Oak Park police to hold meetings on carjacking

Chief Anthony Ambrose, command staff to address community concerns

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By Timothy Inklebarger

Staff Reporter

The Oak Park Police Department has scheduled two meetings on Dec. 7 and 8 at Oak Park Village Hall, 123 Madison St., to discuss carjackings in the area and other police-related issues.

Police Chief Anthony Ambrose and members of his command staff will take questions from the public at the meetings set for 7 p.m. on Dec. 7 and 9:30 a.m. on Dec. 8.

The open-ended discussion will address the recent attempted carjackings that took place on Nov. 28 in the 700 block of North Lombard Avenue and the 1200 block of North Austin Boulevard.

"Police say the much-publicized attempted carjacking here this week may be part of a wave of incidents that have occurred throughout the Chicagoland area, with teenage offenders involved in similar incidents from the loop to the north and western suburbs," according to a notice from the village. "Oak Park police are working closely with the Cook County State's Attorney's Office and other law enforcement agencies, but need the public's help to reduce the opportunities for such crime, including reporting suspicious persons and activities."

The attempted carjacking on Lombard has prompted a new discussion amongst residents about whether the village should install more lighting along residential streets and alleys around northeast Oak Park.

"In addition to answering questions from attendees, Police will discuss how Oak Park may be affected by what has become a wave of much-publicized similar crimes involving teenagers that have occurred recently throughout the Chicagoland area from the loop to the north and western suburbs," according to a village press release.

The police are encouraging residents also to review crime prevention tips available at www.oak-park.us/policetips.

CONTACT: tim@oakpark.com

Reader Comments

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Tommy McCoy  

Posted: December 7th, 2017 3:41 PM

Brian Slowiak, probably enough Officer's is not the same as having enough Officer's. I don't know what the strength level is of the force. You would have a much closer idea since your retirement. I would like to think that there is no favoritism and it is based on competence. The main thing that I am interested in is if there are really enough Officer's on the street each shift in the hot area's which can require almost a second sense to determine where the next area will become a soft target. A lot of that can come just by being on the street and using perception. That ability is not something that everyone has. You do the best with what you have to work with and I still don't think crime has increased in Oak Park, based off of Police reports printed in the newspaper

Brian Slowiak  

Posted: December 7th, 2017 3:13 PM

@ The Big McC: Agree with all of that except the taxes and more police. There are probably enough police to do plain clothes work.The issue is how does management pick those people, and not their fair haired children, plus the officer must have the correct mind set to do the work. that work is sometimes boring, tedious, and rewards are few. The empty vehicles are only good for a while, more importantly is using different vehicles confiscated from outside Oak Park. Good luck.

Tommy McCoy  

Posted: December 7th, 2017 11:09 AM

Brian Slowiak, your reply to Carol Ann, is worth a fortune. A fortune in taxes. Oak Park would need to reduce spending on their own projects and put the money in hiring more Officer's. You know that even with more Officer's, they can not be everywhere. Criminals hit soft spots. When a pattern develops that are is covered with marked and undercover vehicles. Decoy vehicles are also useful in areas if they are moved once in a while. Right not, what is of interest is how many Officer's are on patrol during a shift. If you really want to reduce crime you need to bring education and jobs to the West side of Chicago, and over a generation or maybe two the parent or parents will learn to trust the Police, and once the area becomes stabilized on the West side the crime will be reduced. For that to happen will take years of developing

Brian Slowiak  

Posted: December 7th, 2017 9:35 AM

2 Carol Ann: That statement is worth a fortune.

Carol Ann from Oak Park  

Posted: December 7th, 2017 4:14 AM

Maybe the police department should have more undercover cars and officers out on the streets. Of course criminals will not commit the crime with police visible.

Tommy McCoy  

Posted: December 6th, 2017 10:59 PM

Cherie KibbleSmith, there seems to be some thing missing if the bad guy is charged with just possession of stolen property. If this happened, bring the report with you and your son when you attend the meeting. You can explain your story to the Chief of Police and the Deputy Chief

Cherie KibbleSmith from Oak Park  

Posted: December 6th, 2017 9:50 PM

I hope that they also discuss the car-jacking that took place on December 5th. Two young men wearing ski masks in a car they had stolen earlier, robbed my son at gun point at the corner of Clarence and Roosevelt Road as he walked home. He was not on his phone, or listening to music, he was aware of his environment, walking on a well lit street, across from Fitzgerald's which was open for business with people coming in and out. They wear mask so you can't, identify them, they steal a car, they put a gun in your face. One was caught with my son's phone a gun, on him and all he is being charged with is possession of stolen property, as the officer said, slap on the wrist. Here's your gun and take it to steal someone else's car and rob someone else.

Tommy McCoy  

Posted: December 4th, 2017 1:29 PM

Nick Polido, just like the comment to Kline Maureen, you are getting your news from a 24 hours news station which if you pay attention will create the news they want and we have little or not facts at all. It is just for ratings. Wait for when your local newspaper reporters are back on the job and get better details of what really happened. If you been in television news you would be surprised how many things are created for a dramatic effect, the words that are used to make it seem very dramatic and in the end, they roll up their cables and go to the next story. They have no interest in other the ratings and lack in anything that is called substantial journalism

Kline Maureen  

Posted: December 4th, 2017 12:20 PM

not to be the bearer of bad news, and while this isn't a car-jacking - like you Nick, it's rather amusing (not really) that the incident you mentioned has yet to be reported here. Here's a link with some information: http://wgntv.com/2017/12/03/shooting-in-busy-suburban-intersection-leaves-man-dead/

Ramona Lopez  

Posted: December 4th, 2017 10:16 AM

Nick, There can only be 2 reason why they don't report a lot of the violent crime. 1. They are incompetent or 2. They don't want to. I tend to lean towards #2. It's also the same reason they fail to give detailed descriptions of the alleged criminals. I truly do not understand why they are so afraid to describe the alleged perpetrators when they are young black males.

Nick Polido  

Posted: December 4th, 2017 9:59 AM

This paper seems to miss, or choose not to report shootings like the one this past Saturday. A gangster shooting at North and Harlem killing one and injuring another.

Tommy McCoy  

Posted: December 2nd, 2017 5:29 PM

Bill Dwyer, you can answer that question with how your friend Trump gets things done regards that he only has less than a 40 percent approval rating. If you recall, the self appointed mayor was pardoned with his tax evasion that the Wednesday Journal reported and the problems the village manager had which after a little time in parking became the village manager. It is just politics as usual and I should not have included it in my comment regarding the meeting with the announcement of this meeting. I just some times get a little like you when the Wednesday Journal says they will for now on refer to the village president as the mayor because at the yearly convention other mayor's don't know what a village president does according to the current village president. That must be a very difficult meeting if the River Forest village president attends the meeting. Some one must be at the meeting explaining to the mayor's what a village president does

Bill Dwyer  

Posted: December 2nd, 2017 3:22 PM

Tommy, at the risk of sounding, oh, I dunno, judgmental or enebriated, I have to ask you- how can you believe that Abu-Taleb manages the trick of "buildings that end up get (sic) passed through regardless of what the majority say," in light of the fact that it requires a majority vote by the village board to approve such projects?

Tommy McCoy  

Posted: December 2nd, 2017 2:09 PM

Rob Ruffulo, give the meeting a try. It may not be like the other meetings where it is just to make people think the village cares about their input. The Police can actually help people. They don't have any other personal interests

Tommy McCoy  

Posted: December 2nd, 2017 12:11 PM

Rob Ruffulo, I understand about all of the meetings Village President has over buildings that end up get passed through regardless of what the majority say. This is different, and you should give this meeting a chance and then decide. This should be a meeting that people will receive answers to reasonable questions and also learn how to realize they are living in an area that is subject to crime and how to develop a sense of awareness of their surroundings and how to respond if they do become a victim. They have one in the evening and one in the morning so you should have time available to make one of the meetings.

Rob Ruffulo  

Posted: December 2nd, 2017 7:30 AM

more meetings, wow ! Par for the course for East Chicago, Illinois.

Klara Gabor  

Posted: December 1st, 2017 4:51 PM

Crime spilling into Oak Park is not surprising or a new event. Oak Park has a very competent police department. Chief Ambrose and Deputy Chief Reynolds with their years of experience and expertise I feel confident are doing what they can in keeping us as safe as possible. Citizens also have to be proactive. Cell phones, IPODS and the like are distracting and make individuals targets. Be alert and anything that looks suspicious call the police.

Tommy McCoy  

Posted: December 1st, 2017 2:11 PM

The link to the Police tips are very useful. People need to learn and follow the information to help prevent becoming a victim. Don't let yourself be distracted by a cell phone even while sitting in your car in secluded area's. Make it fun to notice people around you and test your memory on what they are wearing. Take the steps to becoming safer. Go to the meeting and ask questions. The Police are professionals who can help lessen your chances of becoming a victim. They know the modus operandi of perpetrators

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