Lauryn Schroeder

Enterprise Data Reporter

Lake View sees drop in total crime but robbery count doubles

Grace Street CHICAGO — Chicago Police officials from the 19th District reported Tuesday, Nov. 8, that three areas of Lake View have seen a significant drop in total crimes reported this month, but specific crimes are on the rise.

Beth Giltmier, Chicago Police and CAPS Sgt. for the 19th Police District, said the total number of crimes reported for the 1923 beat, which covers West Irving Park Road to West Addison Street, has decreased by 25 incidents.

“It’s a big deal,” Giltmier said. “That means we’re arresting the right people.”

Despite the decrease in total crime, reported robberies for the 1923 beat almost doubled from eight to 15. Giltmier said at this time there is nothing to indicate a pattern in the incidents, but police officials are using new strategies to track down the source of the thefts.

“They’re going in the alleyways instead of staying on the main streets, which will help them find anything suspicious near garages,” Giltmier said. “We can’t be everywhere but the most important thing is getting the word out to the community.”

Addison Street to Belmont Avenue, beat 1924, saw a decrease of 18 and beat 1925, North Halsted to North Lake Shore Drive, decreased by 19. Giltmier said the total decrease in all three beats could be due to a series of major arrests.

On Oct. 25, a suspected Lake View burglary team, Delia Fernandez and Joe Melendez, were arrested by police officials. Paris Embry, 33, was arrested after police officers stopped his vehicle on the 600 block of West Patterson Avenue. He was charged with possession of narcotics. Giltmier said she believes Embry is a middleman for the large amount of narcotic sales in the area, particularly on West Grace Street.

Nora Handler and her husband Bruce attended Tuesday’s beat meeting. The two have been living on the 3800 block of North Lake Shore Drive for nine years. She said throughout that time the neighborhood’s atmosphere has gone up and down regularly but about two months ago she noticed an increase in suspicious activity.

“In a big city like Chicago you won’t know all your neighbors but you have a feel for who belongs there and who doesn’t,” she said. “I started talking to neighbors who were seeing things in the alley that made them concerned too.”

Handler said over the last two weeks she has seen an improvement and is starting to feel more confident when walking at night. She said she is thankful to the police who have taken the community’s complaints seriously.

“I think we’re really lucky in this neighborhood,” she said. “(The police) are very involved and very responsive…they do the best they can.”

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