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Crime was Up in February

By Chris Newman
This is the report of the Grant Park Security Patrol (GPSP).  In February we had a dramatic spike in crimes. There were two carjackings in the early evenings; one was at the north end of the park on Sydney and a second occurred near Boulevard and Rosalia. The suspects are 2 or 3 young black males and they had weapons. On the night of the Boulevard/Rosalia carjacking there was a pedestrian robbery immediately before the robbery. It occurred on Cherokee at Milledge. At this time it is believed that the two crimes are related but we do not have additional details.
We also had a series of burglaries in the early evenings. There was one on Cameron, one on Berne and two attempts on Berne where it is believed that the alarm scared off the criminal. There was also one on Eloise. There was one burglary on Woodward and an attempt on Woodward. Only one of these occurred during the day. In all these incidents a back or side door was kicked in. The criminal would also unscrew any outdoor lighting. In all these burglaries the thieves took laptops, cameras, and some jewelry.
Vehicle larcenies and auto thefts continue to be a problem. These are happening at all times of the day and night. Do not assume it’s OK to leave valuables in your car even briefly in the middle of the day. There was a series of vehicle larcenies on the east side of the neighborhood and some of those were around 7pm on a Sunday night. A neighbor witnessed a young black male jump out of a Honda sedan and then start pulling door handles of parked cars up and down the street. He gave chase and the suspect jumped back in the car and sped away.
There are occasional thefts near the restaurants at Memorial Drive and in the parking areas out in front of the Oakland cemetery gates. Do not leave a vehicle running and do not leave a spare key in the vehicle.
With our current level of support we are able to continue with the weekend patrols Friday to Sunday. Sgt. Bailey, Officer Davis and Officer Sluss will be here from about 6pm until 10 or 11pm, and occasionally from 10pm until 2am. Our officers log in to the zone 6 dispatch and respond to all 911 calls in our neighborhood. It is important that you call 911 if you see suspicious activities.
911 Calls: We’ve had some questions regarding response time from zone 6 related to calls for service. There has been some frustration related to perceived slow response time, or no response at all. If you are a witness to a crime in progress, give an accurate description of suspects, vehicle, direction of travel, etc. If you want to speak with the officer, let the dispatcher know that. Or, if you do not want an officer to return to your address with a suspect, the dispatcher should know that too. Ask that the officer meet you away from your location if you are concerned that a suspect knows your residence or concern of other retaliation.
When a 911 call is first dispatched, the responding officer will search the area based on a direction of travel. If no suspects are located the officer will return to service and answer the next 911 call. If you’ve asked to speak with the officer, it might be 30 minutes or more until they return to your location.
We plan to schedule a tour of the 911 center in the spring for any resident who wants to learn more about the APD emergency response system.
Thanks to all our members for your continuing support of GPSP.  The quarterly payment is $40 per household and the annual payment is now $160. It’s easy to pay online, but if you’d prefer to receive a hard copy of the invoice with an envelope to pay by mail, just email GPSP. If you are already a member, please encourage a friend or neighbor to join.            And a reminder to all members to notify GPSP if you are changing email addresses: if GPSP does not have your correct address you will miss crime alerts, invoices and more. Members who join online can verify their payments at the Security Patrol section of www.gpna.org and also edit email addresses there. Otherwise, send your new email address to grantparksecurity@mindspring.com
We are in the process of going to an email notification system so it is important to let us know of any changes of email addresses. If you are still receiving a paper copy of the newsletter and invoice, we ask that you consider the switch. It has greatly streamlined our volunteer hours.

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