16th District crime decreases


It was reported at the Dec. 17 meeting of the 16th (Jefferson Park) Police District Advisory Committee that serious crime has declined 15 percent this year.

"Serious crime in the 16th is down in just about every category in Part 1 (index crimes), almost by double digits," 16 District captain Hootan Bahmandej said at the meeting. "Aggravated battery is the only increase."

The number of serious crimes reported this year is 2,059, down from 2,425 last year. The decreases reported by category through Dec. 8 were from six murders to four, from 25 criminal sexual assaults to 20, from 188 robberies to 139, from 806 burglaries to 674, from 673 felony thefts to 613 and from 621 vehicle thefts to 490. The number of reported aggravated batteries increased from 106 to 119.

Also at the meeting, the committee honored officers Bruce Dyker and Robert Young for rescuing a 29-year-old man who was unconscious inside a car that was on fire at 1:10 a.m. Friday, Nov. 22, in the 6000 block of West Higgins Avenue.

The officers found the man unresponsive and pulled him from the car. He was treated for smoke inhalation.

It also was reported that police returned a wedding ring to a man who had his vehicle stolen in October. The man had lost his keys near his home in the 4200 block of North Winchester Avenue, and his wedding ring was on the key ring.

Two men allegedly found the keys on the ground, used the car alarm device on the key to locate the car, and drove it away, according to police. After a car was stopped for a traffic violation on Nov. 30 in the 4300 block of North Marmora Avenue, it was discovered that the vehicle had been reported stolen.

The driver of the car, who was identified by police as Josiah Figueroa, age 19, of the 6000 block of West Addison Street, was charged with possession of a stolen motor vehicle, police said.

It also was reported that three Schurz High School students were arrested at about 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 5, after they were seen stealing global positioning system devices from unlocked cars parked near Lockwood and Pensacola avenues. The officers questioned the students because they were not in school, police said.

A man was arrested on drug charges at about 1:35 p.m. Monday, Nov. 4, after he was found to be in possession of 446 grams of marijuana, according to police. Officers had set up surveillance of the man’s car after a report of a drug sale near Marmora and Monitor avenues, and they stopped his car in the 5700 block of West Patterson Avenue, police said.

The suspect, who was identified by police as Joseph R. Goldberg, age 21, of the 5600 block of Patterson, was charged with possession of cannabis and drug paraphernalia, police said.

Also at the meeting, Bahmandej urged shoppers to take safety precautions during the holiday season, especially to be aware of pickpockets at shopping centers and transit centers. Bahmandej said that pickpockets usually carry a coat over their arms to hide their hands.

The committee presented its Officer of the Month Award to Fabian Sanchez and Robert Gniot for their arrest of two suspects who were charged in connection with a series of robberies in October in which women’s purses were stolen. One of the victims was hospitalized with facial fractures.