Are there gangs in your neighborhood? One sign of gang activity is the graffiti they leave behind on light poles, playground equipment, traffic signs, commercial buildings, fences and garage doors—all canvasses for Oak Lawn-area gangbangers.
Whether gang members are hanging out at the corner park or just passing through—the presence of gang graffiti is an indication that your neighborhood has been claimed or being eyed as gang turf.
Patch’s interactive map shows where gang graffiti has been found in the past year, documented in . What gangs are active in and around Oak Lawn? Some of the names we’ve come across in police reports are Satan’s Disciples, Latin Counts, Latin Kings, Ambrose (aka as Almighty Ambrose) and Gangster Two-Six.
Did you find a Playboy rabbit head logo spray-painted on your garage door? A Hef fan didn’t leave it—that’s a prominent symbol of Gangster Two-Six Nation, aka as GTS, G26 and TSN (“Two-Six Nation,” get it?). Chicago police describe G26 as one of the largest Mexican street gangs in Chicago, originating 30 years ago in Little Village along 26th Street. The gang has spread to other towns and counties. Sworn enemies of the Latin Kings, G26 includes large contingents of Hispanic and white members.
If you find gang graffiti on residential, commercial or illage-owned property, it’s important to get rid of it as fast as you can. Call the non-emergency number, 708-499-7721, to report incidents of gang graffiti, so police can track gang factions’ movements throughout the village.
Take a picture of the graffiti; you may need it for insurance purposes and also send the photo to Oak Lawn Patch editor Lorraine Swanson at firstname.lastname@example.org. Include the block or intersection where the graffiti was found and we’ll add it to the gallery of gang graffiti, so other residents can also know where gangs are in the village.
Patch has also emailed a list of questions about gang activity in Oak Lawn to OLPD. As soon as we get answers, we'll do a follow-up story.
We haven’t recorded all of the incidents of gang graffiti, but we’re going to be paying more attention from now on. We’ll update the map on Patch when new graffiti is reported.
We've also included incidents of tagging on the map. While usually not gang-related, taggers' defacement of private and public property is not only annoying and destructive, it costs taxpayers money to clean it off of government-owned property.
Reporting gang graffiti to police lets the gangbangers know that this is our neighborhood--not theirs!
Did we miss some gang graffiti? Let us know in the comments and we'll add it to the map.