Thursday, April 2, 2009

Shady Shenanigans At Wilson & Dover

A reader writes in with the following info:
"I live on Dover and last night at about 6:15pm there was a small gathering of some shady looking characters on the corner of Wilson and Dover. I walked straight through them and they didn't hassle me, but they were clearly there waiting for someone/something. By the time I got back from walking to the corner, someone had called the cops and they were racing, sirens blaring up the street. They heard the sirens and of course scattered.
The cop drove up Dover looking for them and then backed down it. A few of the kids/young adults (?) pretended to be getting in and out of a black SUV parked on Wilson doing a lot of whistling and signaling to each other. I got into my house and called 911 to let them know what I saw. I didn't want to stop to talk to the cops cause the kids were still out there just scattered about. Two of them ran and seemed to take shelter in the cell phone shop on Wilson (north side, just east of Clark).
We have often walked by this shop and wondered what it was all about as its always bustling with activity. It holds some pretty random hours and does not appear to have any "known" cell phone companies listed on the windows. After last night, my concerns about what this shop may be have heightened. I'm writing to you as people on this blog seem to know what's going on in this community. If that shop is a front, or at the very least, a good friend to some of the gangs in this neighborhood, we're going to need to find a way to put a stop to it. When we have gang activity on street corners and local business owners are hiding them from the cops, we have serious problems on our hands."


  1. I believe I noticed the same SUV in question it was an older model Escalade with an IL temp plate on the back and a MI plate on the front.

  2. After reading the comments posted regarding the, “cell phone shop on Wilson”, I am not only upset but extremely disappointed in my neighbors. I have been a home owner in the area for quite some time and a loyal customer to the shop as well. I can only assume that the person who posted this comment is not educated in the arena of available cell phone services and/or companies. First and foremost the store provides products from several different mobile phone companies. How many, I really can’t attest too, but not being a cell phone store owner myself, I don’t claim to know every provider out there, so your comment concerning them not having any, “known” cell phone companies advertised could be regarded as a touch ignorant. Being that the store does have many loyal customers, the staff and even the owners have often stayed late past the clearly posted hours (they’re on the door) to take care of problems for these patrons. In these tough economic times, who can blame them? Unfortunately I wasn’t present during the time when you claim that the store was sheltering some, “shady looking characters.” What I can attest to is that almost every time I have been there, members of the Chicago Police Department have been there to conduct personal business or just stopped in to see if things were ok. Either way, it just so happens that the store is a public place, where providing service to persons based on looks or supposed affiliation is commonly referred to as discrimination and not only frowned upon, but illegal as well.
    As a resident of Uptown, your concern should be heightened when you suspect unsavory business is being conducted. However instead of blaming local business owners and posting your comments on a blog, you may find your time and efforts would be better spent by actually doing something about it. Without being presumptuous regarding your time, I suggest that you look into participating in the Uptown neighborhood watch program or inquire at one of the local shops (that doesn’t appear to be harboring known fugitives) about the periodic roundtable discussions held by small business owners on the subject of dealing with local crime.

  3. Kopy Kat,

    By posting her experiences on a blog, the OP has altered those of us who live in the area of Dover and Wilson to be on the lookout.

    But to the OP, what role did the shop play? I don't really understand how the two event were tied together, other than the fact that shady characters were hanging right outside.

  4. To clarify, two of the people involved in the incident and running from the police ducked inside this shop. Hence my questions. If people say its on the up and up, then great. I was asking a question. I am glad to hear that you have had great experiences in this shop. Next time I see people who the police are seeking running inside this store I'll be sure to direct the cops inside since you attest to the fact that the local police are on good terms with them. I'm sure the owners will be more than willing to cooperate and help us start ridding our streets of the troublemakers.

    I very rarely make assumptions or generalizations about people in our neighborhood. In fact, often, I'm irritated with those that do. This situation was serious. It was not school kids wandering home and me jumping to conclusions. These people were clearly looking for someone and about to do something. No question. They had people posted in different areas and were communicating back and forth with each other.

    With the other postings about gang initiations earlier this week and last, I was concerned and thought I'd post my experience.

  5. And KopyKat, again, nothing wrong with cell phone stores.

    The 46th Ward is not conducive to encouraging more diverse shopping opportunities, and the surrounding wards are actively doing something to encourage their residents to shop in their wards. No one is seeking to close down any cell phone stores.

    What was lamented is the lack of diverse shopping opportunities. If you spend most of your money in this ward, you have no complaints. I don't, so I'm complaining and I'm also voting in 2011.

  6. re: Kopy Kat said...
    I think Kopy Kat was waiting all week for a chance to be sanctimonious and finally got a chance to unload with this post. Rushing to the defense of that cell store is a bit odd, as it attracts nothing but shady characters. The cell store is owned by the same landlords that own the section 8 building next to it..
    And that black Escalade is one of 3 SUV's in the section 8 welfare building across the alley from the cell store. The welfare fraud scam, that building's occupants are running, is that at least 3 families in the building either pay NONE of their rent or just enough to not get evicted. The cash they save from living virtually rent free is then put into these SUV's. Drive by ANY day of the week and you'll see the Escalade, a Lincoln Navigator and one other SUV. Here's the plates (photo) of this black SUV which has been seen with 2 or 3 different families "sharing it" over the past few months. Please, to any UU posters, don't hesitate to post gang activity postings just because some of Helen's clowns are poised to call racism when crime is mentioned. car photo = =

  7. I was told the cell phone shop is owned by one of the kids of the same owners of the Section 8 building, Monitor cleaners and Rayan's liquors. Several neighbors have complained about the residents in the Sect8 building and unfortunately little seems to be done about it. I've seen lots of shady characters visiting that cell phone shop and I think that they are into cell phones like anyone else....I do however blame the owners of the cell phone shop to some degree-- they don't seem to take any responsibility for the problems some of their clients cause. I've had problems just getting into the adjoining alley with their clients and the residents in the Sect8 building-- double parking on the actual sidewalk or blocking it altogether. More needs to be done about the undesirable element on that entire corner. The problem is you cannot tell business owners who can and cannot frequent their business. But you can try and hold them responsible by calling the police and showing up to the CAPS meetings.