According to official crime statistics obtained by Roscoe View Journal from the Chicago Police Department through a Freedom of Information request, burglaries in the 19th District are on pace to decline in 2010.
Lisa Wilkins, President of Roscoe Village Neighbors, attributes the decline to alert residents. “We’re a very strong, family-oriented community where residents do tend to watch out for each other. I know one time [my family and I] were on vacation, and there was a ComEd guy poking around my house. I had two neighbors call the police,” says Wilkins.
“We are declining, but we’re not ready to call [it a] victory,” says Lt. John Willner of the Chicago Police Department’s 19th District. (The 19th District stretches from Lawrence Avenue to Fullerton Avenue and from the Chicago River’s North Branch to Clark Street in the east, and it includes the entire area covered by Roscoe View Journal. [Click for map])
Willner says the 19th District has assigned a group of officers to fight burglaries, a crime that tends to happen more frequently in this district than in surrounding districts. “It has been our experience that people who commit burglaries tend to be prolific,” Willner says. “If we make two good burglary arrests, we tend to have a big effect further along the way.”
As of May 31, 2010, there have been a total of 142 burglaries and forced entries reported this year in the 19th District. In 2009, there were 542 for the entire year.
Last month the Chicago Police Department released its Index Crime Survey for January–June 2010, which includes crime statistics for the whole city.
In an effort to educate citizens about burglary, the 19th District has been distributing a burglary prevention tip sheet [PDF download], as well as “21 Things A Burglar Won’t Tell You” [PDF download].