STOP the PRESSES!
It's too early to tell if the economy is a major factor in Chicago's rising crime, officials say, but already one police unit is focusing on areas hit hardest by the financial meltdown.
"Abandoned buildings breed crime," police spokeswoman Monique Bond said.
Officers in the Troubled Buildings Unit have been identifying abandoned properties, patrolling them to keep gangs, vandals and other criminals out and getting the city involved in dealing with the owners, Bond said.
"All cities will be faced with some crimes of opportunity as a result of a downtrodden economy, and we are addressing them," Bond said, adding that police don't know yet how much of a role the meltdown is playing.
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