Burglaries reported up in recent month




by BRIAN NADIG

The number of burglaries reported in the 16th (Jefferson Park) Police District is up 42 percent in the past month compared to the same period last year.

"We have garage, residential and commercial burglaries, and we’ve had patterns on all three," 16th District commander William Looney said after the Aug. 18 meeting of the 16th District Advisory Committee. "This is not ‘Mayberry.’ Protect yourself."

Looney said that residents should lock the doors to their homes and garages because not all of the break-ins have involved a forced entry.

The number of burglaries in the district from July 25 to Aug. 22 was 47, compared to 33 last year, and the total for the year is 398, compared to 358 during the same 8-month period in 2015.

The number of index, or serious, crimes, including aggravated assaults, burglaries and vehicle thefts, is 1,296 this year compared to 1,120 for the same period last year. The biggest percentage increase, 54 percent, involves robberies, which total 125 this year compared to 81 for the same period in 2015.

The number of index crimes this year is down compared to the same period in 2013, when 1,325 incidents were reported, and in 2012, 1,528 were reported.

Also at the meeting, it was reported that a global positioning system on a cell phone that was stolen during a car hijacking helped police track down two suspects. The car was stolen at gunpoint at about 2:45 a.m. Friday, July 15, in the 3400 block of North Long Avenue, when two assailants, one with a gun and the other with a knife, ordered the driver to get out of the vehicle and give them his cell phone before they drove away in the car, according to police.

The suspects were arrested in the 5900 block of West Irving Park Road after the car’s owner used another cell phone to track the location of the phone. The suspects were identified by police as Stephen C. Smith, age 20, of the 2000 block of West 111th Street, and a 17-year-old male who lives in the Portage Park area.

It also was reported that a woman was arrested at about 2:10 a.m. Wednesday, July 6, after she was seen allegedly burglarizing a parked car in the 4900 block of North Lester Avenue. The suspect was identified by police as Christine M. Sakellarion, age 22, of the 5600 block of North Richmond Street.

When the suspect appeared in court a week later she was arrested in connection with a car burglary in the 5600 block of West Higgins Avenue, police said. When the suspect was apprehended on July 6, she possessed a purse which later was reported having been stolen during the Higgins incident, police said.

The advisory committee presented its "Officer of the Month Award" to Kenneth Weller and Rene Duran for their June 29 arrest of two suspects, one of whom possessed a loaded handgun that had been reported stolen. The officers stopped the suspects’ car because it matched the description of a vehicle that was involved in a shooting incident near Sunnyside and Mason avenues the previous day.

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