Oak Park crime down the first half of the year

Thefts and burglaries decrease, robbery remains at last year's level

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Oak Park incidents of reported crime fell by 8 percent compared to the first half of 2012, the village reported Aug. 7.

The Oak Park Police Department released crime data from the halfway mark of the year provided bi-annually to the FBI's Uniform Crime Report, which reports the most serious offenses.

According to the data, 811 crimes were reported in the first half of 2013, down from 880 in the same period of 2012.

Thefts, burglaries down

Thefts, which represent about 65 percent of reported crimes so far this year, were down to 541 in in 2013 compared to 605 in 2012. These include shoplifting crimes.

Police made fewer theft arrests in 2013 also, down to 87 from 122 arrests the first half of 2012.

The number of burglaries reported fell by 10 percent to 174 in 2013 down from 194 in the first half of 2012. More than half of the burglaries reported were to garages, a village press release said, and more than half of those involved unsecured doors.

Neighborly vigilance was helping to lower that number, said Oak Park Deputy Police Chief Anthony Ambrose.

"Citizens are locking their property — their cars, their garages, their houses, and lowering the crimes of opportunity," Ambrose said. "Also people are being good neighbors and calling police when they feel someone is doing something suspicious in the neighborhood."

Police made seven burglary arrests so far this year.

Robberies almost unchanged

The number of reported robberies was almost unchanged with 41 instances in 2013, up two from 39 in the first half of 2012. Ambrose said many of those were cellphone robberies. He said they were crimes of opportunity.

"A lot of people have their cell phones out," he said. "Being aware of our surroundings is something we all need to work on."

Police made 13 robbery arrests so far this year, up from 10 last year.

Arson, assault, battery

Three incidents of arson were reported the first half of this year, said Detective Sgt. Michael Richardson, up from zero in 2012. Of those, Richardson said, two were garbage cans set on fire.

Richardson said police arrested Steven L. Chew, 26, of Chicago after he allegedly set fire to kitchen blinds in a home on the 400 block of Taylor around 3:15 a.m. Jan. 19 after a domestic argument.

Incidences of aggravated assault/battery were on an upward trend, up to 21 in the first half of this year from 14 last year. This represented an increase of 50 percent, but the number of incidents was seven more than last year, Richardson said.

There were 15 arrests for aggravated assault/battery this year. The village characterized this increase as "a reminder that serious crimes do occur in Oak Park, but in small numbers considering Oak Park shares a border with the nation's third largest city."

According to the village report, police responded to more than 16,400 calls for service during the first half of 2013, and most were categorized as medium- to low- priority calls, such as accidents with no injuries.

Three-and-a half minutes was the average response time reported by the village for police to a high-priority call.

Click here to see the data:


Reader Comments

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Theft? What theft? from OP  

Posted: August 14th, 2013 6:11 AM

Great point, Manning. I'm sure that there's a grand bargain somewhere that no iPad thefts or losses will be reported as actually "stolen".....the "self funded insurance program" (aka wasting more taxpayer dollars because D97 hasn't actaully thought through this whole thing") will no doubt take care of it. Sheesh...do you think anyone will ever provide an honest number of just how many iPads disappear? It should be a requirement before the next (inevitable) referendum.


Posted: August 13th, 2013 9:55 PM

It will be interesting to see if the crime rate changes once the school board puts a million dollars of our tax dollars into the backpack of every D97 school child. You think robbers will think twice about targeting kids walking to and from school with brand new iPads?

Drab from Oak Park  

Posted: August 13th, 2013 10:36 AM

Please do not change Brendan, et.al.'s narrative. If a number goes from 2 to 3, that is a 50% increase. If it goes from 1 to 2, that's a 200% increase. We must live in fear and, if possible, wlak the streets with guns.


Posted: August 12th, 2013 4:16 PM

Headline could also read "Robbery UP 5%, Aggravated Assault/Battery UP 50%, Arson UP 50%, Motor Vehicle Theft UP 45%". The village has some spin doctor working for them.

joe from south oak park  

Posted: August 8th, 2013 3:20 PM

I wonder how much this years wet cold spring had to do with the numbers compared to the much warmer and drier weather that we had during the first half of the year in 2012. If anything i would think that the 2013 numbers would be higher.

OP Rez  

Posted: August 8th, 2013 3:14 PM

Nice to see that property crime is down, but it's alarming that violent crime is not the increase. It would be nice to see the stories behind these "assaults" to see where they happen, at what time, and if they were unavoidable. It's one thing if it's happening on Austin Blvd at 1am, it's another if it's happening on Ridgeland or Oak Park ave at 11am or 6pm etc...

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