Traffic stops lead to arrests; two recent shootings in 16th District
by BRIAN NADIG
A recent traffic stop which led to the recovery of a gun and drugs is an example why the 16th (Jefferson Park) Police District has stepped up its traffic enforcement efforts to combat an 16-percent increase in serious crimes this year in the district.
In the Aug. 28 incident, officers curbed a vehicle near Cicero and Belmont avenues due a cracked windshield, and the driver said he had marijuana after officers asked him there was anything illegal in the vehicle, according to police. The driver reportedly displayed a glass jar that contained individual bags of marijuana, totaling 18 grams, and officers later found a .40 caliber handgun in the trunk and a black mask in the glove compartment, police said.
“Good stuff can come from a traffic stop,” district captain Hootan Bahmandeji said after the Sept. 15 meeting of the 16 th District Advisory Committee.
About 2,900 documented traffic stops, including those in which a ticket was issued, have been made in the district this year through Sept. 11, compared to about 1,800 in 2015 during the same period.
The increase in traffic stops is in part related to the district conducting traffic missions in areas where there has been a crime pattern. Traffic stops in the district have led to several arrests of suspected car thieves in recent months.
This year there have been 1,383 index crimes, which include robberies, aggravated batteries and burglaries, reported in the district through Sept. 4 compared to 1,188 last year during the same period. Despite the increase this year, the total is lower than in 2013 (1,417) in 2012 (1,648).
It also was reported that two men were shot in the leg while standing with a group of people at about 6:35 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 13, in the 4800 block of West Patterson Avenue. The shooting is related to a dispute which several individuals had on Facebook, police said.
A man was later taken into custody in connection with the incident, while another man escaped after officers pulled over the vehicle that he was driving in, police said. The man threw his gun on the roof of a garage as he was fleeing, police said.
In addition, a suspected gang member reported that he was shot in the arm while walking at about 4:15 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 15, in the 5200 block of West Cuyler Avenue, police said. The man told officers that he heard four ‘pops” and that he and his companion did not see who fired the shots, police said.
No bullet casings were found at the scene, police said.
Also at the meeting, the committee honored Bruce Dyker and Ronda Pressley as “Officer of the Month” for their July 15 arrest of two men in connection with a vehicular hijacking in the 3400 block of North Long Avenue. A global positioning system on a cell phone which was stolen during the armed robbery help lead police to the suspects.