Hi, Bill Morton.
I just stumbled upon your blog after a search for some sort of comprehensive community crime/concerns reporting for our 'hood. I have lived in the 6400 block of Magnolia for the last four years. In the last year, Devon has had some of the Police cameras installed to "curb crime" or whatever they are supposed to do. What I've seen is an increase of vagrancy and activity pushed into the residential streets to avoid the surveillance that these cameras offer. There has got to be a better way to do this, but on to my point.
Last night, I returned home from class a little before 10pm. Approx 20 minutes later, my doorbell rang. There was a man, whomever I had never seen/met, at my door asking for money for his mother's medication. His story was well put. His elderly mother, whom he said often waved at us, had just returned home from the hospital. She had suffered a stroke and he needed to get her medication, but had no cash. He offered to return the money when her husband returned home at 10:30 or so. He said that his van was often parked on the street and maybe we had noticed - Niedermeyer service or something like that. Anyway, I just immediately felt uneasy about this. I can't say I know who his mother is and could not recall ever seeing the van. I did not have money. I told him that I never have money in the house (which is true). Long story short, I called the local police station today. They had apparently gotten a report from someone else about him and were looking for him. Call me a small town girl. Call me naive. This just really creeped me out.
I pride myself in being a good neighbor. While I don't know everyone on the block, I do know a number. I really like to help my neighbors when I am able.
And it seems like this kind of activity is at an increase in my area. I can't help but to wonder about the effects of these cameras and the upswing in development in our little corner of Rogers Park. This has been a relatively quiet area until recently... well, with the exception of the bacchanal celebrations of the end of semesters or spring break.
Thanks for being a sound board. You seem to have an insight on the activities of our community. Thought I'd share.
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