was apparently intoxicated, could not positively identify them as the offenders. No arrests were made.

The victim was treated at Thorek Hospital and released.

The 3400 block of North Halsted Street (Choose Chicago)
About an hour later, two victims were beaten up and robbed by three men in the 3400 block of North Halsted.

Both victims lost their phones and wallets to the robbers who fled west on Newport from Halsted at 12:50 a.m.

The offenders were three tall black men with short hair who were in the company of a woman. One of the men wore a black sweater.

Shortly after the first Cubs vs. Dodgers game concluded at Wrigley Field on Saturday night, a man was beaten and robbed outside of Roscoe's Tavern, 3356 North Halsted, police said.

Witnesses described a violent scene that involved up to 10 people fighting and one man bleeding from the head during the 11:15 p.m. incident.

Image: Chicago Police Department
Officers managed to arrest one suspect despite having their response slowed by heavy post-Cubs traffic.

Most recently, a man was jumped and robbed just south of Boystown around 3:45 a.m. this morning. The victim was near Barry and Broadway when two black men in their mid-20's attacked him and took his wallet and phone.

In a particularly brave (or stupid) move, a lone robber tried to rob a man in the 1100 block of West Newport during the Cubs' final game against the San Francisco Giants on Wednesday. Wrigleyville's Clark Street bar district was brimming with more than 100 cops at the time.

Multiple residents and witnesses reported seeing and hearing the attack around 8:45 p.m., but the 40-something victim and his attacker were both gone when police arrived moments later.

911 callers describe the would-be robber as a young black man who was wearing plaid shorts.

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FedEx Driver Robbed In Lincoln Park

Two men robbed a FedEx delivery driver as he worked a route near the DePaul University campus in Lincoln Park on Saturday afternoon. No one is in custody.

The driver told police that two men jumped him from behind and stuck something in his side as he entered his truck in the 900 block of West Montana around 12:15 p.m.

The robbers, described only as black males, knocked the driver down, went through his pockets, and took his wallet and phone.

Then, one of the offenders pinned the driver to his truck while the other tried to break into the vehicle's secured package compartment, according to police. The attempt failed and the robbers fled in opposite directions, the driver said.

Yesterday's incident is the 22nd robbery this year for police beat #1932. The beat had recorded only ten muggings at the same time last year.
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Man Shot Near Wilson Red Line Station Saturday Evening

A 24-year-old man became Uptown’s 29th shooting victim of the year Saturday evening. Police said he is in good condition. No one is in custody.

Foot patrol officers in the area warned of the shots at 8:50 p.m., minutes before 911 callers reported a man shot outside of 1134 West Wilson. Officers found the victim at a nearby 7-Eleven store.

A source said the victim is a known gang member who has been arrested three times since August, including twice within the span of two days last month in Uptown. He lives in the Austin neighborhood.

The victim, who suffered gunshot wounds to his ankle and calf, claimed to have no idea who shot him, telling police only that he “heard shots and felt pain.”

Some witnesses said the shots might have come from a passing silver Honda that fled westbound on Wilson.

Police officers have been patrolling a short stretch of Wilson Avenue near the Red Line Station on foot 24-hours a day since three people were shot dead in the area this summer.

Last night’s shooting took place outside of a former SRO hotel that a developer is converting into grossly overpriced “micro apartments.” Perhaps the bullet hole in the building’s front window will add a dose of “grit” to the owner's marketing campaign.
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