City robberies cause concern

August 5, 2009 8:43:05 PM PDT
Hundreds of people worried about a series of attacks on the North Side met with police on Wednesday night.There is also concern on the South Side where there have been several armed robberies near a Metra station.

Concern for their community drew hundreds of people to police beat meeting in Lakeview.

"I just want to hear that something is being done," said Lisa Casey, Lincoln Park resident.

Police are telling residents there's no evidence a recent rash of violent robberies in Lincoln Park is connected to two other similar attacks in Lakeview this week; but nonetheless there are calls for a stronger police presence.

"There is a lot of tension. The tension is really coming from concern that the streets aren't safe," said Mathew Saleski, Lakeview resident.

"Has it been a little spike? Yeah, there's been a little spike but crime is still low in this area here," said Deputy Chief Bruce Rottner, Chicago Police Department.

In fact, police say June robberies and burglaries in Lincoln Park were down 7 percent compared to the same month one year ago. That leads many in more crime ridden neighborhoods wondering what all the fuss is about.

On the South Side, near the 87th Street Metra station there have been several armed robberies in recent weeks, none the subject of a police community alert.

"It's really something that the police departmetn has to focus on because people need to feel safe," said Alderman Michelle Harris, 8th Ward.

In the second half of July in the South Side police district that covers the Metra station there have been 100 reported robberies and burglaries. Compare that with 43 in the Lincoln Park district that are receiving so much attention.

"An informed community is an empowered community. The community does not know what is going on," said Santita Jackson, WVON Radio host.

As for the apparent disparity on when community alerts are issued about crimes, police told ABC7 it's made on a case by case basis by the detective division. Among the factors considered are whether or not police think the public has information that may help them solve a crime and whether they think getting the information about criminal activity out may help prevent more people becoming victims.


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