The month of September gained the nickname “Crimetember” when the Oak Lawn Leaf reported that there were 25 burglaries between September 2nd and September 30th based on village records provided to our office. The revelation caused Trustee Robert Streit to ask for more police patrols and Village Manager Larry Deetjen to attempt to minimize the facts claiming that some of the burglaries were in residential garages.
Deetjen insisted the numbers were wrong even though the Oak Lawn Leaf was able to publish all 25 burglary reports. He also told other media outlets that it was unfair to look at one month.
Now, the Oak Lawn Leaf has learned that the month of October saw 19 burglaries through October 29th. While the average burglaries per day is down, the high number of burglaries has Trustee Robert Streit (District 3) once again calling for an increase in police patrols in the neighborhoods. “The village’s most basic responsibility is to provide for the public safety of the village’s residents, and people deserve increased patrols,” said Streit.
The October burglaries included single family homes, residential garages, condos, apartments, automobiles and garages. Items stolen included tools, a tool box, cell phone,metal cash box, purses, a television, cash, jewelry, photos, a double-paned window, and even a handicap placard.
Village Manager Larry Deetjen has reacted negatively to Streit’s suggestion to increase the patrols by using officers who normally do not patrol the village. Streit had noted that 30% of the police force never is on patrol and suggested that police protection could be increased by rotating the officers into patrols for one shift every month or quarter. Since the officers are already paid for by the village, the increase in patrols would be achieved without raising taxes “even one penny”.
When asked about the burglaries, Streit said that he is concerned about these crimes and others and believes that the village’s priorities should be focused on protecting the public from crime. “If we continue to cut public safety services we will continue to have crime waves,” said Streit.
Streit once again called on the Village Trustees and Mayor to increase police patrols. “I’ve lost all faith in Larry Deetjen to be able to fairly and professionally analyze problems that the residents of Oak Lawn face because every time an issue arises, he denies it is a problem and buries his head in the sand,” stated Streit.