One arrest in rash of robberies

Police have arrested one suspect in a strong-arm robbery that took place in the 4000 block of N. LaPorte on November 19th. A police tactical team working the case arrested Ruben Cintron, 19, on the 24th, after he was positively identified by the victim, according to 16th district officer Joe Ngo.

That robbery was one of seven, some involving weapons, in Portage Park's police beat 1624 during the last month. Police say the offenders are coming from outside the neighborhood, in one case driving a stolen car, according to officer Rosemary Accardo speaking at a CAPS meeting on the 28th.

Police expect robberies and burglaries to increase during the Christmas shopping season. Thefts from autos are also on the rise. Thieves have been breaking into cars to steal anything of value, including one incident in which only pocket change was stolen.

Police also expect more fights and domestic violence in the next month, as people spend more time with family members and drink more during the holidays.

The city is trying to get the area homeless people into shelters, but police warned residents to expect homeless people sleeping in building hallways as the weather worsens. Cold weather has already killed one homeless person in the Jefferson Park CTA hub on Thanksgiving day.

Discussing previous incidents, police said the Xcala bar at Milwaukee and Montrose has paid a voluntary $1500 fine in connection with complaints about disturbances. A resident asked about a recent fight on that street corner, but police don't believe it was related to Xcala.

In response to questions about parking, police reminded residents that trucks used for work cannot be parked on any city street, and that no vehicle should be parked in one place more than 7 days.

Beat 1624 is bounded by Irving Park, Montrose, Narragansett, and Cicero.