Sunday, May 03, 2015

REPEAT PERFORMANCE: Woman Targeted In Robbery Attempt On Clark Sunday

A man who tried to rob a woman near Clark and Surf this morning escaped empty handed, but a slow response by our under-staffed police district prevented a report from being filed.

The woman called for help at 5:55AM Sunday after a Hispanic man pushed her and tried to take her purse. Her attacker was said to be wearing a black long-sleeve shirt with light blue jeans.

This morning's incident is virtually identical to a similar case at the exact same location on March 14. As we reported then:
Around 3AM on Saturday, residents near Clark and Surf called police after they heard a woman screaming for help on the street. Officers found the woman who reported that a Hispanic man wearing a black jacket had just stolen her purse in the 2900 block of Clark. The offender was last seen running eastbound on Surf toward Broadway.
Police, who were in the midst of a shift change at the time of today's call, did not see the victim when they arrived about 20 minutes later.

Because no police report was filed, this incident will not be recorded in Chicago's crime statistics. Underreporting of crime is a major contributor to the reduction in Chicago's crime rate in recent years.

Victims are dissuaded from filing reports in several way, which drives statistics down. Among the ways reports are hampered by the city:
  • Reduced police staffing leads to longer responses and more victims give up on filing reports.
  • Refusal to dispatch police to many types of crimes, forcing victims to file a report via telephone (if they are willing to endure an extended hold time).
  • Re-classification of crimes from serious categories such as burglary to less serious categories such as "theft from building" or from theft to "lost property."
But homicides are up sharply this year. Dead bodies can't walk away if there's a slow response.

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