Residents attacked in Lakeview homes

October 8, 2010 (CHICAGO) There has been an uptick in the number of burglaries in the Lincoln Park, Lakeview and Wrigleyville areas in recent weeks. What concerns residents even more is that fact that some of the burglaries seem to have evolved into full-blown home invasions with intruders who are armed.

The 1300-block of West Barry, seemingly a nice neighborhood, has been the scene of two home invasions in the last week. The most recent occurred early Thursday morning and involved four victims, three men and a woman, who were awakened then restrained by a trio of intruders -- at least one of whom was armed with a gun.

"That's actually very scary. I live right down the street, and I can't believe that. I mean this neighborhood is a pretty neighborhood, and I can't believe that actually happened around here," said resident Patrick Sagun.

Police believe that the home invasion early Thursday and one on the same block last week are related.

Authorities also are investigating two other home invasions in Wrigleyville. The incidents may not all be the work of the same people, but they do have something in common.

"The common threat is, we believe, in all four, they're armed, and that's the unusual aspect of this, and that's what worries us. Anytime were dealing with armed offenders, you know people could be hurt," said Sgt. Timothy Kusinski of the Chicago police.

No one was seriously harmed in any of the four home invasions. In each of the cases, police say the intruders appeared to be breaking in for electronic gear: televisions, laptop computers, and other items easily carried.

The other common thread is that the intruders reportedly are making entry to unlocked windows, and not necessarily just those windown at ground level.

"We took all of the air conditioners out of the windows so we could close them and lock them, making sure the door is locked, making sure it's not visible that I'm by myself," said Kate Oetinger.

"Keep doors and windows closed and locked. Be on look out for cars that might be parked illegally," Kusinski said.

The home invasions have occurred in the overnight hours when the homeowners are asleep.

Police have not gone into great detail, but the intruders -- varying numbers of them in each case -- have tried to cover their faces and are clearly quite bold, breaking in when they know people are inside.

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