By Nandika Doobay
At the Beat 1432 CAPS meeting held at the Holstein Park field house last Thursday, Sgt. Bielicki and Beat Officer Sackett of the 14th District discussed the following crime statistics, arrest highlights, and community alerts.
Instances of robbery, aggravated battery, motor vehicle theft are on the rise while theft, burglary, and narcotics arrests were down compared to this time last year.
Gang graffiti in the area has gone down, while 'tagging' is very much on the rise. On the night of Aug. 20, a bike rider called in that they had spotted some taggers near 2000 W. McLean Ave., which resulted in two arrests.
Officer Sackett told meeting attendees about a simple call that led to an action-packed ordeal from the night before. An anonymous witness called 911 about hearing power tool sounds coming from a truck rental lot on the 2200 block of N. Elston. When Officer Sackett and his colleagues arrived at the scene they heard someone drop a heavy metallic object and began to search the lot. Officers found a catalytic converter on the ground along with tools used to remove them from vehicles.
They continued their search, beneath, under and even on top of the trucks until they noticed a ladder leading down to a barge on the Chicago River where the assailant could have fled. When checking out the scene at the river, officers found a man bobbing up and down in the water who appeared to be in distress. Fire trucks, river police and even an emergency helicopter showed up. Police used the thick rope that secures the barge to get a hold of the man and bring him out of water. The man claimed he had broken his leg while falling into the river and was hospitalized before being charged with burglary.
In other news, there is a business alert concerning a scam in which people posing as Health Department employees attempt to schedule inspections of local businesses. The suspects tell victims that they will receive text messages to their personal phones regarding the inspections. The Department of Health DOES NOT utilize text messaging or websites to schedule inspections (in fact, the plan is that they pop in by surprise), and they encourage businesses to ask for employee identification and badges.
When The Pipeline asked about Mayor Daley's recent announcement that he will be pulling 200 police officers off of CAPS duty and putting them back onto the reportedly understaffed streets, Sgt. Bielicki said that she was unaware of any changes being made to the program. "There has been nothing in writing, as far as I know, but a lot of things might change."
--By Nandika Doobay