Crime down, but season warrants extra caution
Crime is down so far this year, but residents should be extra careful as warm weather returns, said Bob Richards, Law Enforcement Coordinator for the South East Chicago Commission.
According to Richards, crime in the Hyde Park-South Kenwood community has declined by more than 15 percent for the first four months of 1994, compared with the same period in 1993.
However, he noted that there has been intensive gang recruitment throughout the city during the past several weeks, as well as some gang activity around some schools and parks in the neighborhood. "Police have made several arrests and are keeping areas frequented by gang members under close observation," Richards said.
"Stay clear of groups that seem to be involved in such gang activity as flashing gang signals or are wearing hats cocked at unusual angles that seem to indicate gang affiliation," he said. "Get to a phone where you cannot be observed and alert police immediately. If you call University Police, they will inform the Chicago police. There is very close cooperation between the agencies, and the 21st District Police Gang Crimes Unit has been very responsive."
Richards also reported that city and University Police recently have made several arrests and cleared up a number of crimes. Richards credits quick-thinking citizens for aiding in the arrests of offenders in two recent robberies.
Police arrested a man on the afternoon of April 26 after he snatched a woman's purse in the 1400 block of East 53rd Street. The woman followed the offender at a safe distance and caught the attention of patrolling police officers.
Police also arrested two of three offenders who robbed a man as he walked alone in the 5100 block of University Avenue in the early morning hours of April 27. The victim got to a phone immediately after the robbery and called police. Officers responded quickly and arrested two of the offenders, who were still in the vicinity.
In both cases, the offenders have been charged with robbery and are in custody awaiting trial.