Crime on decline compared with same period last year
A series of unrelated armed robberies last week interrupted a dramatic 20 percent downward trend in crime, according to the South East Chicago Commission.
The brief upsurge was met with additional deployment of University Police. SECC Law Enforcement Coordinator Robert Richards also urged residents to take extra precautions.
Comparing crime statistics for the first seven months of 1994 with statistics for the same time period in 1993, sexual assaults decreased by 62 percent, robberies declined by 11 percent, purse snatchings are down 40 percent, burglaries fell 26 percent, auto theft decreased 15 percent and theft from autos dropped 23 percent. Four homicides have been reported in the neighborhood this year, compared with one in 1993, which is a 300 percent increase. None of those involved was affiliated with the University.
In an incident on the evening of Aug. 11, a couple sitting in a car in the 5000 block of East End Avenue were robbed by two men, one of whom brandished an automatic pistol. That same evening, another person was robbed at gunpoint while walking north in the 5400 block of Ellis Avenue. The incidents are not believed to be related. The evening of Aug. 10, a student was walking on 54th Street when two offenders robbed him at gunpoint. Shortly before that robbery, the parents of a student were held up in the 5300 block of Kimbark Avenue by a single offender who escaped in a car with the license plate ZDM 662. On Aug. 9, a student was followed through the gate to his apartment complex at 54th Street and Ellis Avenue and robbed by two offenders.
Police are investigating the murders of 33-year-old Rose Marie Tabor and her mother, Henry Mae Tabor, who were found dead in their apartment in the 1000 block of East 47th Street on July 4. The women, who had been shot, were discovered by a relative after the relative was unable to reach them by phone. No suspects are in custody at this time.
Police are also investigating two robberies believed to have been committed by the same man at around noon on July 20. The first incident occurred in the 1300 block of East 48th Street, and the second crime occurred five minutes later in the 4900 block of Woodlawn. In both incidents, residents were approached by a man described as African-American, 18 to 25 years old, 6'0", 180 to 190 pounds, with a muscular build. The offender has a tattoo on his hand between his thumb and forefinger that appears to be a cross inside a horseshoe. In both cases, the offender implied he had a handgun.
Five men have been charged with armed robbery and are awaiting trial after being arrested July 11 while committing a robbery and carjacking in the 5000 block of Lake Shore Drive. A subsequent investigation implicated the men in three similar armed robberies that occurred along the lakefront from 51st Street to 55th Street between July 7 and July 11.
A pattern of early-morning residential burglaries in the neighborhood has been detected by the SECC. A series of four break-ins occurred between July 21 and July 31. Burglaries were reported in the 1300 block of East 55th Place, the 5700 block of Kenwood, the 5600 block of Drexel and the 1400 block of East Park Place. In each case, the offender entered the residence by prying open a window. In two of the incidents, residents awoke while the offender was rifling through their property.
University Police arrested a burglary suspect in the 5600 block of Drexel at about 2:15 p.m. July 26. A resident called police immediately after she saw a man exit her home with some of her belongings. A University Police officer saw the suspect stop a taxi in the 900 block of East 57th Street. The suspect was arrested after a brief struggle with police. He has been charged with residential burglary and, because he attempted to stab a police officer while he was being arrested, also with attempted murder.
Residents are asked to contact police as quickly as possible when they see suspicious activity or become aware that a crime has occurred. To contact University Police, dial 123 from any campus phone or call 702-8181 or use one of the 131 white emergency phones located throughout the community. To reach Chicago Police, dial 911. Your call can lead to the apprehension of a criminal or prevent a crime from occurring.