A recent rise in crime in the Rogers Park and Edgewater neighborhoods moved onto Loyola’s Lake Shore Campus (LSC) in the past week as Campus Safety received five reports of violent crime on or near campus.
Four of those reports came on Sept. 7. They included three criminal sexual abuse incidents and an aggravated assault with a firearm on the CTA Red Line.
Several Loyola students and one Loyola staff member were the victims of the five crimes, two of which occurred on LSC — one on the 6300 block of North Winthrop Avenue near Simpson Hall and the other near Sean Earl Field. Both of those incidents were sexual abuses of Loyola students. A Loyola staff member was the victim of the third abuse, which occurred about four miles north of LSC.
But these aren’t isolated incidents. There have been 43 criminal sexual assaults — which are a more severe classification than sexual abuse — in Rogers Park so far this year, up from the 29 such crimes that happened in the same time period in 2015, according to the Chicago Police Department’s (CPD) crime portal.
There has also been a 95 percent increase this year in robberies in Rogers Park. So far, 217 robberies have occurred in 2016, up from 111 in 2015, according to CPD.
On Sept. 12, a Loyola student was the victim of a strong-armed robbery just one-half mile southwest of campus in the 1300 block of West Hood Street. Three offenders demanded the student’s backpack then fled the scene after the student complied, according to a crime alert email from Chief of Police and Director of Campus Safety Thomas Murray.
Campus Safety also sent a crime alert email following one of the criminal sexual abuses on Sept. 7, but did not notify the Loyola community of the other two sexual abuse incidents or the aggravated assault with a firearm.
In a change from usual crime alerts, the offender’s race was not included in either email. In seven crime alert emails sent by Campus Safety since the end of the 2016 spring semester, only two included the offender’s race, the last of which came on June 30.
CPD has no record of reports from Campus Safety about any of the five crimes, according to CPD News Affairs officer Michelle Tannehill. Tannehill also said Campus Safety generally reports off-campus crimes to CPD while handling on-campus incidents in-house.
However, Campus Safety Sergeant Tim Cunningham said the department reported both the Sept. 7 aggravated assault and the Sept. 12 strong-armed robbery to CPD. Cunningham said Campus Safety has a protocol about reporting crimes to CPD.
“Victims are informed of their option to report to the Chicago Police Department,” Cunningham wrote in an email to The Phoenix regarding the Sept. 7 crime alert email. “ If the victim chooses to not report it to CPD, then they will have no report of the incident.”
CORRECTIONS: The version of this article that appears in the Sept. 14 print issue of The PHOENIX incorrectly identified the three criminal sexual abuse incidents which occurred on Sept. 7 as sexual assaults. That version of the article also said Campus Safety did not respond to or return multiple phone calls and emails. However, Sergeant Tim Cunningham responded via email to a PHOENIX inquiry.