Stolen wheels, peer jury cases discussed
by BRIAN NADIG
Pictures taken by residents and posted on social media of their cars without wheels and sitting on bricks or blocks in the morning are not unusual as criminals usually steal vehicle parts at night.
It was reported at the June 20 meeting of the 16th District Advisory Committee that officers stopped two males as they reportedly were removing the wheels from a vehicle parked in the 5000 block of West Pensacola Avenue and placing them in a Honda CRV at about 1:30 a.m. Monday, May 6.
The two males fled on foot and officers apprehended one of them in a nearby alley, according to police. The suspect was identified by police as a 16-year-old male, while the other male was not immediately located, police said.
A resident showed officers a video recording of the wheels being removed, and officers found recovered wheels, lug nuts and tools in the Honda, which itself had been reported stolen, according to police.
It was reported that the two people who were shot in an incident on June 11 in the 5500 block of North Monitor Avenue are expected to fully recover, police said. In that incident a man shot a man and a woman in a domestic related incident and then fatally shot himself, according to police.
It also was reported at the meeting that there has been a drop in the number of cases being referred to the district’s peer jury. The panel decides on the punishment, such as community service or a letter of apology, for juvenile offenders who have admitted guilt for non-violent offenses.
The jury has heard about eight cases this year, dozens fewer than in some years in the past, according to a jury moderator. Referrals to the jury come from the detectives division, and district officials said that they will reach out to newer detectives who may not be as aware of the program.
The program was created in the early 2000s and is intended to divert first-time offenders from the court system and to serve as a learning experience for both the jury members and the offenders as they discuss a variety of issues.
Also at the meeting, district commander Maureen Biggane said that the district continues to experience decreases in several crime categories this year compared to the same period last year.
Through June 16 there were reported 38 reported robberies (66 in 2018), 161 burglaries (243 in 2018), 225 felony thefts (304 in 2018), 145 motor vehicle thefts (176 in 2018) and four shooting incidents (seven in 2018).
In addition, enforcement of drunk driving is up in the district this year, with 108 driving under the influence arrests compared to 40 last year at this time, Biggane said.
It also was announced that sergeant Jeff Aaron is the district’s community policing sergeant replacing Sherry Alvarez-Pena, who is now a lieutenant. Also replacing the recently retired captain Hootan Bahmandeji is captain Joe Petrenko.
The advisory committee presented the district "Officer of the Month" awards to Sergio Corona and August Moss for their April 11 arrest of a suspect who reportedly possessed a .45 caliber handgun and an AK-47 firearm. The officers questioned the suspect after he was seen in a vehicle parked in an alley in the 5500 block of West Grace Street and reportedly smoking marijuana.