16th Police District has issued crime prevention tips


The 16th (Jefferson Park) Police District has issued crime prevention tips for businesses following a series of commercial break-ins and after a man was charged in connection with two of the burglaries.

"Leave a light on in your business, and if you don’t want to, use a motion detector," community policing sergeant Sherry Alvarez-Pena said at the April 14 meeting of the Jefferson Park Chamber of Commerce. A motion sensor light also should be considered for all entry doors to the building, Alvarez-Pena said.

Other tips include keeping cash registers open and empty when the store is closed because burglars have been breaking open registers and the repairs can be expensive. Alvarez-Pena also said that surveillance video should be electronically sent off-site because some burglars take the device storing the video.

Rooftop windows and vents should be secured and alarmed because they can be used to gain entry to a business, Alvarez-Pena said. She said that one burglar became stuck and his feet could be seen dangling from the ceiling.

In several recent commercial burglaries, entry was gained by breaking a front window or prying open a front door, and in two instances rooftop entry was made, according to police. Six commercial burglaries in were reported the district between March 14 and March 26, in the 4000, 4700, 5300 and 5500 blocks of North Milwaukee Avenue and the 5500 block of West Devon Avenue.

On April 3 a 38-year-old man was charged in connection with break-ins at the Subway restaurant, 5316 N. Milwaukee Ave., and Rosati’s Pizza, 5544 N. Milwaukee Ave., according to police. The suspect was identified by police as Jason Caldwell, of the 3000 block of South Homan Avenue.

The 16th District also recently issued a community alert following several residential burglaries in Jefferson Park and Portage Park. The incidents occurred in the 5100 and 5700 blocks of West Montrose Avenue and the 4900 block of West Cullom Avenue, police said. Entry was gained through doors or windows, and electronics, jewelry and cash were among the items stolen, police said.

In another incident, an off-duty police officer apprehended two men who broke into his home in the Edgebrook area, police said.

Police also urge home owners to secure the pull cord in their garage after a burglary pattern in which a man was breaking out a panel from garage doors, reaching inside and pulling the cord down to lift the door open. Police recommend that the cord be positioned or tied so it is further from the door.