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Maywood Grapples With Crime Wave

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Maywood Police Chief talks with CBS 2's Mike Puccinelli about the suburb's crime problem.

Maywood Police Chief talks with CBS 2’s Mike Puccinelli about the suburb’s crime problem.

Mike Puccinelli Mike Puccinelli
Mike Puccinelli serves as a general assignment reporter for CBS 2...
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MAYWOOD, Ill. (CBS) — The police in suburban Maywood say that gangs, drugs and prison inmates beyond their capacity to stop, so they are asking the Cook County Sheriff’s Department for help in quelling the crime wave.

One resident tells CBS 2’S Mike Puccinelli that Maywood is like a “little Iraq.”

He loves his hometown but says lately he’s come to fear it. He says he had a close call earlier this week.

“Somebody tried to rob me right in my grandmother’s driveway …  at gunpoint,” said the man, who asked that his name not be revealed. “I took off running faster than you can believe.”    

He ran so fast he fell and cut his hand while getting away.  This year, other Maywood residents haven’t been so lucky. After falling to a 25-year low in 2009, violent crime has spiked.

In 2011, there have been eight murders, Maywood Police Chief Tim Curry said. That’s significantly higher than the two or three murders the previous two years.

“It’s just the shootings that right now have gone wild,” Curry said.

Two of the latest fatal shootings happened on 19th Street in September.  That’s the same block where a 14-year-old girl died after a man who’d just been shot crashed into her family’s apartment.

The death of Dominique Thomas affected Curry so much that he reached out to the sheriff’s department for help in stopping the gang conflict that he says is fueling the crime wave.

“They’ve agreed to assist us, and we have a lot of criminal intelligence going on,” Curry said. “We think we are going to be successful in bringing this town back to the peace that we once enjoyed.”

Curry says the lack of state funding for CeaseFire is not helping the problems Maywood is having.

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