Car thefts rise in 13th District

Car thefts have risen 9% in the Wood Street police district compared to last year, according to Chicago Police, and 36% compared with 2010.

A community alert dated March 30 states that most auto thefts have been reported in the Milwaukee Avenue corridor between Division and Lake streets and on the Near West Side beat stretching roughly from Western to Kedzie and Kinzie to Madison.

Through April 1 there have been 131 incidents this year, according to a police CompStat report. Most thefts were from passenger cars, the 13th District alert says, but Dodge Caravan and Ford Econoline vans have been the "most popular targets." In several cases, vehicles were towed away.

Overall crime for the year was down 11% from last year and 19% from two years ago. Car theft was the only category higher than last year, but shootings and aggravated battery also were on the rise from 2010.

The alert advised citizens to park in well lit, heavily traveled areas. Many thefts were reported on waking or returning from work.

Safety issues will be discussed at 6 pm April 27 in a CAPS Partnership Day event at Smith Park, 2526 W. Grand Ave.

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