October 29, 2016

Information on Residential Burglaries

I am writing to inform the University of Chicago community about a significant increase in the number of off-campus property crimes, specifically residential burglaries, which have been reported to the University of Chicago Police Department (UCPD) and/or the Chicago Police Department (CPD) in 2016 year-to-date. Although most such property crimes would not meet our standard guidelines for issuing timely Security Alerts, the Department of Safety & Security is providing this information, as it could help residents take precautions and work with neighbors and police to reduce such incidents.

The UCPD has seen an overall decrease in violent crime for 2016 year-to date in the UCPD patrol area; however, burglaries are generally not classified as violent crimes. Our crime analysis unit has noted the following information specific to off-campus residential burglaries:

  • 60% increase for 2016 when compared to 2015 year-to-date reports.
  • The increase pertains mostly to the Hyde Park/South Kenwood neighborhoods within the UCPD patrol area.
  • While there does not appear to be an identifiable pattern, most of the incidents occur during the day.
  • Almost 50% of the incidents involved no forced entry. In some cases, doors or windows had been left unlocked.
  • In several reports, the suspect(s) have gained entry while the victim was at home.
  • In at least one report, the suspect(s) tried to force entry knowing the victim was at home.

The UCPD continues to work collaboratively with CPD on these emerging issues; however, our community can be effective partners in addressing and preventing crimes. In saying that, I would ask that you consider the following strategies that may aid in deterring further criminal activity:

  • Keep all doors and windows locked, even if you are just going out for a short duration of time.  If a window is left open a few inches for ventilation, pins or dowels should be inserted in the tracks to prevent someone from opening it more.
  • Walk around the exterior of your own home to try and identify where someone might easily gain entry.
  • If someone knocks on your door, let them know you are home and do not open the door to individuals you do not know.
  • If you have any information related to a residential burglary or if you witness any suspicious activity, please report it immediately to the Chicago Police Department (911) or the University of Chicago Police Department – 123 from a University phone or 773.702.8181 from other phones. 

Daily crime and police activity that is reported to the UCPD within its patrol area is listed at incidentreports.uchicago.edu. You can also subscribe to receive the log through an RSS feed and check crime statistics for our area.

In Service,

Eric M. Heath
Associate Vice President for Safety & Security
University of Chicago