By Jackie Glosniak
With the interesting mix of crimes Berwyn has experienced in the past month, police want to ensure that the public is safe and encourage residents to participate in Neighborhood Watch.
During past few weeks, the suburb has seen a restaurant robbery, a mugging at gunpoint, and several arrests for guns and drugs.
- On Aug. 21, three men robbed Lolita’s Mexican Food at 6320 Ogden Ave., but escaped with only a small amount of money.
- On Aug. 29 and Aug. 30, three separate arrests took place for drug and weapon crimes. One man was arrested for selling two handguns along with 729 grams of cocaine with a street value around $219,000 to undercover officers. Two other men were arrested for selling 600 grams and 450 grams of marijuana to undercover officers and also charged with growing and delivery of the substance. These men were targeted by Berwyn Police and Cook County Sheriff’s deputies in a months-long street gang investigation, according to the Berwyn Police Department.
- On Sept. 2, two men robbed a Berwyn mat at gunpoint near 27th St. and Harvey Ave., taking the $1,119 the victim was taking to pay his rent
Berwyn police have responded to the crimes, Lt. James Sassetti said.
“We have increased patrol on the streets in response (to recent events) and are always directing officers to specific areas based on what’s going on and where we deem there’s an increase in crime,” he said.
Sassetti attributes town safety to proactive law enforcement initiatives, including a new Crime Analyst Position which was recently launched in August. The Crime Analyst is a Berwyn police officer who examines patterns of crime and works to predict future crime patterns.
He also said that residents seeing extra officers on the street should not be worried.
“Sometimes we want high visibility, other times we don’t,” said Sassetti. “Residents should not be concerned for their immediate safety. I believe (the department) is doing a tremendous job because we have not seen some of the residual crimes (coming from the) city of Chicago.”
Berwyn residents can also help combat crime. Sassetti said the department is always looking for Neighborhood Watch volunteers.
“We realize it has to be a collaborative effort between residents and the police department,” he said.
Sassetti can be reached at 708-795-5600