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Concerns of Graffiti, Gangs Persist Near Lincoln Square, Albany Park Border

By Hunter Clauss | Thursday, April 22, 2010

Chicago Police Car. Credit: Mike Fourcher

Graffiti and gang activity dominated this week’s?CAPS meeting for the 17th District’s 1724 beat. Chicago Police Sgt. Kristin Barker informed residents of the backlog currently facing the city’s “Graffiti Blasters,” and recommended residents paint over graffiti if it’s on wooden surfaces. Barker said budget cuts and furlough days have crippled the city’s ability to stay on top of graffiti.

“Believe it or not, but there was one guy who was graffiti blasting the whole city,” said Barker.

Barker also informed residents about ongoing activity with the area’s main gang, the Familia Stones. Barker said one of the gang’s members, Charles Akers, was shot and killed in Portage Park while he was getting a haircut at a barbershop, and she said police were still investigating the murder. She told residents police were filling out contact cards for people they believe are acting suspiciously. Barker said contact cards include a description of a person, what car they drive, and where they were located, and she said these cards can help police officers piece together information to solve crimes. Barker assured residents they shouldn’t worry about wearing “ballistic body armor.”

“Compared to the rest of the city, you guys have an exceptionally safe neighborhood,” said Barker. “I’d rather have 10 crazy calls about a guy drinking Bud Ice then have no calls and someone gets hurt.”

Speaking of Bud Ice, residents also complained about two scruffy men who roam the alleys drinking Bud Ice.

Statistics from 17th District Police

Between Feb. 16 and April 20, there were:

22 reported cases of “simple” domestic battery.

22 reported cases of theft less than $300.

16 reported cases of criminal damage to a vehicle.

12 reported cases of criminal damage to property.

8 reported cases of telephone threats.

7 reported cases of forcible entry.

6 reported cases of motor vehicle theft of an automobile.

6 reported cases of possession of less than 30 grams of cannabis.

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