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Chicago's North Side On Edge Over Spate Of Robberies And Attacks; Some Say Police Aren't Sufficiently Proactive

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Business owners on the city's North Side have been demanding action from police since violent robberies have been taking over their neighborhoods.

As CBS 2's Jermont Terry reported, police Supt. David Brown addressed issues of crime in Chicago on Thursday. But some believe no real answers have been provided.

Chicago is closing 2021 with a record crime spike – with homicides and carjackings sharply up. At a news conference Thursday, police Supt. David Brown was pleased to talk about the record number of guns his officers have taken off the streets.

But while those in the community applaud those efforts, many feel the CPD needs to do more to prevent crime.

There is no doubt a lot of people pass by Pedestrian Coffee, at 939 W. Belmont Ave. in Lakeview, right next to the Belmont Red, Purple, and Brown Line Chicago Transit Authority stop.

"This a super high traffic location," said owner Tim Taylor.

And Taylor is a little surprised that on Wednesday evening, a group of eight people attacked, beat, and robbed a woman Wednesday night on Sheffield Avenue right off Belmont Avenue – just steps from that 'L' stop.

"It's not safe here, and that's not the vibe I want to like give off – 'Hey, come to my business. it's not safe here," Taylor said. "It's really uncomfortable to know that happened."

The attack came on the heels of Chicago Police issuing a new edition of a community alert about a robbery crew striking 21 times over the past eight weeks in Lakeview and Lincoln Park.

Earlier this week on Buckingham Place west of Broadway, two men and a woman were walking when a car pulled up and several robbers got out. The robbers shot the man in the group.

A man was also shot in a robbery on Aldine Avenue near Inner Lake Shore Drive that happened about an hour and a half later.

Police say the same motive is connected to the robbery spree.

"There's less concern about being caught - even with video cameras everywhere," Taylor said.

Taylor said the crime is spilling over into businesses. He got a busted lip from one of the many times crooks have come inside Pedestrian Coffee.

"They come in pairs. One distracts our baristas here at the counter, while the other looks for phone or a wallet sitting on the table," he said.

As officers patrol, Supt. Brown was touting his plan to address the spike in crime.

"We will do all we can to strive to make the city of Chicago safer," Brown said.

But Taylor said many believe police are too reactive, and less preventative.

"It just takes too long for CPD to get anything done," he said.

Brown added, "Once people see you as part of the community, this is all the proactive things you can do to help solve and prevent crime."

Brown insists police are going to work on improving the relationship that officers have with those in the community. Meanwhile, people want to wait and see how police fight crime in the new year.

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