By TONIA HILL
Within the last two weeks, six more cars were vandalized that were parked in the 1600 block of east 56th Street; that same block was hit earlier this month a total of five vehicles were also vandalized. In this latest instance at least one of the six cars was also vandalized earlier this month.
The Herald was made aware of the break-ins from two area residents who live within walking distance of the block where their cars were parked. Overnight between Saturday, Feb. 17 and Sunday, Feb. 18 the right passenger windows of each of the six cars were smashed in.
A resident of the Windermere House Apartments, who asked not to be identified by name for fear of retaliation, said that his car was damaged earlier this month and a second time this month. After the first incident, he made sure to park elsewhere, but he came in late on Saturday night and parked on the same block.
This time his right passenger door was smashed in just like the first time.
Both residents who were affected by the break-ins said nothing was taken from their cars. Papers from the glove box were removed and were on the floor inside of their vehicles.
The Chicago Police Department confirmed the break-ins but added that there was no further information available.
“We have trouble, right here in Hyde Park. With two large police departments [Chicago Police Department and the University of Chicago Police Department] patrolling continuously, we don’t stop these criminals? Nothing is even slowing them down! As I understand it, this crime is escalating as we have never seen in the past,” said Hyde Park Resident Bonnie Stenson in an email.
Stenson is one of the two area residents whose cars were vandalized during the night between Feb. 17 and 18.
The 1600 block of east 56th Street was hit twice and listed among seven other car break-ins last December.
In the mid-December break-in on the 1600 block of East 56th Street, Chicago Police said, a woman told authorities that she went out to her car that was parked on the block and discovered that it had been vandalized.
Shortly after Christmas, a woman told police that when she returned to her parked car, a 2015 Subaru Crosstrek, the passenger side window was broken. Her car was also parked in the 1600 block of East 56th Street.
At the time, Chicago Police said they were not given a description of the suspect(s) and said there is no one in custody.
As to what community members can do to protect their property the Police Department sent the Herald the following tips by email earlier this month:
• Keep the perimeter of your property well lit
• Report suspicious activity immediately
• Keep doors and windows secured
• Immediately repair any broken windows, doors or locks
• If video surveillance is available, save and make a copy of the incident for investigating detectives
• If you are a victim do not touch anything, call police immediately
• If approached by a witness to the incident, request contact information
• Do not leave valuables or bags inside your vehicle
• Put valuables in the trunk of your vehicle if needed
Car jackings are also an issue that is impacting the community. In January, there were 13 Car jackings in the Hyde Park/Kenwood area.