Burglaries worry North Center residents

Burglars have hit eight homes in the North Center neighborhood within the past month, mostly entering through unlocked garages.

The burglaries were one of the top concerns at a Beat 1912 community policing meeting held last night at Paul Revere Park.

Tom Zimmerman of the 2000 block of W. Pensacola  asked officials if they know whether the crimes are the work of a large group of burglars.

District Commander John Kenny said most burglars are repeat offenders, including one suspect arrested this week who had committed 20 break-ins after being released from jail less than a year ago.

Police said they recorded 31 thefts and 24 counts of
criminal damage to property on the beat from February to March. The property damage incidents mostly involved graffiti, which residents said has become a significant issue.

Beat facilitator Susan A. Schein-Dimanno said a building in the 2300 block of Cullom was recently tagged with an upside down crown that indicates gang graffiti.

"We would like some special attention to be put in that area," she said.

Police said that as the weather gets warmer, graffiti increases.

The department views gang graffiti as a more serious issue than other vandalism because of the underlying tones of violence associated with it.

Beat 1912 is bounded by Montrose, Damen, Addison, and the Chicago river.