Residents play key role in police catching suspects
by BRIAN NADIG
Two arrests earlier this year in the 16th (Jefferson Park) Police District illustrate the important role which the community plays in apprehending suspects, according to district commander Maureen Biggane.
"The community should be commended for coming together and helping us," Biggane said at the May 16 meeting of the 16th District Advisory Committee. She added that the Ring video cameras that an increasing number of homeowners are installing have assisted the district in several cases.
On a Feb. 9, a man was arrested in connection with a report of gunshots near Milwaukee and Cullom avenues, where one of the bullets went through the window of a home, according to police. Witnesses gave a description of a white sport utility vehicle and a man with a handgun who was seen entering the SUV and then driving away, and officers were able to quickly stop the vehicle, police said.
On Feb. 14, a man suspected in a reported strong-arm robbery of a woman who was standing at a bus stop at Irving Park Road and Major Avenue was arrested with the help of a nearby store’s surveillance camera, according to Biggane.
Officers recognized the suspect in the video because of his reported involvement in other robberies and then went to his home, where a relative let officers inside. Officers reported hearing noise in a closet and found the suspect upside down in a box, police said.
In other news, the number of reported robberies in the district through May 12 of this year was 26 compared to 62 last year and the number of burglaries was 130 compared to 203 last year.
The committee presented its "Officer of the Month" award to officers Donald Beese, Eric Killion, Joseph Lipa and Daniel Mastalerz for their March 16 arrest of two suspects accused of burglarizing a home in the 6800 block of North Overhill Avenue. Responding to a call of a burglary in progress, the officers were waiting for the suspects as they exiting the home, Biggane said.
It also was reported that community policing sergeant Sherry Alvarez-Pena is being promoted to lieutenant, and captain Hootan Bahmandeji is retiring next month after 29 years on the force.