This is a follow up to an email I sent Thursday regarding the sexual assault on North Shore Avenue.
I am told the victim was treated and released from the hospital on the evening of the attack and is now with family and friends. Our thoughts and prayers go out to her. In the meantime, Chicago police detectives are investigating the crime and tracking down several leads. No arrests have been made.
It is quite likely the assailant entered the building because the front gate to the building courtyard was completely unsecured and locks to several doors were not working. A window frame to the basement was also off its hinges. The following report from WGN-TV news highlighted the dangerous condition of the building:
I have asked the City of Chicago Department of Buildings to cite this building for its violations of the City Building Code.
This horrible incident serves as a stark reminder to all apartment building residents of the importance of keeping their building safe and secure. Below are some apartment building safety tips provided by the 24th District Community Policing Office:
•Get to know your neighbors and develop a phone tree.
•Never let anyone you do not know into the building.
•Do not “buzz” anyone into your building unless you know them and are expecting them.
•Buddy up with a neighbor to do laundry. Many apartment buildings keep their laundry rooms locked with keys given to tenants only. However, this is not always the case and laundry rooms can pose a danger if kept unlocked, allowing criminals access.
•Never leave your apartment door unlocked even when you are getting your mail or taking out the trash.
•Install a peephole in your door and never open your door without looking through the peephole.
•Use your last name only on your door and mailbox.
•Require all utility/repair men to provide proper identification.
•Make sure all outside gates and doors have locks and that they lock automatically.
•Install deadbolt locks on all your doors. Spend the extra money for a good lock.
•Make sure door hinges are inside the door and not facing out.
•Install locks on all windows.
•Ask your landlord/condominium association to install plenty of exterior lights, including light fixtures at all entrances to the building.
•Never hide keys outside or in conspicuous locations.
•Trim your bushes and landscaping. Overgrown bushes and landscaping can provide coverage for criminals.
•Protect any windows that are near fire escapes.
•Replace all burned out light bulbs in hallways and other common areas.
•If you arrive at home and suspect a stranger is inside, DO NOT go in. Leave quietly and call 911.
Never hesitate to call the police if you see suspicious activity. It is always better to be safe than sorry.
I hope these safety tips have been helpful to you. If you run into resistance from your landlord or condominium association, please contact my office at email@example.com or 773-338-5796 and we will try to help you.