Bucktown Neighborhood Group Helps Curb Crime
(CBS) – One neighborhood watch group does more than call police. Members catch crooks — all by themselves.
Even police say it’s making a difference.
CBS 2’s Dana Kozlov talks with one of the vigilant members.
In a Bucktown alley, Deirdre Fennessy single-handedly caught a would-be-thief on a bike. She nabbed him minutes after her brother realized his tools had been stolen.
So, when she spotted suspect Stanley Rzany with a bulky backpack, she confronted him, found the tools, kept him from getting away and called police.
Did she have second thoughts? Later, she concedes.
“Hey, he took my brother’s tools. That’s not good,” Fennessy says.
Believe it or not, Rzany’s just one of six crime suspects nabbed by her neighbors this year. All of the cases are associated with the Bucktown Community Organization.
“We definitely stare people down. We question people if they’re in our neighbors’ gangways or in the alleys, if they look suspicious,” group president Steve Jensen says. “Nosey neighbors is a good thing in Bucktown.”
They take pictures and videos, too, like this one of Rzany’s alleged partner in crime.
It’s appreciated, but police also want neighborhood groups to be cautious.
“We don’t encourage it because, again, we don’t want anyone getting hurt,” says Chicago Police Cmdr. Frank Valadez says.
All six of the suspects have been charged with crimes ranging from misdemeanor battery to felony burglary. Thefts and burglaries have gone down in the 14th District in the past two years.