Crime wave near Wicker Park leaves locals concerned
CHICAGO — At least a half-dozen armed robberies and two New Years Eve shootings are leaving residents in the Wicker Park neighborhood concerned over the safety of the area.
“Obviously we don’t want it to continue getting more frequent,” said Mickey Kelly, a local. “So there’s got to be some police involvement to find out what’s going on.”
Police said 3-4 masked men in a stolen Hyundai with a broken rear side window robbed eight victims across at least six different instances from Monday to Tuesday in Wicker Park and Humboldt Park.
- 1300 block of North Spaulding Avenue (Monday – 8:15 p.m.)
- 3200 block of West Walnut Street (Monday – 8:30 p.m.)
- 2100 block of West 18th Street (Tuesday – 9:10 a.m.)
- 2300 block of West Rice Street (Tuesday – 9:20 a.m. )
- 2800 block of West Warren Boulevard (Tuesday – 9:25 a.m.)
- 1400 block of North Hoyne Avenue (Tuesday – 9:35 a.m.)
“It makes me frustrated, angry,” said 1st Ward Ald. Daniel LaSpata. “It makes me really sad for the victims and their families … makes me think about accountability.”
On top of the robberies, two shootings took place at bars and nightclubs in the Wicker Park area, including one that killed bouncer and Army veteran Austin McAllister, and another one where three men were shot in an alley near the DSTRKT Bar and Grill.
LaSpata said he has worked with the Chicago Police Department to set up entertainment corridor patrols, new streetlights, and an overnight parking ban.
“[We have] folks who are committed in this space where we have a lot of nighttime energy making sure that is safe for the patrons, staff … For our whole neighborhood,” LaSpata said.
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