Oak Park's 11 percent crime increase attributed to theft, burglaries


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By Anna Lothson

Staff Reporter

Oak Park's crime rate rose 11 percent from 2011 to 2012, primarily because of a spike in theft and a bump in burglaries, according to data released Monday by the Oak Park Police Department.

Theft rates rose 14 percent in one year as 1,339 were reported in 2012, compared to 1,176 in 2011. Burglaries, up 13 percent, totaled 424 in 2012.

Arrests were up as well — by 42 percent (291 in 2012; 205 in 2011), including 68 percent more theft arrests (210 compared to 125 in 2011).

According to the news release, police also closed more cases. Overall, theft and burglaries represented nearly 90 percent of the crimes reported in the village.

Oak Park police investigated 202 more crimes in 2012 than 2011 — 1,959 crimes were reported in 2012 compared to the 1,757 reported in 2011, which was the lowest annual crime rate on the books.

Despite the increase, the 2012 crime rate ranks as the third lowest since the police department began keeping statistics.

The Oak Park data was compiled under the FBI's Uniform Crime Reporting Index, a system used by law enforcement agencies to collect and report statistics, with a focus on what are considered the most serious offenses — murder, criminal sexual assault, robbery, aggravated assault/battery, burglary, theft, motor vehicle theft and arson.

Overall, police responded to 33,521 calls for service in 2012, down from 35,431 in 2011, a 5 percent decrease.

According to the police department's data, the average response time in 2012 was three minutes, 35 seconds for high priority calls; four minutes, 44 seconds for medium-priority calls (such as accidents with no injuries); and six minutes, 22 seconds for low-priority calls.

Email: anna@oakpark.com Twitter: @AnnaLothson

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Brian Slowiak from Oak Park  

Posted: February 26th, 2013 8:33 PM

Pin maps. The 1960s police technology that the Chief went out of state to study Aug 29Th. Has the program been implemented by the Chief?If not, why not? Has the program failed to cut crime? What is the status of the program? The Chief and his exempt rank officers have had 4 months to install the new mapping procedure. Does the mapping work? Is the program in place?If the program does not work, do the tax payers get a refund for the seminar fees? What id going on with the new mapping procedure?

Concerned resident  

Posted: February 26th, 2013 8:29 PM

Brad, yeah, I have read the article AND considered the population density, proximity to Austin etc... But this attitude of "well considering this, this and this, we're doing pretty good" is weak. We pay high taxes, property is expensive etc... more so than a lot of suburbs that boast much lower crime rates. I'm not one to be complacent with mediocrity when I'm paying so much, so yeah, I expect more. Can you take a quiet mid evening stroll in the summer here? Not without possibility of robbery.

John - Chicago NOT murder Capital from Oak Park  

Posted: February 26th, 2013 7:54 PM

OPRFmom Please get your facts. I wish folks would stop branding Chicago the Murder capital of the US, and especially the world. Cities like New Orleans, Detroit, Kansas City, and even Philadelphia had higher murder rates. Chicago does have a lot of murders, but in terms of the murder rate its far from the highest in the US, let alone the world... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_cities_by_crime_rate


Posted: February 26th, 2013 4:07 PM

Figures as of 2011 from http://www.city-data.com Ofc./ pop. /per 1,000 (Illinois Avg is 2.78 per) Chicago, 11,000+ Aurora, 285/198,288/1.44 Rockford, 264 /152,807/ 1.72 Joliet, 251/ 147,745/1.70 Sprngfld, 240/116,479/2.06 Peoria, 213/114,895/1.85 Naperville, 164/142,051/1.15 Bloomington, 125/76,735 Schaumbrg, 113/74,305 Bolingbrook, 112/73,506 Oak Park, 111/51,932/2.11 River Forest, 28/11,182/2.50 Hillside, 25/8,166/3.06 Maywood, 60/.....2.48 Broadview, 25/...3.14 Evanston, 164/74,556/2.20

OPRFmom with a gun!  

Posted: February 26th, 2013 2:54 PM

OPRFdad - OP has the third largest police force in the state. That is what contributes to low crime rates in OP. Not gun laws. Chicago has tougher gun laws than OP yet one of the highest crime and murder rates in the world. Explain that?? 2nd Admendment gives me the right to bear arms. Tougher laws do not take guns out of criminal hands. Austin and Englewood are perfect evidence. Taking guns out of responsible hands is not the answer! I pay my taxes too!!

Brian Slowiak from Oak Park  

Posted: February 26th, 2013 2:07 PM

Force has nothing to do w/burglary.If someone hides in a store after closing, and breaks out with items, that is a burglary.Burglary is any unauthorized entry to commit a felony.If you were in a horse drawn wagon in 1860s, stuck in a blizzard, you could break into a un attended home to save yourself.That is why spring guns, unattended guns that fire automatically when a door or window is opened are illegal.To date, no burglar has ever used the alibi, I broke in to use the phone to call 911.

I Ride from Oak park  

Posted: February 26th, 2013 1:53 PM

Poop sock assaults are way up!

Beth Puccinelli from Oak Park  

Posted: February 26th, 2013 1:18 PM

Yeah, so did my taxes.. And that's just what they're reporting!

kelly from oak park  

Posted: February 26th, 2013 12:52 PM

@Melanie, out of more than 200 residential burglaries, only 34 were through unlocked windows or doors. That means that the majority (almost 85%) of residential burglaries were accomplished via forced entry.

Barb Smith from River Forest  

Posted: February 26th, 2013 12:27 PM

Criminologists have shown that large parking lots in city centers draw thieves, and that store thefts, then burglaries increase after that. When will Oak Park wake up and think about its development?

Mary Gibson from Oak Park  

Posted: February 26th, 2013 12:18 PM

Great to see crime remaining at these all-time lows in Oak Park. Thanks to the men and women in blue for their service to our community. Keep up the excellent work.

Melanie Wilson from Oak Park  

Posted: February 26th, 2013 11:31 AM

Also notable that a lot of the burglaries were in homes that had unlocked doors or windows, not break-ins

James from Oak Park, IL  

Posted: February 26th, 2013 11:22 AM

Do these figures now include crime at OPRFHS? Is that why there was an increase?

Chappy Jennings from Chicago  

Posted: February 26th, 2013 11:20 AM

Revolver's and Pistols for all! Just keep it in a safe, secure place. Thank you.

Uncommon Sense  

Posted: February 26th, 2013 10:55 AM

Still waiting on Oak Parkers who support more gun control to put Gun Free Zone signs in their front yards to stand in solidarity against gun violence. (insert sound of crickets...)


Posted: February 26th, 2013 10:46 AM

Hmmn, Supreme Court says OP gun ban is illegal allowing OP residents to purchase guns; OP has lowest and third lowest crime rates in its history. Not a coincidence.

Brad from brad@aol.com  

Posted: February 26th, 2013 9:03 AM

@Concerned resident Did you even read the article? If you actually look at the breakdown of crimes and consider the dense population of a rather urban area like Oak Park, these statistics are amazingly good. Two homicides (one on Austin, and the other in the Nursing Home on Harlem that was publicized). Assaults average less than two a month when you factor out known victim/offender scenario. Most of the crime is petty theft and garage door burglary. Given the proximity of OP to Chi, A+

Keep it up!  

Posted: February 26th, 2013 8:14 AM

3rd lowest crime rate on record ain't bad. Our neighborhood would like to thank the village and police for increasing patrols when we asked. Keep up the good work...the more we see of you, the better!

Concerned resident  

Posted: February 26th, 2013 3:07 AM

Well, the year is still young, and we haven't even hit summer yet. criminals don't seem to get in the full rhythm of their activities until May and June, cause you know the police say it's the hot weather... Just seems to drive criminals to crime. I don't remember a day when Oak Park didn't have some type of robbery, burglary, battery, theft etc... I'm glad our taxes are being put to good use. Ironic how gated communities that have walls don't need them, but places that don't do.

joe from south oak park  

Posted: February 25th, 2013 11:37 PM

it was an election year. crime is always low in an election year until someone actually looks at the numbers.

Concerned resident  

Posted: February 25th, 2013 10:55 PM

Wait, I thought crime was at an all time low! So what's the village going to do about this? Is it time to consider turning Oak Park into a gated community? Or just hire twice as many cops so we have someone at every major street corner all the time? God knows we pay enough taxes. If the village doesn't do something major about this, they are going to start losing residents.

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