Monday, September 20, 2010

Attempted Break-In On Dover

Hi neighbors,

Around 10:15am this morning, I caught someone attempting to break into my house on the 4700 block of Dover. I was home at the time and caught him as he was in the process of cutting the screen to the side rear window of the first floor. I shouted at him and he ran off. Luckily, the worst of the damage is a slit screen.

A couple of things:

- The suspect was a lighter-skinned African American male - I would guess in his early 20's. He was what looked like a darkish-blue windbreaker
- He had used an igloo cooler that I had in my yard as a footstool to gain better access to the first floor window. I would suggest that if you have any objects that could be used for this purpose on your property that you make them as inaccessible as possible.

Additionally, someone else shared that there was a car stolen from their garage on the 4600 block of Dover.

The police were called - I didn't have a detailed enough description for them to do much. I just wanted to send this out to make you aware so that you can take any necessary precautions.

John Barnicle Secretary, Dover Street Neighbors Association


  1. You where lucky you where at home and scared him away. Who knows what this scum might have done and taken from your house or worse yet break in. I think it is time you seriously think of getting a firearm to potect yourself or at least a home alarm system with a panic button to give you a peice of mind.

  2. I second wiseguys advice. God help you if he had mayhem in mind. You never know what someone who breaks in might do, especially if he/she doesn't care if anyones home.

  3. Interesting.....

    A kind of inncident with a different ending happened to me last Easter Sunday. I live on the first floor of my building but it is still high up from people walking by but with any sort of dumpster or short ladder or even a person boosting them up they can get into a window easily.

    I woke up that sunday morning around 7 am because I heard a noise. I looked up at the window and I saw a shadow of a man in the window blinds. For a second I though maybe it was ComEd or Comcast. Then I noticed him kicking my window and screen. I grabbed the phone and dialed 911.
    I went to the window and yelled at him. I didnt want a broken window. Once I gave a description I went back and he was gone.

    I went to our stairwell window which is higher up and looked out and saw the guy laying about 30 feet away in the alley. The cops came and got him. I went out to talk to the police. They thought the whole thing was funny. I asked if they were going to arrest him. They said no. Basically it was a guy who was on exctasy or something. He actually moved into my building that same week...oh was my new neighbor. Appearantly he was out partying and got locked out of the building so he scaled the wall and tried to get into my place to get into his? yeah...makes total sense (sarcasm). The police took him to the hospital since when I yelled at him he fell off the window ledge...taking my screen off with him and pulling all the cables from the cable loose too.

    The police took the whole thing as a joke. I was kind of pissed because what if I acted first....what if I grabbed a knife like i was going to and let him enter and then put some airholes into him? what if I had a gun and shot him? this really isnt a funny thing is it now?

    I have been very careful with my windows and making sure there is nothing below them that anyone can climb on. Glad they were home and able to stop this from happening. Getting sick of this type of thing happening around here.

  4. If you have not already done so, I would contact the police commander. Here is her e-mail:

    She does respond.

  5. Of course, an alarm will do you no good if you leave your windows open . . .

    Anyway, glad you were able to scare the guy away.

  6. Sadly, the vast majority of break-ins occur through unlocked doors or unsecured windows. Have you considered installing window locks as a way of keeping them open a little bit but preventing anyone from accessing any further? Glad you are ok and nothing more serious happened.

  7. The key is to prevent break-ins from the start. Too many legal liabilities for the homeowner in confronting a burglar to protect his home--shoot a burglar and you can be paying his medical bills the rest of your life.

  8. No, no. Haven't you heard? The answer is always more guns. Because if you had a gun, you would have shot your new neighbor dead. Then, wouldn't you have felt like a real American? (please note my sarcasm)

  9. I'm sorry you had to go through this, it must have been disturbing. I'm not going to tell you how to secure your home, you know best how to do that. Besides, it's patronizing and you didn't ask for our advice. I want to thank you for sharing your incident. It helps to make me more aware of what is going on in our neighborhood and how I can better secure my home. Again, thank you!

  10. You got it, Ray! I'm starting to believe that "Wiseguy" wants to follow his plan to fire all the teachers and replace "Reading, Writing, and 'Rithmatic" with "Target Practice", since he doesn't seem to do well with spelling and grammar (unless it's writing his most favorite word: "SCUM"). Really, how many burglaries-turned-to-home-invasions have come up in the stats for the 23rd District over the past decade? And of those, how many have included assault, rape, or murder that have NOT been drug or gang-related? And what is the CPD's policy for entering a home where a firearm is there? Without those questions thoughtfully answered, all the ballyhoo about "GET A FIREARM!" is going to wind up with Wiseguy and his buddies shooting taggers in the alleys, using shotguns for mosquito control, and making the CPD stay in their squad cars in the public ways even more, so they don't get caught in the crossfire when someone mistakenly tries Wiseguy's door.

  11. "shoot a burglar and you can be paying his medical bills the rest of your life."

    Not true, if you are a victim of a home invader and use force (lethal or nonlethal) to defend yourself, you are immune from liability per Illinois law. As far as the guy on X breaking in your window, if he got in there is no way of knowing what a drugged up confused person might do including commiting violence on you. Best bet if someone tries to break in with you home is to yell (most will run away at this point) and prepare for the occasional one who doesn't run, he is the one who will hurt you before the police can reach you.

  12. "Not true, if you are a victim of a home invader and use force (lethal or nonlethal) to defend yourself, you are immune from liability per Illinois law."

    Be careful, you can only use "reasonable" force in "defending" yourself. Shooting an unarmed burglar could result in the homeowner being liable.

    Having said that, I would do whatever I can to protect my family. I'm not against folks having firearms at home as a last resort, but preventive measures are better.

  13. A couple of things: the window in question was closed and locked - I think slitting the screen was an attempt to get a better look in the inside of the house. It would have been hard to see with the glare. In this incident the person could have just been casing the joint.

    I have since looked into having an alarm installed. This will be my long term solution to this issue.

    Thanks for all the thoughts - this incident actually didn't freak me out all that much. It did serve as a good wake up call.

  14. "Be careful, you can only use "reasonable" force in "defending" yourself. Shooting an unarmed burglar could result in the homeowner being liable."

    I quote
    (720 ILCS 5/7 2) (from Ch. 38, par. 7 2)
    Sec. 7 2. Use of force in defense of dwelling.
    (a) A person is justified in the use of force against another when and to the extent that he reasonably believes that such conduct is necessary to prevent or terminate such other's unlawful entry into or attack upon a dwelling. However, he is justified in the use of force which is intended or likely to cause death or great bodily harm only if:
    (1) The entry is made or attempted in a violent, riotous, or tumultuous manner, and he reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent an assault upon, or offer of personal violence to, him or another then in the dwelling, or
    (2) He reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent the commission of a felony in the dwelling.

    ( In no case shall any act involving the use of force justified under this Section give rise to any claim or liability brought by or on behalf of any person acting within the definition of "aggressor" set forth in Section 7 4 of this Article, or the estate, spouse, or other family member of such a person, against the person or estate of the person using such justified force, unless the use of force involves willful or wanton misconduct.
    (Source: P.A. 93 832, eff. 7 28 04.)

    The key words are forceful, riotous, or tumultuous manner which is why it is important to keep doors locked, screens in place etc...Illinois use of force statutes are actually pretty straight forward. It does not require a person at home to retreat leave the room or house or try to evade a home invader as some states require.

  15. A note to the conversation. Most burglars just want to get in and out as fast as possible. Just like robber at convenience store, the average in and out is under 3 minutes because they are afraid of getting caught. This fact comes from my time working as an all night clerk at 7-11. If it takes longer they get skittish and then things go really wrong, like rape and hostage taking.

    The idea they are there to commit some other kind of crime is rare. The typical burglary is very swift. Take what’s out and go. Laptops are favorites as well as jewelry boxes. Also the medicine cabinets for prescription drugs. While them rummaging through your underwear drawer is rare, 95% of the time THEY ARE LOOKING FOR GUNS. This information comes from the criminals themselves. A huge amount of guns used in street shootings are stolen, not purchased.

    My suggestion also comes from the criminals themselves. Get a dog. A barking dog is an unknown element that impedes the crime. The dog barks when you are home, and when you aren’t (lord knows the dog upstairs from me does) They just move on, because there is always some place else that doesn’t have a dog.

    Not to mention a dog not only offers you an added element of security, they are companions. All a gun does is offer a false sense of security. Plus they don’t curl up on your bed and snuggle.