Cops break up McDonald's robbery

A passing patrol car disrupted an armed robbery at a McDonald's restaurant in the 4300 block of North Cicero,  police said.

The officers put out a radio call for help, and patrol cars swarmed the area as the suspects tried to get away.

"They dropped their money, they dropped their clothes, they dropped their guns," said Sgt. Terry Biebel, speaking at the Beat 1624 community policing meeting on Wednesday.

Police arrested four suspects and charged them with armed robbery after the incident, which took place earlier this month.

Also at the meeting, police warned residents of a scam artist in the district. During one incident, a resident was distracted by someone inspecting rain gutters. Meanwhile, an accomplice stole a safe containing $1600 and the deed to the house.

Police said the 16th District has seen an increase in robberies since November. They said offenders are casing neighborhoods to find people living alone, and they advised residents to report suspicious strangers.

A couple of attendees expressed concern about the lack of followup information about arrested offenders. Police said they had no information about the progress of cases through the court system unless an officer was called to testify.

One resident complained about an increase in graffiti. Police said it may just be that property owners can't paint over graffiti due to the weather. Police also announced that the district was starting a photo database of graffiti to help match incidents to known taggers or gangs.

Other complaints from residents included people drinking behind the Burger King at Milwaukee and Werner and work vans parked overnight on the street in the 4200 block of North Meade.

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