LA GRANGE – La Grange Village President Tom Livingston issued a statement earlier this month regarding recent criminal activity reported in the area, including an alleged sexual assault at BEDS Homeless Shelter, home invasion and armed robbery.
Livingston said he felt the time was right to issue a statement to keep residents up to date on the information regarding those cases.
“When there’s enough going on, we like to keep people informed. It’s just an instinctual thing [to issue the statement],” he said. “Sometimes people hear things secondhand, and we want them to hear from the source. And for those statistics, we’re the source. Our focus remains on La Grange’s vibrancy. Our attention is on our business climate and public safety. Residents can feel good about the upward direction of our village.”
A sexual assault was reported May 12 at the BEDS facility at 100 W. Cossitt Ave., according to Livingston’s statement. The La Grange Police Department arrested Corey Robinson and charged him with one count of criminal sexual assault.
On May 25, an armed robbery occurred in the area of Seventh and Goodman avenues. Police are actively investigating that case, but they have identified a juvenile who is not from La Grange as the suspect.
An Aurora man was arrested in Iowa on charges related to a La Grange home invasion that occurred at 11:48 p.m. May 26 in the 100 block of Sawyer Avenue. Five offenders reportedly entered a residence, at least one armed with a handgun, and stole money, two handguns, a shotgun and a cellphone.
Suspect Terrence D. Harris was identified through witness statements and information collected during the course of the investigation, police said. At least one suspect was believed to be known to the victim.
Acting La Grange Police Chief Andrew Peters said the BEDS incident is not related to the other two incidents, which he said could possibly be related. He said La Grange remains a safe town, and violent crimes make up less than 1 percent of calls.
“We’re pretty consistent with the number of [those crimes] this year,” Peters said. “We have an average about 12 per year and have had five so far this year.”
Livingston said there have been residents who’ve expressed concern about the alleged assault at BEDS, and he has met with them to discuss the situation. In his statement, he said BEDS offers a “truly valuable” service to the community.
“We always try to strike a fine line when you report police activity,” he said. “You can give the impression that there’s more crime than there really is, but you also want to keep people informed, so we like to take a fact-based approach. La Grange is a safe community and is getting safer.”
Peters said the public is the Police Department’s “greatest ally,” and he reminded residents to contact the department if they see something suspicious.
“If they provide us with information, we’ll investigate. They’re the eyes and ears of the community, and they always help us,” he said.