River Forest crime drops during June

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By Deb Kadin

Contributing Reporter

Crime in June continued to dip in River Forest, with all areas of reporting showing improvement in comparison to the same time last year, police officials said.

High level felonies, such as criminal sexual assault and robbery, showed no increase compared to the same time period last year. Non-violent crimes, including traffic offenses and other misdemeanors, declined 14 percent when compared to the number of similar incidents in June 2012. Total calls for service were down by 5 percent compared to the same time last year.

Police Chief Gregory Weiss' monthly report was presented to trustees during their most recent meeting.

Overall in June officers made more than 100 arrests for a variety of offenses. Higher-level incidents included as part of the report were:

  • A modified .22 caliber rifle, which could be easily concealed under clothing, was recovered after a traffic stop on June 15, in which the offender was charged with reckless driving and other traffic offenses. After a brief car chase, which began in the area of Chicago and Thatcher avenues, the driver fled on foot and later was apprehended in the area of First Avenue and Ohio Street in Maywood. The weapon was sent to the ATF for analysis and ballistics matching for criminal activity.
  • A felon out on parole for possession of a stolen auto was charged with possession of burglary tools after several instruments used to pull ignitions were found on him on June 16 as he walked in the 7900 block of Augusta Street. A search revealed that he had a coat hanger bent to "jimmy" open car doors, a screwdriver and a hammer.
  • A 21-year-old man from Chicago was charged with two counts of attempted murder and two counts of aggravated battery and other offenses after striking a car in the 7700 block of North Avenue, attempted to run it off the road and hit the occupants after getting out of their damaged vehicle. The man also struck a female passenger and began a fight with the officer, who later restrained him and put him under arrest. The offender also was charged with two counts of reckless conduct, domestic battery, resisting a police officer, reckless driving and other traffic offenses. The arrest stemmed from a domestic disturbance that originated in Melrose Park and extended east on North Avenue.

The detective division opened 16 new cases, most of them higher-level felonies. A major residential burglary pattern was closed in June with the arrest of Keremy Seaton and Christopher Lukes, who were linked to three residential burglaries in River Forest and one in Forest Park. The investigation revealed that the pair had planned to target River Forest throughout the summer months, Weiss said.

The unit also played a vital role in a multi-jurisdictional task force operation that netted nearly 300 grams of heroin and three illegally possessed guns from a group which was manufacturing heroin in an apartment on the 7400 block of Washington in Forest Park. This group was selling the heroin to area residents. In all 16 felony weapons and narcotics related charges were lodged against four offenders. The action was conducted by the West Suburban Gang and Drug Task Force, or WEDGE.

In June the department recorded 52 calls for service on Town Center properties. Among them was a reported threat of assault, three thefts and two retail thefts, according to the report.

Reader Comments

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Resident from River Forest  

Posted: July 25th, 2013 4:28 PM

A confusing article, but as a resident I am glad to read crime is dropping. River Forest is such a beautiful community with great schools. It certainly has my vote for the top ten places to raise a family. My thanks to the men and women who work for the River Forest police department for keeping our community safe.

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