Naperville Interim Police Chief Talks about Recent Crime Activity

Naperville Crime
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New data released by the Naperville Police Department shows crime is at a six-year low, despite the recent spike in activity noted in certain pockets of the city. Interim Police Chief Jason Arres took time to address the concern Tuesday during the Naperville City Council meeting.

“The last few weeks have been extremely busy for the city and the police department,” Arres told the council. “We can’t hide behind that. … We need to own it and wipe that out.”

What’s at Issue?

The city has been riddled in recent weeks by crimes such as burglaries, robberies and thefts.

The latest incident, staged at a Naperville Subway restaurant, involved a robbery. The crime, which took place at about 9:07 p.m. Sept. 30, remains under investigation as authorities seek the whereabouts of the person responsible for it.

It followed a bomb threat at Naperville North High School, a jewelry store burglary and a string of bank robberies that all occurred during a span of a few weeks in September.

Arres described the recent crime activity in Naperville as a spike, not a peak. At the same time, he said he doesn’t want to minimize the crime that’s occurred in the city the last few weeks, but he thinks it’s important to keep things in perspective.

“Looking at robberies, burglaries, aggravated assaults/batteries, burglary to motor vehicle/motor vehicle theft, all of those crimes this year, compared to the last six years total are down and down significantly for the year—lower than we’ve seen them in any point in those six years,” Arres said.

The Numbers

A graph provided by the Naperville Department shows 16 counts of robberies from Jan.1, 2021 through Sept. 28, 2021, a figure that is down from a six-year high of 24 reported in 2020.

The same trend holds true for aggravated assault/battery, motor vehicle theft, burglary, burglary to motor vehicle and motor vehicle theft.

Importance of Communication

Arres emphasized how important communication is to keeping the city safe.

“We need to put this information out there, so there’s awareness,” he said.

Mayor Steve Chirico echoed that sentiment, saying that by making people aware, they will change their behavior.

“For us to take this new approach, it is more transparent and again at the end of the day, it is helping,” Chirico said.

Arres said he hopes he’s helping to put some people at ease.

“We’re a very safe city,” he said. “We’re not a crime-free city. We’re the fourth largest city in the state of Illinois and with that, comes some of these issues. But our crime overall is significantly lower than other communities of our size.”

Naperville News 17’s Megann Horstead reports.

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