Police district sees decrease in crime, increase in arrests


The number of robberies, burglaries and car thefts in the 16th (Jefferson Park) Police District has decreased in recent weeks while the number of arrests increased compared to last year.

One of the district’s crime-fighting strategies has been stepped-up traffic enforcement, helping to lead to 194 arrests in a recent 4-week period compared to 163 during the same period last year. The number of traffic stops in which tickets were not issued increased to 731 in the same period from 217 last year.

"Some of these guys are driving through our neighborhoods and committing crimes, so we’re making more traffic stops," Captain Hootan Bahmandeji said at the June 15 meeting of the 16th District Advisory Committee.

The number of reported robberies was six during a 4-week period ending June 11 compared to 13 last year, the number of burglaries was 27 compared to 31 last year and the number of motor vehicle thefts was 19 compared to 26 in 2017. Meanwhile, the number of other thefts, including shoplifting, increased from 34 to 50 this year.

It also was reported at the meeting that there have been additional problems at an apartment building in the 4800 block of West Argyle Street, where a shooting occurred outside the building earlier this year. In a May 30 incident, a tenant was arrested after officers found a loaded gun and narcotics, identified by police as cocaine and crystal methamphetamine.

The committee also discussed a May 24 incident in which men were arrested after they reportedly were checking for unlocked car doors in the 4200 block of North Meade Avenue.

The committee honored Aneta Pruszynska and Michael Parker as "Officer of the Month" for their April 30 arrest of several individuals for public drinking in an alley in the 4800 block of West Grace Street. A handgun was found behind a trash can near where the suspects were gathered, according to police.

The district will hold its annual "National Night Out" celebration from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 1, at Norwood Park, 5801 N. Natoma Ave. The event will include a musical performance by Todd and the Ten Pins, a face painter, a balloon artist, bouncy houses, a classic car show and a blood drive.