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Crime in Suburbia

Updated: Oct 1

Opinion Piece – Susan Hathaway-Altman

Look at Oakland, California, and the mass closure of stores due to retail theft forcing proprietors of many years to fold up and call it quits. And across the country in Philadelphia where police are responding to widespread looting tonight across downtown retail locations. And yes, even in exclusive Naperville (right down the road) where a smaller but familiar version of what these larger cities are facing….crime rears its ugly head, in the form of armed robbery, increased retail theft, and disorderly conduct among the masses.

Through a quick search of keywords “Naperville” and “crowd arrest” on YouTube you can see a glimpse of the future for our beloved hometown main streets in towns like Naperville, Aurora/North Aurora, St. Charles, Campton Hills and beyond. And as a candidate for Congress in 11th district, encompassing most of Kane County (and a total of 9 counties – in part, not full, and many have said gerrymandered in the case of the new redistricting) I am concerned about my constituents. And….things are escalating, as three elderly victims were robbed in Naperville big box store parking lots this week of their expensive jewelry – in broad daylight! Crime and chaos – unfortunately and most likely - coming to a suburb near you.

How can this happen you ask? Cook county and “collar county” tent cities, No Cash Bail, Prosecutors that don’t prosecute, states attorneys that are politicized, jailing victims for fighting back against those committing crimes, action against homeowners and businesses protecting property, and the list goes on. If we continue down the same path, you can be sure that our beautiful, peaceful midwestern towns will be a thing of the past. I’ve recently heard unconfirmed rumors that many stores have had large-scale robberies in the Western suburbs that went unreported by their own local employees that did not report the atrocities to the police, nor their main offices, and therefore reducing the crime statistics for the area substantially, which gives the appearance of the area having less crime than it actually does.

I’ve asked myself over and over – what is the end game? And even worse – why aren’t many people speaking up? Why aren’t we shouting from the rooftops in a collective din “Enough is Enough!!!” How long can normal people endure the impending threat that gets closer each day of property crime, or even worse, violent crime?

Those that live near me in Geneva may think of our hometown haunt the same as I do - through the lens of a simpler time, when famed capitalists called it their home and new architecture by Frank Lloyd Wright and famous artists discovered this lovely fox river valley. When I first arrived, I referred to my new town as a “Norman Rockwell painting”. 14 years ago, when I left the city, I was looking for a quiet place with great schools to settle down in my new life as a single mom. With two babies in tow, I wanted a place where I could leave the uncertainty and increased crime and violence happening near me (and to me) in the city of Chicago behind. Now as I look back, I would never have believed how impending this chaos is, and the fear that due to bad policy and uncontrolled crime running rampant, I may not ever see Geneva through that lens again.

As I walk door-to-door collecting signatures for my petitions for the Congressional race, I ask each person or family what is on their mind, and what the most important issues are to them. Crime is always in the top 2. So how is it that we got here? And more importantly, how can we enact change? What can we do to feel safer on our streets? If we are all fed up with how crime is being handled, and how basically the world as we know it has gone mad….what can we do about it?

Vote. Vote these bad politicians OUT. Show up at the polls – in the primary, in the general election, in the consolidated election. Vote. Don’t miss the opportunity (like I did in 2020 when I got Covid) vote early. And yes, vote by mail. And above all, know that your vote counts. I have many recent examples on how elections were decided by a very slim margin. YOUR VOTE COUNTS! Get out and vote. Research your candidates. Go to debates and hear first-hand what they believe in and what they intend to do for you once they get into office. And let’s get some really good people in office that will stand up to crime, support police, be tough on criminals, close our borders, and keep us safe. We all deserve to live the American dream, where you can sleep soundly at night in peace. Let’s get our country back to a Better America. We can do it.

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