The changes and comparison between theft and assault in 2017 vs. 2018

By Michael Barcenas ’20, Zitlalith Cortes ’20, Anna Cortina ’20, Jacqueline Martinez  ’20, and Melany Salgado ’20

Chicago is known to be a city in which thefts and assaults are common in neighborhoods such as Hermosa. These crimes-theft and assault- are the type of crimes to increase more and more over the years and are the most common crimes to have occured. 

The data being observed is data coming only from the area of Hermosa. Theft can be identified as the physical removal of an object that is capable of being stolen without the consent of the owner and with the intention of depriving the owner of it permanently, whereas assault is when someone tries or inflicts physical harm or unwanted contact to someone else.

Overall, the grand total of theft and assault in Hermosa in 2017 was 410 counts and in 2018 it was 320 counts, making 730 counts in total. This data was gathered from the Chicago Data Portal- Crimes  ranging from January 1 to December  31 of 2017 and 2018. 

Based on the data gathered from the Chicago Data Portal- Crimes, in Hermosa, the highest common crime in theft in both 2017 and 2018 was $500 and under, meaning that there was a theft in which the person who committed the crime stole money below $500 or property worth. The rate in 2017 for  the theft $500 and under was 36.5% which is the highest proportion in the category of theft in Hermosa. However, in 2018, the rate for the theft of $500 and under was 31.2% which us the highest proportion in the category of theft. As seen in both years, the difference was that in 2018 the $500 and under decreased by five point three percent compared to 2017.

Similarly, in Hermosa, the highest common crime in assault in both 2017 and 2018 was simple assault, meaning an attempt to do a serious bodily harm to another person, or actually committing an act to put another in fear of serious bodily injury. The rate for simple assault in 2017 was 13.2% while the rate in 2018  was 23.8% which was a ten point six percent more.

Theft and assault were the only subsets of data analyzed because there were more crimes involving theft and assault in Hermosa than any other crime.  Additionally, there was a drastic change in the amount of crimes committed in 2017 to 2018 involving theft and assault.

The theft and assault crimes data ended up on the database based off how consistently the crime came up in Hermosa. The preliminary crime classifications can be changed at a later time based on additional investigation and a possibility of mechanical or human error. 

Some teenagers and adults have experienced theft or assault themselves, or they have seen it happen. It does not matter if a teenager or adult are involved in gang related things because theft and assault is most seen in Hermosa.

Lydia Rivera is from Puerto Rico and has been living in the United States for around one year. She works in a Dollar Tree in the area of Hermosa. This Dollar Tree is located on the streets of Armitage and Keeler, which is in the area of Hermosa. She has been working there for approximately five months. Although she works in the area of Hermosa, she does not live in the area. She lives close to it, about “two or three blocks away from here,” Rivera mentioned. She stated that she has experienced theft more frequently than assault in the area of Hermosa. 

Rivera is not the only one that has had an experience with theft at the Dollar Tree store. Many other workers have experienced theft with people who go into the store and steal merchandise. Rivera recalls a time where she noticed a man who entered the store looking nervous and suspicious. Rivera had a feeling he was there to steal, and she mentioned he entered but did not buy anything. “It is common to see people come in and steal merchandise from this store, after all it is a Dollar Tree,” Rivera said. This experience was very frightening for Rivera and her co-workers because anything could have happened.

Rivera feels that the rate of theft is alarming and that sometimes it does not feel safe to work there. Although Rivera may be in danger, she chooses to stay working there because she has a family to take care of. She puts the needs of her family before her own.

A Chicago police officer, Gerardo Vega, goes into detail about what is being done to help reduce the amount of crimes happening in Hermosa. Vega said, “The crimes in the Hermosa neighborhood are being handled by increasing and placing more cop cars around the corners.” There had been a lot of gang related crimes  that involved shootings from what Vega has said, which has caused for the assault crimes to increase within the years. 

Glafira Bueno and her family live in Hermosa. Alondra Moreno, a junior who is an IB student at Pritzker and is seventeen year old, is Bueno’s daughter. Bueno mentioned how Hermosa is a place where they call home due to the decade they have been living there. Bueno mentioned that they have experienced some problems with gangbangers in the area of Hermosa. Bueno does not feel safe in the Hermosa neighborhood due to her past experience with the crimes happening such as theft and assault. “We could have been at the wrong place at the wrong time,” Bueno stated. Bueno also second guesses herself on letting her daughter go out, even if it is too early because of how dangerous it is. Bueno mentioned how they attend church most of the time so that they can feel safe and try not to worry as much. 

Junior Jonathan Rodriguez who is an IB student at Pritzker and also is ranked number six in the junior class, lives in the Hermosa. Rodriguez is not related to or affiliated with any gang. Rodriguez said that the crime and violence that occurs in the neighborhood Hermosa does not affect him as a student. Similarly to Bueno, Rodriguez stays close to the church, so he does not really deal with theft or assault. Rodriguez has been living in Hermosa his whole life, which is 16 years. 

According to Block Club Chicago’s article on May 6, Alderman Carlos Ramirez-Rosa, 35th ward, which includes a part of Hermosa and Logan Square, explained the way to start reducing crimes, “As research has consistently shown, the best investment a city can make in reducing crime is an investment in our communities and our youth.” Ramirez-Rosa also stated that he is willing to go after the “root causes of crime” by having more patrols that surround the neighborhood.

According to an article on Chicago Tribune, Lori Lightfoot -Chicago Mayor- has a view on how she is going to fix crime problems. Lightfoot “discussed the critical need to curb violence in distressed communities and the Mayor-elect shared her vision for addressing the problem holistically.” Lightfoot’s goal is to reduce the crimes in Chicago. As she stated, “Once I take office, my responsibility is to be the chief ambassador for our great city and make sure that people really know the true nature of what’s happening in Chicago and not just screaming headlines that may be tweeted out by a certain someone.”

With the help of the police and the mayor, the crimes in Hermosa are going to decrease and people are going to feel safe without anyone getting assaulted.