Amid Burglaries, Little Village Residents Want More Surveillance

By: Celia Martinez

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Local NewsCommunity activists gathered on the 2800 block of South Kilbourn in Chicago Tuesday evening in an effort to alert the community about the string of burglaries and an attempted home invasion that have recently occurred within the area.

The rally was led and organized by community activist Raul Montes, a 37-year old substitute teacher who has lived in the area all his life. For Montes, organizing this rally was more than just bringing awareness; it was about taking action and creating positive change within his community. “I think the most important thing is that we spread the word and get a picture of the suspect,” said Montes.

According to Montes, in all cases, a man passing himself off as a city inspector came to the home of unsuspecting residents, one of whom happened to be Rosa Vargas, a homeowner in the Little Village community. Vargas said the suspect allegedly walked away with six thousand dollars-worth of belongings and expressed the discontent she felt for Chicago police who took long to arrive to the scene.

Montes hopes that by organizing the rally more residents become aware of what is happening in their community and offers suggestions to avoid being the next victim, “It’s a combination of things,” said Montes. “Stay connected with each other, exchange phone numbers… call the police… and stay organized with [the community].”
Montes said he first became involved as a community activist approximately four and a half years ago in an effort to better his neighborhood, claiming to have taken part, through numerous phone calls and tedious petition signings, in the reconstruction of the 31st bridge, so he is by no means a stranger to calling upon local government to do their part, in this case, calling upon Alderman Ricardo Munoz.

More recently, Montes claimed to yet again have made several attempts to contact Alderman Ricardo Muñoz, pushing for much needed surveillance cameras in the area in hopes of minimizing gang activity. But to his dismay, he received a letter from the Alderman’s office denying his request. Alderman Muñoz was not available for comment. But now with the issue of public safety at hand, the most important thing is to prevent another burglary or home invasion, so Montes said he will continue to push for some form of surveillance, whether cameras or more police officers patrolling the streets to ensure that residents feel safe, at least in the comfort of their own homes.

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