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May 2011 Archives

Chicago Vehicle Theft Up, All Other Crimes Down

Motor vehicle theft is up 23 percent in Chicago according to an FBI study, while all other crime is down. The FBI study which analyzed reported crime data showed a decrease in murders, robberies, assaults, property crimes, larcenies, and burglaries in Chicago from 2009 to 2010. Motor vehicle theft was the only category to have an upward trend.

The FBI study showed a continuing downward trend in Chicago crime over the past few years. Last year, Chicago police reported that overall crime decreased 8.8 percent from 2008 to 2009. Ironically, in last year's study, motor vehicle theft actually fell 18 percent.

New DNA evidence links Johnny Douglas, a convicted rapist and murderer, to the 1994 rape and murder of Nina Glover. The Chicago Tribune reports that the new DNA tests may exonerate four teenagers who were convicted of the crime.

In 1994, Nina Glover was brutally beaten, raped, and strangled. Her lifeless body was thrown into a dumpster. Despite having no physical evidence, prosecutors were able convict four teenagers for the crime largely based on their own confessions to police and prosecutors.

The four defendants all served lengthy prison sentences for the Nina Glover murder.

Marni Yang Sentenced To Life In Prison For Rhoni Reuter Murder

Lake County Judge Christopher Stride has sentenced 43-year-old Marni Yang to life in prison for the 2007 murder of Rhoni Reuter, whom Yang killed in a jealous fit over former Chicago Bear Shaun Gayle’s affection for Reuter.

Lake County authorities had said Yang’s obsession for Gayle was a significant factor that prompted her ambush-style and carefully planned shooting of Reuter, who was also pregnant when the incident occurred. The Chicago Sun-Times reported Reuter was shot to death as she left her Deerfield condominium on her way to work.

Judge Stride also noted during the sentencing in Waukegan that Yang’s crime differed a bit from other typical cases of murder because she had prepared such a precise plan to accomplish Rhoni Reuter’s murder.

Cook County Sheriff Says Bloods Gang Members Are Now In Chicago

Cook County Sheriff's gang investigators reported that a California-based gang, known as The Bloods, has made their way into the Chicago area. The Bloods never really had a presence in the city until earlier this year as the sheriff's graffiti unit found and took pictures of Bloods' graffiti in south suburban Harvey and west suburban Maywood.

"It's something we're keeping a close eye on," said Sergeant Jason O'Malley, who works with the sheriff's gang crimes unit.

The Chicago Sun-Times reported some Bloods gang members were identified in Maywood and the north suburbs close to the Chicago border. One Bloods member, who was hiding out in Schaumburg, was arrested for murders in California and for questioning in a burglary.

Two Evanston High School Students Charged With Strong-Arm Robbery

Law enforcement officials in Evanston were notified on May 11 of two separate robbery cases that occurred at Evanston High School. Two high school students were later arrested for allegedly stealing the cell phones of three other students and mugging the victims while classes were in still in session.

In the first robbery, two offenders reportedly approached a victim while he opened his locker. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, one of the attackers quickly wrapped his arm around the student's neck and shoved him to the ground. The offender then ordered the victim to "let me get that phone," but the student refused.

One of the offenders eventually went into the student's pocket, grabbing his iPhone before fleeing the scene.

Armed Robbery In Bridgeport Kills One Suspect

A shootout blew up between Prairie District police and two suspected robbers in front of a convenience store at Bridgeport, resulting in a standoff where one suspect was killed while the other fled. Law enforcement officials said the shooting occurred at a J.J. Peppers convenience store on W. 31st Street, which is a popular stop for police close to the Deering District police station.

However, the Chicago Sun-Times reported a clerk from the store had managed to actually escape the gunfire without suffering any injuries and was later interviewed by detectives about the incident. Authorities reported no other individuals were injured during the shooting, but two cops were brought to the hospital for further observation.

Michael Richards Charged With Robbery For Stealing Nacho Cheese

A scuffle over nacho cheese at a 7-Eleven in Chicago's Near West Side led to the arrest of 50-year-old Michael Richards, who had helped himself to some nacho fixings at the store without paying for the toppings. The incident was odd even for Cook County Judge James Brown as he sat in bonds court, initially confused at the man who appeared before him facing felony charges over allegedly stealing nacho cheese.

"So what was stolen was ... the cheese?" asked the judge.

"The defendant was informed that it was 'not yo' cheese,'" responded prosecuting attorney Dan Piwowarczyk.

Preckwinkle And Emanuel Plan Programs To Fight Juvenile Crime

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle and Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel have recently announced plans of developing a variety of summer youth programs to help cut down violence among kids and teens. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, the pair intend to provide children with an outlet that will help keep them off the streets and avoid juvenile crime.

Preckwinkle and Emanuel said the county, the city of Chicago, and its local businesses will be working together to manage and run these upcoming summer youth programs. When summer “school’s out, and neither Mom or Dad are home … We need to make sure [kids] are in an adult-supervised program,” said Emanuel.

Chicago Increases Local Security After Osama bin Laden's Death

The city of Chicago announced it is applying safety measures to protect locals and visitors against any potential acts of terrorism or other related criminal activity following the death of Osama bin Laden earlier this week, reported the Chicago Sun-Times.

A release from the Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC) said all city police personnel will be required to stay in uniform while chief officials with the Department of Aviation and Fire Department have been ordered to “remain vigilant.”

The OEMC staff is also monitoring citywide surveillance cameras and keeping in contact with the police Crime Prevention Center to share information.