Saturday, August 01, 2015

WHOOPSIE DAISY: Two Charged In Attempted Truck Break-In

Bagged tagged and ready to go
‘cuz we was fast and they was slow.

Men wave to the Google Street View car outside of 525 Hawthorne Place.
That's how one 19th district officer wrapped up the arrests of two men who were allegedly seen breaking into a truck outside of 525 Hawthorne Place on Wednesday morning. One of the arrestees has already pleaded guilty and is serving out a brief sentence.

Officers who responded to the 6:30AM call quickly arrested one suspect who managed to steer his bicycle directly into a squad car. But the other bike-riding man sped away.

Despite his best pedaling efforts, the man was taken into custody at Cornelia and Pine Grove by officers who had mounted much speedier "horseless carriages."

Juan Meza, 37, pleaded guilty Thursday to one count of criminal trespass to a vehicle and received a 20-day sentence. Possession of burglary tool charges were dropped, court records show.

44-year-old O'Brien Anthony Quaid of the 700 block of Cornelia pleaded not guilty to one count of criminal damage to property. He's due back in court on September 15.
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BOTTOM OF THE BARREL: Man In Wheelchair Robbed

A man in a wheelchair became our neighborhood’s latest mugging victim Wednesday when he was allegedly robbed at knifepoint in broad daylight.

The man, who resides in a Lincoln Park assisted living center, told police that an unknown offender pulled a knife on him in the 3000 block of Halsted, took his backpack, and fled on foot.

He described the offender as a “skinny, lanky” black man who stands about 5’8” tall. (CPD case HY363198)

Image: Bea Gardner
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Friday, July 31, 2015

FEISTY "YOUTHS": Things Heat Up At Local Service Agenices

Things have been heating up at local service agencies over the past few days:

• A Crib Youth Shelter client who refused to cooperate with police was transported to Illinois Masonic Medical Center after being beaten near the shelter at 865 W. Addison Wednesday evening.

• Two hours later, around 8:15PM, Crib staff members—who are notoriously unwilling to get police involved in their operations—called 911 to report that a sizable female client was threatening the staff. The situation was resolved using "diplomacy," police say.

• Yesterday, a 21-year-old man who is currently on parole for robbery and theft was arrested after he allegedly assaulted a staff member at the Center on Halsted.

• Police were called to the Broadway Youth Center last Thursday evening after woman reported that she and her boyfriend had been beaten up by a man who then fled the scene with some of their property. The known suspect is a 24-year-old convicted robbery offender who often lays his head at The Crib.

...and, of course, a man suspected in two arson fires near Belmont and Sheffield this week was arrested Wednesday afternoon inside the Center on Halsted.
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BAD DAY AT WORK: Woman Robbed Near Thorek Hospital

A Boystown woman on her way to work at Weiss Hospital was robbed early Thursday morning by two men who were armed with a handgun.

The victim told police that the two offenders approached her from behind. Then, one of the men grabbed her purse while the other man pointed a chrome semi-automatic handgun at her.

It all went down at Clarendon and Irving Park Road around 5AM.

The offenders are described as two black men between 20- and 25-years-old. The one armed with a gun stood about 5'6" tall, weighed 130 pounds, and wore a black bucket hat, a black cut-off tank top, and cargo pants.

The second offender stood about 6-feet-tall and weighed 140 pounds. He wore a red shirt and red pants.

Both men were last seen running northbound on Clarendon from Irving Park. (CPD case HY361423)

Photo credit: Snipview
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PUSHING IT: 7-Eleven Robbery Crew Strikes Again (In Avondale)

Police believe that a crew of two to three men who have been robbing convenience stores at gunpoint in west Lake View, Lincoln Park, and Wicker Park struck again on Sunday—in Avondale.

Police say two men who closely resemble those seen in a recently-released community alert entered a convenience store at 3600 W. Belmont around 11 o'clock Sunday night and then produced handguns as they robbed the store and its customers.

The offenders were described as two black men with dark complexions who wore black hoodies. One carried a silver handgun and the other had a black handgun. No one was injured.

For all of their trouble, the duo netted $70 cash, a purse and a wallet.

Image: Two suspects in a recent string of convenience store robberies are seen in a Chicago Police Department photo collage.
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Thursday, July 30, 2015

BURNED: Arson Suspect Arrested At Center On Halsted

Two counts of arson have been filed against 22-year-old Eric Howard of the Chicago Lawn neighborhood in connection with two fires in the 3200 block of Sheffield on Tuesday.

Howard is currently on parole for burglary, according to the Illinois Department of Corrections.

As CWB Chicago reported exclusively yesterday, police were on the look out for a known suspect in the fires, which were set to a dumpster early Tuesday. He is also accused of setting fire to carpeting in a stairwell of a building that houses Alderman Tom Tunney's office. No one was injured.

Prosecutors say Howard admitted to setting the fires with a lighter. Bail is set at $300,000.

Officers took Howard into custody shortly after our Wednesday report at the Center on Halsted, 3656 N. Halsted, without incident. 

Photo: Chicago Police Department
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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

WANTED: Cops Seek Known Suspect In Tuesday Arson

UPDATE: Arson investigators took a suspect into custody at the Center On Halsted Wednesday afternoon.
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CWB has confirmed that Chicago police are seeking a known suspect for questioning in at least one arson fire near the Belmont Red Line station.

Investigators are looking into a fire that they believe was intentionally set in a dumpster behind condo buildings at 3221 N. Sheffield at 3:45 yesterday morning (Seen here in first photo).

Surveillance footage has allowed officers to identify a suspect who is known to cops in the 19th district.

He is described as a black man, about 25-year-old with a distinctive high-cut Afro. He was last seen panhandling this morning near School and Sheffield—less than a block from the suspect fire. He was wearing a blue denim vest over a tie dye shirt, faded blue jeans, and gray gym shoes.

Yesterday afternoon, a witness reported "a flower pot or something" on fire behind a building in the 800 block of Addison. It was quickly extinguished.

And a CWB Chicago reader this week submitted photos of a trash receptacle that he found burned out near a home in the 800 block of Fletcher. (Seen in second photo.)

Early on June 25, a surveillance camera captured images of two men setting a trash can on fire in the 3000 block of Sheffield. That fire spread to two nearby coach houses. All of the occupants escaped, but their homes were heavily damaged.

It is not yet known if there is any connection to the man currently being sought.

North Center Smolders

Meanwhile, two sets of suspicious fires in the North Center neighborhood are raising some eyebrows.

On Monday, two trash fires were reported in alleys at Claremont and Belle Plaine and in the 2400 block of Warner between 5:30 and 6PM.

In the same neighborhood last Thursday, a rubbish fire was reported in the 3900 block of Oakley at 3:35PM followed 20 minutes later by a garbage can fire in the 2000 block of Warner.
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BREAK-INS GALORE: More Businesses Targeted In Overnight Spree; One Burgled Shop Gets Ticket For "False Alarm"

At least three more local businesses have been victimized in overnight burglaries since Sunday as a month-long spree shows no signs of slowing down. Restaurants have been particularly hard-hit in the crime wave.

The owner of Ceres’ Table, 3124 N. Broadway, became the latest victim at 4:40 this morning when a single burglar busted through the restaurant’s back door and knocked the alarm system off of the wall.

Police were dispatched to the restaurant when the alarm sounded but, rather than discovering the latest in a series of burglaries that has been the subject of two police alerts, the officers issued Ceres’ Table a ticket for a “false alarm.”

Early indications are that nothing was taken from the restaurant.

Yesterday morning, The Menz Room salon, 3437 Sheffield reported a similar break-in. Once again, the offender broke through the establishment’s rear door. In that case, the thief made off with cash from a register.

And on Sunday morning, Si-Pie Pizzeria, 3477 Broadway, reported that it had been burglarized, too.

Local alderman Tom Tunney spoke with ABC7 Chicago about the burglaries on Monday:
"I've been in communication with police department. They do not feel there is a rash or something particularly different about the past 10 days but we're on top of it.”
That’s weird. Because we aren’t used to seeing the police department issuing two alerts in the course of days for something that’s not different. But rest assured, businesses, the he is on top it!
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THAT'S BETTER: After First Doing Nothing, City Zaps Gang Tags

After CWB Chicago reported large swaths of gang tags along the lakefront to the city for removal on July 16, the city closed our service requests out and marked them complete—even though they had done absolutely nothing.

We reported on the lack of effort over the weekend.

Now, we can happily report, the tags have been obliterated—painted over with a thick layer of beige paint.
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Tuesday, July 28, 2015

FLIP FLOP: As 16th Victim Reports Being Beaten And Robbed, Local Alderman Changes His Tune

With a 16th mugging victim in an ongoing spree reporting that he was beaten and robbed shortly before sunrise today, local alderman Tom Tunney has done one of his classic flip-flops.

Talking to ABC7's Rob Elgas about the robbery spree yesterday, Tunney said,
[The police have] got plenty of resources out here, no one can say that there aren't the resources out here.
Well it seems that someone said that the resources aren't out here. Tunney this afternoon on Facebook:
In the wake of a series of recent robberies, the 19th District has dedicated increased resources to the Lakeview area.
No here one can say that we're surprised, Tom.

In this morning's reported incident, a man called 911 at 4:40AM to report being knocked to the ground and robbed by eight or nine men on the corner of Roscoe and Halsted.

While officers spoke with the victim, other cops quickly found a group of seven men resembling a broad description of the attackers on the corner of Newport and Clark—about two blocks away.

During further discussions with cops, the victim—who had been drinking—became quiet and told officers that he just wanted to be left alone and that he did not want to file a police report.

Had he filed a report, his would have been the 16th robbery here since July 4th.
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