By joe gorman
Police Chief Rod Foley said Wednesday he hopes the arrest of four juveniles in the robbery of a pizza-delivery driver on the South Side last week will stop a recent spate of armed robberies.
The four teens – three 15-year-olds and a 17-year-old – were arrested on a warrant after the robbery of the driver in the 1900 block of Weston Avenue about 7:50 p.m. Nov. 16.
Foley credited Officer James Rowley of the department’s juvenile bureau and Detective Sgt. Mike Lambert for an investigation that led to the arrests that was strongly aided by two of the patrolmen who work the South Side beat on dayturn, Dave Wilson and Rick Baldwin.
Foley said police believe the four are responsible for three or four other armed robberies on the South Side within a two-week period, and detectives continue to investigate.
Foley said the department had stepped up patrols in the area to stop the robberies before the four were arrested. He said officers on those details look out for anyone who may seem suspicious or out of place then try to talk to them to find out why they are there and if they have any weapons on them.
One thing concerning for police is the trend of loosely organized groups of juveniles, such as three or four who decide for whatever reason to pull robberies on their own, Foley said, which makes it difficult to get a lock on the problem.
“Everytime we take a group off the street, we get another group to take their place,” Foley said.
The coordination between the patrol division and investigators is another tool that Foley said he has been placing more emphasis on. He said having patrol officers in close contact with investigators leads to investigators getting evidence
In the Nov. 16 robbery, the driver went to the 1900 block of Weston Avenue for a delivery and she said three or four males surrounded her car and demanded the car and the pizza. She gave them the keys, and the robbers drove away, reports state.
Later, when police arrested one of the youths, they found a pizza box from the place where the delivery person works, Foley said.