South Loop News

Target Store Area Crime Reports

Recent crime activity near the Target store in the South Loop has raised issues regarding security arrangements in that area. In its 2021 Strategic Plan, Chicago Police District One identified the “Roosevelt Road Corridor” (from Michigan Ave to Des Plaines) as one of its three top priorities. The Target location at Roosevelt Road and Clark Street is in the middle of that corridor. This report will, hopefully, provide a statistical context for ongoing security discussions.
The statistics presented come from the City of Chicago’s Chicago Data Portal. The Portal is publicly accessible at Data.CityOfChicago.org and provides consistent standardized information for every crime report filed with the Chicago Police Department. To provide a historic context for discussion, data was collected from every reported crime from January 1, 2017 to April 30, 2021 in the area bounded by West Roosevelt Road, South Clark Street, the Rock Island Railroad (Metra) tracks, and the access road from Clark St. to the entrance to the Target parking ramp. This includes reported crime in the store and its parking ramp as well as crimes on adjacent streets and sidewalks on the north side of Roosevelt Road and the west side of Clark Street.
The accompanying Excel file includes five spreadsheets for the years 2017-2021 and a tabulation chart. The chart presents monthly totals of all crimes and annual totals for selected crime types.
The top portion of the chart presents the total number of crime reports for each month. Data from the beginning of May 2021 was not included as it was still being collected and processed. Crime totals for 2017, 2018, and 2019 were amazingly consistent. The Covid year of 2020 witnessed a dramatic drop in total crime reports, possibly due to limited opportunities during the shutdown. Multiplying the crime totals for the first four months of 2021 by three, would suggest that the 2021 year-end totals might return to the average totals for 2017, 2018, and 2019. These trends are in line with data from across the South Loop and the entire city.
The lower portion of the chart shows differing results for specific types of crimes that are more violent or dangerous in nature. The FBI standardized definitions of crime types to enable inter-agency comparisons. Five crime types were selected by the FBI as “index violent crimes”. Luckily, two of these types, homicide and criminal sexual assault, did nor occur in the focus area during the focus time period. The other three types, assault, battery, and robbery* did occur, but did not show any increasing trends. Note that in the FBI crime types, vehicle hijacking* is considered a sub-category of robbery* instead of theft because of the likely confrontation between perpetrator and victim. In this report, hijacking* is listed separately and not included in the robbery* tabulation figures.
Several other crime types (burglary, damage: property, damage: vehicle, and vehicle theft) are included in the tabulation because of the possibility that they might have occurred in the parking ramp, a particular area of security concern.
Vehicle theft reports first appeared in the 2020 report. Recent discussion in Chicago media relates decreases in other crime opportunities during Covid as a possible reason criminals have turned to vehicle theft and hijacking. An informative article on this subject, “Politics of Fear”, appeared in the April 29, 2021 issue of the Chicago Reader.
The Roosevelt Road Corridor was named a top priority by Chicago Police District One because it was and is the location of a large proportion of the crimes committed in the South Loop, both violent and non-violent. The area including the Target Store is in the middle of that Corridor and deserves specific attention.
Roger Marsh
South Loop Neighbors
Crimes Reported in/near South Loop Target Store Crimes Reported in/near South Loop Target Store Crimes Reported in/near South Loop Target Store Crimes Reported in/near South Loop Target Store Crimes Reported in/near South Loop Target Store

Total Crime Reports 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
Jan 13 10 8 8 7
Feb 6 7 11 6 7
Mar 6 12 12 6 21
Apr 11 16 2 4 12
May 9 16 17 10  
Jun 15 10 18 3  
Jul 12 11 13 11  
Aug 9 9 10 15  
Sep 9 11 16 9  
Oct 15 8 5 1  
Nov 12 7 10 9  
Dec 8 5 5 2  
Total 125 122 127 84 47
Selected Crime Types
Assault 4 0 0 2 1
Battery 2 5 5 4 2
Burglary 0 0 1 1 0
Damage: Property 0 2 1 2 0
Robbery * 4 2 0 2 1
Damage: Vehicle 1 1 3 1 1
Vehicle Theft 0 0 0 4 1
Hijacking * 1 0 0 1 1
Total 12 10 10 17 7

About the author

Allan Hippensteel

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