As sure as temperatures rise in the summer, so does gang activity around Gross Park, 2708 W. Lawrence Ave. At Tuesday night’s CAPS meeting for Beat 2031 (Lawrence to Foster, Leavitt to the River), Officer Librada “Libby” Godinez reported 26 calls made for the park’s address and another 65 calls for the 2700-2800 block of West Lawrence.
According to a resident in attendance at the meeting (who preferred not to be named), an undercover car and plainclothes officers are patrolling the area surrounding the park, a known Latin Kings hangout. A group of residents who’ve set up nightly volleyball games in the park are viewed as a positive deterrent to suspicious activity, and Godinez encouraged other neighbors to make their presence felt.
The theft of catalytic converters (Honda Elements and Jeeps are the most frequent targets) is a problem district wide. Godinez offered little in the way of solutions and no mention was made of whether police were investigating scrap metal buyers.
Overall, the number of reported incidents remains low. Between May 29 and July 31, 27 thefts and 27 incidents of battery were reported; 19 incidents of criminal damage and 19 burglaries; 7 motor vehicle thefts; 6 assaults; three incidents of criminal trespass; and two each of narcotics and interference with a public officer.
The next meeting for Beat 2031 is scheduled for Sept. 12, 7 p.m., Anderson Pavilion, 2751 W. Winona.