A plague of smash and grab

CRIME WATCH | Chris Barnett

The familiar sight of shattered glass in the gutter is hard evidence of a crime that plagues local residents, visitors and shoppers alike. Anyone with a car is a potential target. Smash-and-grab thieves don’t care if it’s a Mini Cooper or a Maserati.

You’d never know it from walking the blocks around Fillmore Street, but according to police statistics, auto burglaries are actually down 7 percent from a year ago in the Northern District, which includes much of the neighborhood. Captain Ann Mannix reels off the local numbers: 1,037 vehicle bust-ins for the first eight months of this year, compared to 1,132 during the same period last year.

Citywide, auto break-ins are up 6 percent — including the Park District, which covers most of the neighborhood west of Steiner Street.

While the auto burglary figures from the police department may indicate trends, they are not remotely comprehensive, since many — perhaps most — of those who suffer a loss don’t file a police report.
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