Oak Lawn Police officials, like departments across the country, observe an increase in package thefts during the holiday season but a recent robbery of a postal carrier and an unrelated theft from a postal drop box has the department asking residents to be vigilant and contact police if they observe suspicious activity.
On November 14th at about 4:15 in the afternoon, a US Mail Carrier was robbed by two individuals carrying knives. The attack occurred at 106th and Lavergne and the three black men who perpetrated the crime drove off in a 4 door black Chevy. The Village’s administration failed to provide an Everbridge Alert on the crime until 49 hours had expired.
At the time of the crime, Police Chief Michael Murray, Village Manager Larry Deetjen, Mayor Sandra Bury and Trustee Terry Vorderer knew about the attack. None of the village officials used the Everbridge system to warn nearby residents until after the Oak Lawn Leaf published a news report about the incident.
The Oak Lawn Police took a second police report involving the US Postal Service three days ago when blue mail drop box was found “unsecured” in the area of 99th St and 52nd Ave.
While this incident isn’t related to the robbery of the mail carrier, the Oak Lawn Police are cautioning residents to be careful about using the drop boxes, located at various intersections throughout the village. The police sent an Everbridge alert noting that items with personal financial information, such as checks, cash, gift cards or credit card information should be dropped at a local Postal Center or given directly to your Postal carrier.
Another Everbridge alert noted that during this time of year, residents also receive package deliveries at their homes and at times, the packages are left unattended. As such, the Oak Lawn Police sent a reminder to residents to remain vigilant and call police immediately they observe suspicious subjects in or around their homes, condos, or apartments this holiday season.
The alert stated that condos and apartment buildings are at increased risk due to the abundant availability of numerous packages being delivered to multiple units at one central location, which is usually near mailboxes in vestibules of these buildings. Residents of condos and apartment buildings are also reminded to verify who they are allowing access into their buildings prior to buzzing someone into the building.
Network news programs have also cautioned homeowners over the years about thieves who walk up to single family homes or condo buildings and take packages that are left unattended. Unattended packages also signal to burglars that the homeowner is not home. If you have a package delivered, you may want to have a neighbor pick it up.
If you see anyone outside a home that looks suspicious, the police department would like to hear from residents. Residents can call police at (708) 422-8292 or if immediate assistance is needed call 911.