Sunday, November 30, 2014

DOORBUSTERS: Package Thieves And Burglars Are Psyched For Cyber Monday

He brought a big sack and he handles packages, but he isn't Santa.
"Cyber Monday" is here and our neighborhood's prolific package thieves and burglars are already on the job.

At least three residents reported having their homes burglarized this morning—including one whose U.S. Army medals were stolen and dumped in a nearby alley.

On the package theft front, things are definitely kicking into high gear:

On Friday, a UPS driver called cops after a man tried to steal packages from him in the 800 block of Aldine. Just a few hours earlier, a man was seen stealing a package of "baby items" from a home in the 3200 block of Kenmore.

The Kenmore suspect is described as male, black, 6'1" tall, wearing a green jacket over a gray hoodie.

And a CWB reader told us on Twitter that three courtyard tenants were victimized by a package thief in the 900 block of Cornelia.

Another reader emailed us to report having two packages stolen from his building lobby over the course of a few days.  "It has been quite some time since we have had any issues with stolen packages," he wrote, "and this is just a notice to for everyone to keep and eye out during the day." Good advice. See some recommendations from the CPD at the end of our story.

Mystery Guests

Sneaky package thieves are being joined by their bolder big brothers: residential burglars and shoplifting crews. Among the reports that we're aware of this week:

A burglar pried open a bathroom window in the 3400 block of Janssen on Tuesday and made off with "a bunch of jewelry, a laptop, digital camera, food, and wine."  Bon app├ętit, assmunch.

Wednesday afternoon, three shoplifters raided Uncle Dan's sporting goods, 3551 Southport, and ran out with $1,400 worth of clothes. They escaped in a black Kia with no license plate. Witnesses say two black women and one black man were involved.

Saturday morning, a resident of the 3300 block of Southport found her apartment burglarized. Among the items taken were an Easton baseball bag filled with sports equipment.

Already today, at least three more break-ins have been reported:

  • A man found his apartment had been forcibly broken into early this morning in the 3400 block of Elaine Place.
  • Another apartment was burglarized in the 1000 block of Irving Park Road. There, a U.S. Army-issued duffel bag filled with "government-issued clothing" was stolen. A police officer found some of the victim's military medals strewn about the alley.
  • And the most recent report came from the 3200 block of Seminary around 7:30 today. There, the victim's apartment was also entered by an offender using force.

What To Do?

19th district officers arrest an alleged package thief
after a sting operation earlier this year.
Online shopping is a convenience for shoppers and thieves. Among the steps police recommend taking to avoid having your packages stolen:

  • Require a signature upon receipt
  • Schedule delivery for a day that you know you will be home
  • Have the package delivered to your work address or to the courier's pick-up station rather than your home.
  • Never buzz anyone into your building unless you know exactly who they are.
  • Never let anyone follow you into your building unless you know exactly who they are. A polite approach: Tell them you don't have your keys and let them open the door.
  • Some package thieves operate by following courier trucks around and immediately stealing packages upon drop-off. The longer your packages sit, the more likely they are to be taken.

Burglarizing homes is particularly popular during the holidays because criminals know many homes will have valuable, easy-to-locate gifts inside. Suggestions:

  • We're all jealous of your bitchin' Christmas tree. You're the best. Now, close the curtains and stop showing off. You're only advertising the fact that there are goodies inside and, most likely, they're right there by that lighthouse-sized tree. Plus, if you can afford to spend that much money on a tree, you almost certainly blow money on other expensive toys.
  • Always lock your doors and windows—even if you're on the second floor.
  • If you live in a single-family home or small flat, ensure that the front and back areas are shoveled after snow falls. The lack of footprints in snow tells burglars that the home is probably not occupied.

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29 comments:

  1. So sick of these bottom feeders of society. Worse yet is their sense of entitlement to the items that people work hard to pay for on their own.

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    1. Crimes of survival the liberals call it. LOL

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    2. And they loooove to prey on our neighborhood because they know the respectable people who live here are at work during that day.

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  2. So your advice to stop crime is to close the curtains so no one can see our Christmas tree? Fuck that. We will not be forced into living in a bomb shelter to prevent the criminal behavior of thugs. We are now armed and ready to protect our property. It's the criminals who should be in hiding, not us.

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    1. Sounds good. Not sure how that's going to stop people from breaking into your home while you're away, but you sound like you know what you're talking about.

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    2. The people who are breaking into apartments to steal are truly a mixture of stupid and desperate. They're going after the easy mark... the unlocked fence, the open door, etc., etc. They're likely not thinking risk/reward... i.e. seeing a big xmas tree=lots of stuff worth stealing.

      My advice would be to get a nice LOUD alarm system for when you're not home. Plus, be sure to put the sticker for the alarm system on the door/window to the front entrance of your building. That *should* discourage criminals from hitting your house/apt, and instead looking for an easier mark...

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  3. You know your a frequent CWB reader when you see the picture of the officer arresting the suspect for this story and you say "hey, that's Wavey Brown!"

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    1. It sure gave me a warm fuzzy feeling all over, to see that thug's corn-rowed face planted on the sidewalk! Kudos to the officers who took this thief down.

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    2. HA! That's right! It is Wavey Brown. He's still in Cook County Jail as of this morning.

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  4. Another suggestion for protecting packages: if you order items online from a retailer with nearby "brick and mortar" locations (like Best Buy, Crate and Barrel, etc.), see if there is an option to have them delivered to one of those locations and pick the item(s) up there. It may be more convenient than going to the courier's pick-up location.

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    Replies
    1. Great one. Thanks for passing it on.

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    2. Yep. I ordered some items from Walmart, and they were delivered to the Walmart on Broadway for free. I saved shipping costs as well as had it delivered to a secure location.

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    3. Good suggestion.

      I've received Walmart orders at that location too for free. I've also used UPS Stores in the past to receive shipments at $5 each. Not sure of the current cost but they will receive a package and hold it for you.

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  5. If you have a garage and use it for storage instead of parking your vehicle, make sure to shovel behind it in the alley and make some car tracks. Nothing says -- "Valuable shit stored here" -- more than a garage that's not being used to park a car.

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  6. There was a segment about package thefts on WBBM radio today. Location: Southern California.

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    Replies
    1. I found it rather odd years ago that many local media outlets seemed to become interested in reporting about crime happening in other parts of the country.

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  7. UPS has a new program they are trying out in NY and Chicago. It's called "Access Point", they packages to be delivered where no one is home has a note left with the location of where the package can be found. These access points are businesses where you go (the day after the delivery attempt), show your ID and sign for the package. It's an interesting idea to stop theft. As this is the first time it is being used, they are still hammering out the changes needed but the system is working.
    One individual came into our store to pick up her package complaining that no one had ever stolen a package from in front of her apartment and the idea was horrible. When we asked for her notice, she said that she didn't have one since it had been stolen from her door. She knew where the package was via text from UPS.

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  8. Thank you CWB. You posted more preventative measures and provided more information than I usually get from the CAPS meetings. Maybe that is because you have your finger on the pulse of the neighborhood and the police CAPS people and commander are just polishing their smoke and mirrors. Have a safe holiday season.

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    1. Indeed! I rely more on CWB for my crime news and tips than any law enforcement agency (or "alderperson," LOL.)

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  9. Last week I had a relatively unimportant but sizable package stolen from the front porch of my building within a few hours of it being delivered. The idea of these lowlifes creeping around my home while I'm away is unsettling to say the least. Guess I'll be routing everything to my office from now on. Oh, and I never leave my blinds open while I'm away...lest these dirtbags see into my unit and decide to help themselves to what's inside.

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    Replies
    1. Sucks to have a package stolen. When I lived in Chicago, I helped my neighbors out by moving all packages further indoors to a more secure area. Then they started doing it too so we were all looking our for each other (in an apartment building).

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    2. I'm in a 4 unit building with the main entrance set back from the street on the side of the building. I notice delivery drivers make an attempt to conceal packages they leave, so that means these dirtbags enter our front gate and trespass all the back and up the steps onto the porch to steal things. Makes my skin crawl.

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  10. The package thieves have been out of control for awhile now. It doesn't seem to be high priority for the police considering the shortage of officers. And the judges around here seem to let offenders off with a slap on the wrist.

    When this was happening at my old condo, a few of us got together and opened up a UPS Store box. They sign for all the packages and will leave them in a lockbox if you want to pick it up after-hours. Not ideal, but it saved us countless headaches trying to figure out what was happening to packages. I do think there are a few other options besides UPS in the city too. Anyway, if you have a few neighbors willing to split the cost, I'd recommend it.

    I would love to see more stings though. It kind of stinks that living in the city means being unable to receive packages during the day.

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    Replies
    1. I received numerous packages at UPS Store for $5 (back in the day). Not sure what they charge now.

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  11. ABC 7 report: http://abc7chicago.com/news/5-arrested-in-3-lakeview-holiday-package-thefts/418223/

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  12. OT but:
    Ald. Tom Tunney (44th), owner of Ann Sather's Restaurants, tried but failed to delay the vote on Mayor Rahm Emanuel's plan to raise the minimum wage in the city. Tunney then argued — unsuccessfully — for a smaller increase which would make the minimum wage uniform across the state. | Al Podgorski/Sun-Times Media

    Funny how Tommy can go against the Mayor when it might cost him personally some money or business.

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    1. Exactly right. Tunney has voted against the mayor's wishes exactly twice—both on issues that benefit him personally. He voted against the minimum wage increase and against free Sunday parking. He said the free parking tied up meters outside of small businesses like his Ann Sather restaurants.

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    2. Ann Sathers has a parking lot.

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    3. Yuck. Who would drive over, pay to park, then go spend more money inside his tired (and rapidly fading) stick buns shoppes. You couldn't give me his nasty buns for free. Ew, just .. ew.

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