BUENA PARK — Jennifer Goelz woke up Friday morning, looked out her Buena Park window and saw something that made her run into the street in anger: Her car was on blocks, with all four wheels gone. A window was also smashed.
It’s the second time in a just a few months thieves and vandals have come for Goelz’s 2015 Nissan Murano. Over Labor Day weekend, someone slashed her tires.
Goelz, 46, said she’s fed up with Chicago crime.
“This is what’s going to kill the city. I think this is a decent neighborhood. A lot of young couples live here but I have a lot of friends who have moved to the ‘burbs. I just recently had four friends move out of state. Everybody laughs about the big exodus of Illinois. It’s happening,” Goelz said.
Goelz said she had a feeling something was up the night her wheels were stolen.
At about 7:30 p.m. Thursday, she and her 10-year-old daughter pulled up to a parking spot on Marine Drive between Montrose and Wilson Avenues. She said she saw a woman in a car on the opposite side of the street and got a bad vibe.
“I looked at her and she looked at me. I got my groceries out of the car and pushed in my mirror like I always do and locked the car. As I was leaving the woman was still looking at me and I thought, ‘Hmm, something’s not rubbing me the right way.’ I went home and I could see my car from my place, but something throughout the whole night was on my mind. I was a little extra paranoid about the car after that woman was staring at me,” Goelz said.
Goelz said she checked the car from her window a few times before going to bed. She didn’t see the damage until the next morning.
“I woke up and was just about to jump in the shower. I had a feeling about the car and I looked out the front window and I could see the tires of the car in front of me and the car in back and wondered why I couldn’t see mine,” Goelz said. “I grabbed binoculars and said, ‘Holy s—.’ I ran out and was screaming. People were looking at me.”
Goelz had planned to volunteer at her daughter’s school book fair Friday but instead had to deal with making police reports and getting her car towed.
On Labor Day, her car was parked on Montrose Avenue between Clarendon Avenue and Marine Drive when her tires were slashed. Six other cars were also hit. Despite the fact the crime was captured on video surveillance, no arrests have been made.
There is no video evidence of Friday’s night crime, and while Goelz said she is not optimistic about any arrests being made, her bigger concern is how unsafe she now feels.
“As a woman, when I was in my 20s and I was Downtown and had to get home, I wouldn’t feel bad about taking the Red Line,” said Goelz, who has lived in Chicago since 1997. “I’d be aware but didn’t feel threatened. There’s no way I’d take it now at night.”
In a public Facebook post, Goelz also said she “does not know Chicago anymore.”
“Chicago needs to get a handle on its crime or more and more residents will flee. No matter where you live in the city, it’s happening. Million-dollar homes will lose their value if muggings, carjackings and all over safety is lacking. As long as the criminals can see what they can get away with it will only spread. The city’s politicians need to wake up,” the post read.
Goelz said she understands the police have bigger fish to fry, and said when they were looking into the Labor Day incident, they basically asked her to do their job.
“The police are overwhelmed and aren’t getting political backing. I understand that. But when my tire got slashed, the investigator actually called me to see if I found out anything,” she said.
Goelz said after the Labor Day tire slashing incident she tried to find a garage for her car, but couldn’t find one that was close and that she could afford. This time, she said she knows she can’t park on the street again.
“After this situation, I need to get a garage. I also need to sell this car; it has too many bad memories,” she said.
Do stories like this matter to you? Subscribe to Block Club Chicago. Every dime we make funds reporting from Chicago’s neighborhoods.
Already subscribe? Click here to support Block Club with a tax-deductible donation.