Alderman warns of burglars targeting Wrigleyville homes, businesses

February 7, 2014 (CHICAGO)

Shattered shards of glass littered the floor. The front door was open. And from behind the counter of this sandwich shop, the cash register was ripped out and hauled away.

"My glass is broke and broke my register. I think $280 in my register," said Sangey Patel, store employee.

Burglaries, especially residential, are on the rise in the 44th Ward, which includes Lakeview.

"Yes, this particular category is up on the first 30 days of 2014. What we want to make sure is, hey folks, it's happening, so let's get ahead of this trend and make sure we nip it in the bud," said Ald. Tunney

In one neighborhood, for example, burglaries have quadrupled when you compare this year so far, compared to last year. Last year at this time, there were three burglaries in neighborhoods near Wrigley Field. This year, 14 have been reported, including a few on Wilton Avenue, which is primarily residential.

"It's a nice neighborhood. I'm really surprised that there has been that much crime recently," said Margaret, Lakeview resident.

Joseph Berg lives in one of the apartment buildings targeted last month.

"Two weeks ago our door was broken, usually it's locked. No one can get in without pressing the code right here. But it was just open," said Berg.

The alderman says it's important to raise awareness and is offering these tips: Create an illusion someone is home. Leave lights on, connect lamps to automatic timers, and, perhaps, leave your radio or television on.

And remember outside your home: If you're away, have someone shovel your walks and make sure your mail does not pile up. Ald. Tunney says fresh snow without footprints usually means no one is home, and can make your home a target.

However, Ald. Tunney emphasized that all other violent crimes are trending down when you compare this time of year to the same period last year.

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