Tuesday, May 21, 2013

RED LINE CLOSURE: Area Streets Remain Open For Thugs' Business

Neither pouring rain nor the closure of the South Side's Red Line train stations kept criminals out of Wrigleyville and Boystown overnight.

At least two robberies and one knife attack kept officers busy. Fortunately, there were enough officers on duty to handle the events. They even caught a couple of the suspected robbers.

Also clear last night was just how wrong the belief that our troubles came from the South Side may be. And how many robberies are happening, but never make it into the police department's statistics count.

Shortly after 2:00AM, CTA police asked for help with a robbery in progress on northbound train #835. Two alleged iPhone thieves hopped off the train at Belmont.

Police at the Belmont station quickly located a man who matched the primary description of a male, black, 25 years old, wearing a white tshirt and a black & white Chicago Bulls hat. A check of the man's background found him to be a member of the Black P. Stone Nation street gang, a parolee, and a focus of a recent Uptown homicide investigation.

He was released after the alleged robbery victim failed to come forward. Probable cause has not been developed to allow for an arrest in the homicide investigation.

But this man does not hail from the South Side. He lives on the North Side, in Rogers Park. His companion last night also lives on the North side, in Old Town.

As for the robberies that slip under the radar, at least two reported robberies last night may never make the official crime count, which could mean four robberies reported in the area since Thursday night may go unrecorded.

In one case, the victim failed to approach police. In the other case, the victim actually toured the neighborhood with officers in search of his attacker, but he gave up and decided he just wanted to go home rather than take the time to file a report.

Robbery victims often decide to file police reports in the days after the crimes. Many realize they need to file a report in order to make insurance claims. Still others file the reports from the safety of their homes, away from the crime scene.  We hope last night's victims will make filings.