CHICAGO (FOX 32) - It's our first week of warmer weather and police are already seeing problems with large groups of young people causing issues on Michigan Avenue.
Now, officers are fanning out to try and prevent any more gatherings that turn into crime sprees.
Chicago Police have a large presence outside retail shops on North Michigan Avenue again Monday evening. Just last night, 11 teens were arrested after once again, causing trouble in the Gold Coast.
Ald. Brian Hopkins says others started fights and stole cell phones.
“In many of these cases, when we have groups of 50, 100, up to 200 to 300 people and they’re running wild, they’re physically hurting people, they’re punching people. They’re pushing senior citizens down on the sidewalk, they’re kicking people as they run by,” said Ald. Hopkins, 2nd Ward.
This comes after police arrested dozens of people among a different large group of teenagers that were traveling through downtown last week.
Aldermen met with Chicago Police Monday to talk about the upcoming summer months. They want to curb the issue now before it heats up.
“We can’t look the other way and let that happen, no matter how old the kids are,” said Ald. Hopkins.
Business owners say since the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office stopped prosecuting lower-level retail theft, things have gotten worse. They’re hoping to see that change, and are also calling for more police presence along Michigan Avenue.
“The more police activity and presence on these corners does help, without question,” said Clayton Sussman, a jewelry store owner.
In the past week, police have arrested more than 50 people in connection with the groups.