After several weeks of escalating violent robberies and carjackings in Lincoln Park, Ald. Michele Smith organized a safety walk for residents on Thursday night, part of an effort encouraging residents to stand up for their neighborhood.
Chicago police have reported at least 15 robberies and carjackings in the area in the last 10 days alone. Those crimes have left residents on edge, and now they’re calling for action to address the situation.
“I think there is a handful of bad actors, a handful of people and crews that are taking advantage of situations,” resident Paul Mokdessi said.
“Everyday, I’m looking behind me, I’m looking over my shoulder,” resident Dana Green added. “I don’t go out if I’m alone.”
Residents in nearby Lake View are also reporting a spike in crime, including Michael Salvatore, the owner of Heritage Bikes and Coffee. Security video taken at the store showed two thieves smashing the front glass of the business, making off with one of the shop’s uniquely specialized bikes.
“The day before we had sold that bike in the window,” he said. “So not only am I out that money, but that sale and that profit and that customer.”
In response, Chicago police say they are adding approximately 50 more officers to the area, with undercover cops and bike patrols set to take to the streets in both North Side neighborhoods.
Chicago police are also canceling days off, with officers losing one regularly scheduled off-day due to current crime patterns, the department says.