After several days of freezing calm, things are starting to thaw out a bit in the neighborhood. Some notes:
3 Burglaries Wednesday
At least three residents returned to their homes near Belmont and Broadway Wednesday only to discover that they had been burglarized. Two forcible entry burglaries were reported at 540 W. Belmont and an attempted burglary was reported one block away at 640 W. Briar. At least two of the target apartments are ground floor units.
The always interesting Subway restaurant at 901 W. Belmont called police after two men threatened to jump over the counter and rob the store clerk at 5:48 yesterday afternoon. The offenders, described as two black men about 18 years old, fled the scene. No report taken.
That is the final robbery count for Wrigleyville and Boystown in 2013. That’s a 3% increase over 2012’s record. A 7% increase over 2011’s previous record.
2013’s robbery rate is 33% higher than 2010, 48% higher than 2009, and 79% higher than 2007.
The good news is that this year’s very cold start has kept robbery numbers low. January of last year was unusually violent, with 27 robberies recorded in the neighborhood. So, there is hope for getting the new year started with a significant year-over-year decline in January.
The complete list of 2013 robberies in Wrigleyville and Boystown is available HERE.
Some local churches are asking their members to write letters in support of the Broadway Youth Center’s request for a special permit to operate on a residential stretch of Wellington Avenue.
The letter we’ve received contains a real eye-roller: “The situation is complicated by the fact that for the past six months or so, an anonymously run, sensationalistic blog has been blaming crime in Lakeview on the youth services programs. The BYC is the blog’s current target.”
It’s interesting to note that this particular letter is being distributed by a church that’s located in Lincoln Park, far away from the neighborhood that is working through these issues.
So, for the newbies: No, we have not blamed the youth services programs.
Here’s our position as stated in a recent story about the Center on Halsted:
To be clear, we believe the Center on Halsted and most other social service agencies in our neighborhood provide essential services that should be located here. Our disagreement is with the agencies’ public denials of any connection whatsoever between a limited number of their clientele and crime in our neighborhood.
That’s a far cry from “blaming crime in Lakeview on the youth services programs.” We challenge you to find a single instance in which we blame any one factor for our neighborhood’s street crime problem.
We have said that the BYC management’s refusal to co-operate with law enforcement is unacceptable. See HERE.
Of course, some people think everyone should just ignore he facts shown in the police reports we cited because they are “in the past.” Well, yes, 2012 is in the past.
We have also reported on the remarkable number of people who come into contact with police and report BYC locations as their addresses of record. One such individual was recently charged with a Lakeview home invasion and kidnaping. His “address?” A church on Broadway where BYC operated last year. (Chicago Tribune story HERE.)
Likewise, Ryan Brandis, currently serving time for burglary after committing a string of crimes in the neighborhood over the course of three years, listed the BYC as his “home” address.
The fact is that we really haven’t mentioned the zoning issue since before Thanksgiving, preferring instead to let the residents work things out with BYC.
How’s that for sensationalism?
So ya’ll can keep your “targeting” verbiage and your falsehoods.
Now, why would a church in Lincoln Park give a hoot about something happening up here? Sounds like a PITBY (Please, In THEIR Back Yard).