Evanston Police identify man in connection with wire-cutting spree

Ciara McCarthy, Reporter

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Evanston Police identified an Evanston resident as the man responsible for a string of criminal damage incidents over the past two weeks.

According to a news release, EPD identified the man, 22, through video surveillance at a Chicago Transit Authority station in Evanston. The footage shows the resident cutting an electrical wire and extinguishing a light in the CTA stairway. EPD was familiar with the man and was able to identify him using the footage.

EPD is not releasing the name of the 22-year-old because he is receiving psychiatric treatment, spokesman Cmdr. Jay Parrott said. According to the news release, the man has been admitted to a psychiatric care facility in the past for treatment of a chronic condition. He was not living in a facility at the time when the incidents occurred, Parrott wrote in an email to The Daily on Monday.

It is not confirmed whether the recent rash of wire-cuttings and tire-flattenings throughout Evanston are related, but police suspect they were committed by the same person. All reported incidents occurred during one weekend, between Oct. 19 and Oct. 22. A total of 32 criminal damages occurred, according to the release.

In 21 of these incidents, flattened tires were reported. The incidents occurred in the 2200 block of Sherman Avenue, 2300 block of Sherman Avenue, 700 block of Colfax Street, the 2200 block of Orrington Avenue, the 2300 block of Orrington Avenue, the 400 block of Davis Street, the 300 block of Davis Street, the 1200 block of Judson Avenue and the 300 block of Church street. Affected cars were parked on the street, in residential driveways or in alleys.

The remaining 12 incidents were reports of cut phone and cable wires on buildings – both private residences and businesses – during the same time frame. The Second Baptist Church, 1717 Benson Ave., was one organization that reported cut wires, and the phone wires of Union Pizzeria, 1245 Chicago Ave., and Blind Faith Cafe, 525 Dempster St., were also cut.

— Ciara McCarthy