Cops Hunting For Lakeview Burglar Find An Arsonist Instead (And Then They Find The Burglar, Too)

Weiss (Chicago Police Dept)

A Boystown man faces one count of felony arson after Chicago police hunting for an unrelated burglary offender saw him lighting a discarded couch on fire behind The Belmont Cafe, 930 W. Belmont, early Tuesday.

Colin Weiss, 24, of the 3200 block of N. Clark was arrested at 2:50AM, police said.

Officers searching alleys for a reported burglary offender found Weiss in the process of lighting the couch on fire next to a bin of the restaurant’s discarded grease, police said.

Less than 10 minutes later, other officers found the burglary suspect that everyone was looking for.

David Smith, 34, of Uptown is charged with attempted burglary and criminal trespassing in connection with an incident in the 3200 block of N. Seminary.

Smith (Chicago Police Dept)

A homeowner on the block was awakened at 2:30AM Tuesday morning by the sound of their back window being pushed in. They found their screen busted and their back door open when they went to investigate.

Officers searched the area and found Smith hiding in a nearby garage just before 3AM, police said.

Probably not coincidentally, a man in the 3100 block of N. Southport found his home burglarized last Sunday. Entry was made by cuting the screen and crawling through the window, according to a neighbor.

Other Break-ins

The 19th police district has recorded 304 burglaries so far this year as of May 15. Only 182 burglaries had been reported at the same point last year.

Among recent burglaries in the area:

• 3700 block of N. Greenview last Friday morning. Entry was made to a garden apartment through a window in the gangway.

• A. J. Hudson’s Public House, 3801 N. Ashland, was burglarized after business hours last Friday. After entering through the front window, an offender used a knife to cut a cash register loose, police said.

• Residence in the 1400 block of W. Henderson burglarized on Saturday. “Lots of stuff taken,” the victim said.

• Residence in the 1600 block of W. Grace. Entry made through the back window on Monday.

• Several witnesses reported seeing two burglars force their way into Firecakes, a donut shop at 2543 N. Clark around 1:40AM on Tuesday. The offenders fled the scene before police arrived. Firecakes is located on a stretch of Clark Street that saw four businesses burglarized in a single night last week.


The List

Other break-ins confirmed by 19th district officers in recent days:

DATE OF REPORT BLOCK TYPE OF ENTRY LOCATION
5/11/2016 2500 N BURLING ST UNLAWFUL ENTRY GARAGE
5/11/2016 1300 W NEWPORT AVE UNLAWFUL ENTRY PORCH/HALLWAY
5/11/2016 1300 W FLETCHER ST FORCIBLE ENTRY RESIDENCE
5/11/2016 1900 W DIVERSEY PKWY FORCIBLE ENTRY GARAGE
5/11/2016 1000 W NEWPORT AVE UNLAWFUL ENTRY GARAGE
5/12/2016 600 W ADDISON ST FORCIBLE ENTRY APARTMENT
5/12/2016 2100 W BERTEAU AVE UNLAWFUL ENTRY APARTMENT
5/12/2016 2700 N SOUTHPORT AVE UNLAWFUL ENTRY GARAGE
5/12/2016 3900 N PINE GROVE AVE UNLAWFUL ENTRY RESIDENCE
5/12/2016 3000 N DAMEN AVE UNLAWFUL ENTRY GARAGE
5/13/2016 2100 W LELAND AVE ATTEMPT FORCIBLE ENTRY RESIDENCE
5/13/2016 4400 N MALDEN ST FORCIBLE ENTRY APARTMENT
5/13/2016 3800 N WESTERN AVE FORCIBLE ENTRY OTHER
5/13/2016 3600 N WAYNE AVE UNLAWFUL ENTRY GARAGE
5/13/2016 3600 N WAYNE AVE UNLAWFUL ENTRY GARAGE
5/15/2016 3200 N CLARK ST UNLAWFUL ENTRY APARTMENT
“Forcible entry” means that the offenders forced their way in, typically by breaking through a door or window. “Unlawful Entry” means that no force was used–a window left unlocked, for example.
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CWBChicago was created in 2013 by five residents of Wrigleyville and Boystown who had grown disheartened with inaccurate information that was being provided at local Community Policing (CAPS) meetings. Our coverage area has expanded since then to cover Lincoln Park, River North, The Loop, Uptown, and other North Side Areas. But our mission remains unchanged: To provide original public safety reporting with better context and greater detail than mainstream media outlets. Our editorial email address is news@cwbchicago.com