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McCarthy: We'll Hunt Down "Flash Mobs"

By Chuck Sudo in News on Jun 7, 2011 1:05PM

AP Photo/Paul Beaty

Acting Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy, reacting to Saturday's assaults in Streeterville by roaming gangs of teens, promised to track down every last one who participated in the mob actions.

McCarthy cited the five teens who appeared in court yesterday and over 20 arrests made since Saturday as proof that the police presence downtown is sufficient, despite calls from 42nd Ward Ald. Brendan Reilly for more police in the area.

“Our reaction to it has been quick, it’s been swift and it’s been very effective,” McCarthy said. “I don’t believe that it’s going to be something that we need to worry about long-term. We have to knock this out. We have to knock it out quickly — and that’s what we’re doing.

“The strategy to prevent that from occurring again is not to be satisfied when you get 10 kids commit an infraction and arrest three of them. ...We’re gonna find every one of `em. And we’re gonna prosecute and arrest every single one of ‘em.”

So far in 2011, robberies in the Near North downtown police district have increased by 10 percent, but Greater North Michigan Avenue Association CEO John Chikow said that retail businesses seemed to have gotten a handle on the string of mass shopliftings that plagued the area during the winter.

Of the five teens who appeared in court in connection to Saturday's robberies, three are being held on bonds of over $200,000. Tonia Rush, mother of 17-year-old Dvonte Sykes who's being held on a $250,000 bond, said that the bonds are being set so high because of where the assaults are happening.

“If it’s black-on-black crime, nobody cares,” she said.