Friday, March 30, 2012

$10 million award in 2005 murder of woman in Edgewater apartment

March 28, 2012

A Cook County jury has awarded $10 million to the family of a 21-year-old woman who was beaten and strangled in her Edgewater apartment seven years ago. Melissa Dorner was found dead in her apartment in the 6100 block of North Winthrop Avenue on Jan. 24, 2005. She had moved to the apartment five months earlier, relocating there after a serial rapist attacked her the previous March.

A former resident of the building, Roberto Ramirez, was detained in Mexico a year later and extradited back to Chicago. Police say his hair, some clothing and other evidence were found at the murder scene. He pleaded guilty to her killing and is serving a 50-year sentence at the Menard Correctional Center.

Lawyers had argued that Ramirez had been accused of assaulting another woman in the Winthrop building two months earlier. But the managers of the building did not follow up on the case, and Ramirez was allowed to remain living there, the lawyers argued.

“Had the management company followed its own policies and procedures in screening prospective tenants, Ramirez would never have been in the building,” said one of the lawyers for the family, Colin Dunn said. “Numerous policies were either violated or ignored.”

Jurors reached their verdict after deliberating a day and a half. The jury assessed 90 percent liability against Ramirez and 10 percent to the building management, Wilmette Real Estate and Management, and the building owner, BCH Tower LLC of Chicago.

Thank you to Sgt (Chicago John) Nebl for sending me this information! Congratulations to Chris McGoey, who was the EXPERT on this case.

Police Endorse EZ Armor Door Security After Rigorous Test

Nashville, TN: Following a rash of kick-ins, the police in Buena Vista Township, Michigan, went out in search of some answers. They found the solution that they were looking for. They purchased the EZ Armor door security product at a local Lowe’s store and decided to put it through a rigorous test to see if the product actually worked as advertised. To their surprise, EZ Armor performed far beyond expectations and earned recommendations from several officers including the police chief himself. WNEM Channel 5, a CBS Affiliate in Saginaw, Michigan, ran the story as a “Does It Work” test and received a substantial response from viewers.

The bad economy has caused a national increase in burglaries, and situations like those in BV Township are happening more frequently everywhere. “They (kicked in my door) took some money and some personal things… To lie down in my bed and know someone had been in there, I was always looking around and waiting for them to come back. I just decided to move because I thought they would come back again,” said Ethelinda Taylor, a recent kick-in victim that was interviewed during the segment. While it may seem to be paranoia, Ms. Taylor is correct in believing that the thieves would likely return. FBI statistics show that a house that has been burglarized is more than 4 times more likely to be burglarized again.

Following the test, where they repeatedly kicked and hit the door with everything from concrete blocks to logs, the police were uniform in their praise of EZ Armor. Sergeant James Baker stands 6 feet 8 inches tall and weighs 295 lbs. After trying repeatedly to kick in a door equipped with EZ Armor he became a believer, “A lot of houses around here have old door jambs and after putting something like that on their door, I don’t think too many people would be able to kick it in.” After witnessing the test, Police Chief Brian Booker agreed “Security locks, this product here (EZ Armor), which is good, lighting and neighborhood watches. There are a number of things that you can do to keep yourself from being victimized.“

Armor Concepts CEO Alan Young responded to the story, ”This is pretty amazing because we did not even find out about this until two months after the spot aired. We have been challenging people to test our products and it’s great to see the reaction when a product like EZ Armor does everything we say it will and more. There are a lot of products out there that simply do not live up to their claims. It is great for people to see that police have thoroughly tested and recommend EZ Armor. That says more than we ever could.”

Armor Concepts LLC, develops, manufactures, and distributes door security and repair products. The company’s products have been featured on the CBS Early Show, NBC’s TODAY show, Fox News, Bloomberg, the Discovery Channel show, “It Takes a Thief”, HGTV, numerous local news segments and countless radio shows, national magazines and newspapers. Armor Concepts’ products are sold nationally through Lowe’s, Ace Hardware, Do-It-Centers, Grainger, Wilmar and numerous local hardware stores and locksmiths.

If you would like to learn more about EZ Armor or other Armor Concepts product solutions please visit their web site at or e-mail,

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Common Sense Security Tips for any Budget

The recent decision in the case of Yardley Love, a star Lacrosse player from the University of Virginia, who was killed after her boyfriend allegedly kicked in her door, has brought increased focus to the topic of security in apartments. While C & D Properties have historically been more concerned with security, this case underscores the importance of security in all properties.

In any type of home invasion, buying time is critical. If a potential intruder can kick in a door and be in your home in 10 seconds, you don’t have a lot of time to react. If getting in is more difficult, you have time to call the police, plan your escape or possibly prevent them from coming in at all. Home invasions can happen anywhere and at any time.

While this may seem to be an isolated incident, the Yardley Love case really underscores a recent national theme of bad things happening to good people in good areas. The sluggish economy has spurned a dramatic increase in burglaries and home invasions across the country. More alarming to many, has been the increase in rural or “better” suburban areas.

The numbers reflect what we have been hearing from listeners all over the country. The bad economy has caused an increase in crime, and it’s happening more frequently everywhere. Over the past 9 months, I have conducted nearly 200 radio interviews, giving listeners tips on how not to become victims of a growing burglary and home invasion epidemic.

While burglaries are up, I believe the reason for the sudden interest, is the fact that there is more of this criminal activity happening in areas where it has never happened before. More crimes are being committed in the suburbs and in small town USA. These are places where people didn’t even lock their doors just three years ago.

In 85% of all break-ins, thieves entered through a door. Kicking-in a door is simply the easiest way for an intruder to get in. However, property managers generally experience as many kick-ins from domestic disputes and lost keys as from burglaries. However it happens, someone must fix the damage, which has always been costly and another obstacle for those looking to pass REAC inspections. They also show that feeling unsafe is one of the most often stated reasons for residents moving.

In addition to burglaries, property managers experience kick-ins due to domestic disputes and tenants simply forgetting their keys. With a cost of $500 or more, the cost of replacing or repairing doors can add up, regardless of the reason for the damage. However, the costs can really escalate when you consider the potential cost of lost tenants due to security concerns.

While property owners and managers are always concerned about cost, they can take real steps to improving security without incurring substantial cost. The bottom line is that by taking some simple steps, they can significantly improve the security and profile of their properties.

One big step towards developing overall security, is improving the strength of the door. There are three weak points; which are the 1) Door Jamb, 2) Door Locks, and 3) Door Hinges. When a door is kicked, due to simple physics, one of these points will break. There are two inexpensive solutions that will help prevent this from happening, or repair the existing damage. The first is EZ Armor, which is a set of (5) plates that protect all three weak points of a door; the jamb, the locks and the hinges (retail cost $69). The second is Fix-A-Jamb, which provides an economical jamb repair solution. Both will save you money on door repair/replacement cost and also help to reduce vandalism and theft issues on your properties (retail cost $39). In addition to strengthening the frame, adding better locks can also reinforce these areas. Grade 1 locks are stronger and the cost has come down considerably over the past few years. You can now purchase a grade 1 lock for under $40.

“We were constantly spending money repairing damaged jambs. We put Door Jamb Armor on all of our doors three years ago have not had any problems since. This has saved us a fortune, Thank you,” Terry, Property Manager – Indiana

In addition to door security, other key methods of improving your property’s security are:

1. Join a Crime Free Association – The international Crime Free Association is a national organization that offers significant training and standards to help keep you community crime free. For more information go to:

2. Lighting and Landscaping- Make certain the exterior of your community is well lit. Start with lights close to buildings and then move to parking lots and pedestrian walkways. Some utility companies will even install lights around a community’s perimeter free of charge. Keep shrubs under 3 feet high and tree canopies above 6 feet to avoid obstructing views. Also trim any shrubs or trees that obstruct the view to doors or windows.

3. Involve your Residents- Encourage residents to be proactive in reporting any suspicious behavior or consider starting an apartment watch program or organize crime prevention meetings with your local police force. Offer prizes as incentives for residents to attend meetings.

By taking some simple, inexpensive steps, you can make your community safer and more attractive to future residents. Statistics show that if you make the thieves’ job difficult enough, they will go somewhere else. Simply put, if you and I were being chased by a dog, I don’t need to outrun the dog...I just need to outrun you. As terrible as it sounds, that same philosophy applies to securing your properties. Make sure that your community is better protected than those around you and criminals will go somewhere else.

Security does not need to cost a lot, it just needs to work. Anyone that tells you otherwise is taking you for a ride. Security also does not need to be ugly. Gone are the days of gaudy steel security bars that can make a community look like a prison. The security steps listed above are barely visible to residents. With some common sense and a little effort, you can effectively secure your communities and give your residents peace of mind without breaking your budget or negatively impacting your property’s curb appeal.

About the Author: Alan Young is CEO of Armor Concepts LLC, a company that develops, manufactures, and distributes door security and repair products. Alan and his company’s products have been featured on the CBS Early Show, NBC’s TODAY show, Fox News, Bloomberg, the Discovery Channel show, “It Takes a Thief”, HGTV, numerous local news segments and countless radio shows, national magazines and newspapers. Alan has given numerous talks to police forces, police academies and homeowners associations on ways to improve the physical security of their homes. Armor Concepts’ products are sold nationally through Lowe’s, Grainger, Wilmar and numerous local hardware stores and locksmiths.

If you would like to learn more about Armor Concepts product solutions please visit their web site at or e-mail,