Carjackings, boarding house for dogs discussed at meeting


Concerns about a boarding house for dogs and several recent carjackings were discussed at the Jan. 18 meeting of the 16th (Jefferson Park) Police District Advisory Committee.

District commander William Looney said that citations were issued to A Dog’s Entertainer, 6577 N. Avondale Ave., for allegedly refusing entry to allow police to inspect the premises and for an insufficient number of workers watching the more than 50 dogs that were reported there on Jan. 16.

A city ordinance requires at least three workers when there are at least 15 dogs, including at least two workers for each separate group of 15 or more dogs, according to the district. Two workers were on site when officers arrived, according district lieutenant John Garrido.

Initially a worker told officers that they would have to get a search warrant to enter the premises, Garrido said. A condition of the business license allows the city to make premise checks, he said.

The owner later arrived and let police in, Looney said. Earlier in the day the owner was at City Hall in a meeting with Looney, Alderman Anthony Napolitano (41st) and the city Department of Law in an effort to address residents’ concerns, including noise complaints, according to Looney.

"I’ve been receiving complaints since the day I was sworn in about this place," Napolitano later told Nadig Newspapers. "These dogs bark for eight hours a day nestled between two businesses and across the street from residential (homes)."

Looney also reported that the district has experienced several carjackings this month, including a Jan. 18 incident in which a 72-year old-woman was forced out of her car at gunpoint while waiting to pick up her grandchildren at Saint John’s Lutheran School in the 4300 block of North Lavergne Avenue.

The 72-year-old woman reported that another vehicle, described as a dirty silver hatchback, drove up near her 2010 Toyota Camry, and a man exited the vehicle and ordered her to "get out," while pointing a small black gun at her, according to 16th (Jefferson Park) District police. The woman reported that she attempted to lock the door but the man opened the door and forced her out, police said. The woman reported that two men drove away in the woman’s car, while a third man drove off in the hatchback, according to police. Also reported stolen was the woman’s purse, police said.

The armed man was described as black, age 18 to 22 and 5-7 to 5-9.

In a Jan. 14 incident, a 70-year-old woman was forced to turn over her car keys to a gunman in the 5600 block of West Byron Street. Another vehicular hijacking occurred Monday, Jan. 15, in the 5100 block of West Warwick Avenue.

It also was reported that a man punched a female officer in the jaw during a traffic stop in the evening on Wednesday, Jan. 17, near Harlem and Cornelia avenues. The car that the man was driving had been reported stolen, Looney said.

The man reportedly walked up to the squad car and punched the officer before he ran off, Looney said.

"We can’t catch him, but he drops his cell phone and identification while running," he said.

The man was taken into custody two days later at his Elmwood Park home, according to police. Information on charges was not immediately available.

In other news, in the past 4 weeks the number of reported robberies in the district was 11 compared to 12 during the same period a year ago, Looney said. In addition, the number of burglaries was 44 compared to 58 and motor vehicle thefts 40 compared to 43 a year ago, he said.

"The colder weather helped us, except the people warming up their cars," Looney said. "Keys are in the car, and doors are open."