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Minors Steal Alcohol - Employee 'Fires' Back

A Skokie man is charged with felony discharge of a firearm after shooting at a group of teens that stole liquor from his family's business on Friday. It marks the third known shooting in Skokie since May.

A Skokie man is facing felony charges after he allegedly shot at several juveniles that stole a bottle of alcohol from his family's business, Dollar House Plus, 4616 Oakton St., on Friday. It marks the third known shooting in Skokie since May 23.

Karam Odisho, 27, of the 8000 block of Kolmar Avenue, was charged with felony discharge of a firearm and reckless discharge of a weapon, police said. What began as a petty theft, ended in a shooting after Odisho chased several teens that stole a bottle of vodka from his family's store. After catching up with the group, Odisho fired one shot in the direction of the offenders, according to the police report.

Immediately after, police dispatch received numerous calls about shots being fired near Dollar House Plus. Officers eventually caught up with all those involved. The teens told police that they just went into the the store “to buy some pop and chips” and that Odisho chased after them and “fired a shot into the grass two feet away” from them, the report said.

When questioned about the alleged shooting, Odisho did not give police any information, the report said. Police charged one of the teens involved with misdemeanor retail theft. His name is not being released because he is a minor.

Third shooting since May -

Skokie Patchthat occurred on May 23. In that instance, a 20-year-old man came under fire from someone "known" to him. , that same individual near the intersection of Oakton Street and Skokie Boulevard on June 14.

On July 21, a woman in the 8100 block of Knox Avenue. While no shots were fired, police labeled the incident as a strong-armed assault.

All four incidents occurred within a quarter mile of each other (see map to the right).

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Skokie Mike August 14, 2012 at 09:46 PM
Why isn't anyone else reporting this? How come Patch reports all the bad stuff in Skokie?
Marlena Jayatilake August 14, 2012 at 10:55 PM
Have you ever done anything stupid like shoplifting as a child, maybe had a drink of alchool.....should you be killed for it?? What if an innocent bystander had been hit by the stray bullet? What then? Let the punishment fit the crime! If we love Skokie so much instead of just talking about crime, let's do something about it. Remember "an eye for an eye will make the whole world blind."
Marlena Jayatilake August 14, 2012 at 10:58 PM
Adam, I couldn't agree more.
Adam Turetzky August 14, 2012 at 11:06 PM
Steve, black people don't equal crime. The racist chorus that sings out in the comments on here is disgusting. The cultural demographics of these neighborhoods play no role in teenagers trying to cop booze or lift something else. A large percent of what I see in that neighborhood is multi-generations of indians and former soviet bloc people living under one roof. Most, like the rest of the country, are slowly falling underwater on their unaffordable mortgages and rising cost of living leading to foreclosures, empty homes and long standing for sale signs. And I'm sure the shoplifting stats at Walmart, Jewel-Osco are twice what the dollar store on Oakton sees and no one has ever been shot at. And Chilis, Buffalo Wild Wings, Outback Steakhouse and Bar Louie are fooled by just as many fake ID's as they ever have too.
Adam Turetzky August 14, 2012 at 11:19 PM
Mike, George the editor needs page views on here to keep things going. And while I strongly disagree with this style of sensationalizing crime and heavily publicizing the blotter and crime reports which I see as tasteless gawking at the unfortunate apparently I'm wrong in my assumption that this tactic is equally off-putting to others. Apparently it brings in the gossiping lookyloos in droves. So in order to keep the clicks up on these articles you get sensationalized crime reports. I can't really blame the guy for doing his job and meeting his metrics. The tabloid topics bring the readers. Everyone loves a sideshow I guess.
Steve Mottel August 14, 2012 at 11:20 PM
Adam, Read closely, nowhere did I say black. You need to think before you type and label others. Sounds kind of racist, no? Want to talk about Skokie, I have been here 40 years buddy, you?
Adam Turetzky August 14, 2012 at 11:26 PM
We can all read between the lines. It's become silly reading the comments on here with the innuendo. I've been here 42 years "buddy". Do I win?
George Slefo (Editor) August 14, 2012 at 11:29 PM
@Adam - Thank you for the comment. However, if a business owner shoots a gun at a group of teens - and it's the third shooting in Skokie since May - that qualifies as news. Leaving these stories out would be a disservice to the community; I'm more than certain our community wants to know about these crimes. Also, the article was written as a straight news story. The content itself is sensational, not the writing. Best, George
Adam Turetzky August 14, 2012 at 11:37 PM
You're right George. I'm more put off by the daily pimping of the blotter. Sorry. I know being a Patch editor is tough gig.
Skokie is in shambles August 14, 2012 at 11:39 PM
its the editors fault these kids stole booze and the owner tried shooting them. best we pretend this never happened and cover it up! geez. I ve been lurking on skokie patch for a while and i come here because they report stuff nobody else does. mainly crime, but that is what i want to know about. its all a conspiracy with you adam. simple muck racking? perhaps it would be better if The Patch featured stories about puppies and ice cream? yesh. keep up good work george we appreciate it.
Adam Turetzky August 14, 2012 at 11:58 PM
No, everything isn't a conspiracy, some of us who live here don't feel Skokie is in shambles. Nor are things (crime-wise) any worse than they were 30 or 40 years ago. What is worse are wages and family income compared to costs. And we as a society should be more focused on that than who got arrested for what. We should be spending more on social programs than law enforcement. We should be more concerned with seniors having to give up food and apply for section 8 vouchers to get by than security cameras and liquor zoning. Crime is a direct reflection of economic disparity and despair. Fix the fact that middle class wages have stayed mostly the same the last 40 years while costs have gone up, making pretty much everyone either poor or rich, and it will simultaneously fix any crime problem.
skokie 2 August 15, 2012 at 12:42 AM
George, when was the last time you actually wrote something that compliments the the community? You paint such a dark picture. Other Patches do not do the service to crime that you do. I assume you get reviewed on the number of comments you get on a story and your style is to rile the Patch community to get that with this sort of story.
Kristine August 15, 2012 at 02:24 AM
News isn't all rainbows and puppy dogs. Get with it. Last time I checked, Skokie Patch regularly reports stories about businesses, student achievements, reviews of local arts and restaurants. George doesn't create the crime -- he reports it. It's called doing his job. If he doesn't report it, who will?
Sweetg August 15, 2012 at 12:49 PM
That "multi-unit licensing idea" has the same effect as this story... it punishes the victim and lets the guilty go free. Got a bad tenant, let's punish the landlord instead of the tenant. The result? Good landlords move out of Skokie & bad tenants stay. No landlord wants bad tenants. Want to see change? Empower landlords to promptly evict bad tenants. Even better? Arrest the bad guys and allow the rest of us to live in Skokie in peace.
David Zornig August 15, 2012 at 02:07 PM
Dollar House Plus added liquor when they moved from their smaller store on Oakton. They carry groceries and household items and yes liquor. They have retooled multiple times to survive. Trying fresh vegetables opening as Oakton Fresh Market, a deli, all things that even Happy no longer had the clientele for. Ironically were it not for the liquor sales, we'd likely have another vacant store. And a huge one at that. Or a Dollar General there, and them as Skokie homeowners, out of business as a result. I'm a homeowner up the alley. I shop there occasionally, and never see the trouble even I anticipated with their addition of liquor. (Which yes, Happy sold too without incident) I'd rather they be there trying anything, than another vacancy. Yes employees need to be trained on public safety, priorities and their legal remedies to theft. All while the criminal element cares about none of that. It really between a rock & a hard place.
Longtime Skokie Resident August 15, 2012 at 05:57 PM
BOB, that's because there weren't nearly the number of thugs living in the area when Happy Foods was there as compared to now.
Longtime Skokie Resident August 15, 2012 at 06:14 PM
No, I never shoplifted or drank liquor when I was a kid growing up in Skokie. Good parents taught me right from wrong and punished me if I didn't follow their rules. The dollar store shopkeeper should invest in a very good video system rather than guns. Then maybe Skokie Patch would post the pictures to help and identify the thugs.
Joann Jefferson August 15, 2012 at 10:47 PM
That's funny, because that liquor license has been in that location for over 50 years. The only reason it's a problem now is because of section 8 housing in that area and because let me see...Skokie is trash now. Thank the village for that, not a business that has been in Skokie for 20 years.
Carmen August 16, 2012 at 03:33 PM
I know a girl that worked as a cashier at Happy Foods and had a gun put to her face as the thug demanded money. We have cowards in our society that choose violence instead of getting an education or job. What about the thieves at the pool that grab people's goods, throw them over the fence to their waiting cohorts? Shut down the consisent revenue-losing pool? Landlords DO have the power to evict these troublemakers but they have to spend thousands of dollars do so - it's the normal process in this state. Maybe these nar-do-wells will now stay out of his store...good move.
Rene August 16, 2012 at 07:45 PM
I agree with whoever said that Skokie is turning into trash. I live on McCormick near Main street and I have heard shots fired at least 3 times this year, usually several in a row and they do this for hours, looping around and coming back. I don't know why the police aren't called. They could sit at McCormick and Christiana and find a bonanza of drug dealing and kids running through the alley at 3 am, screaming and honking horns. A large apartment building on our corner that has an underground garage is now section 8 housing, and is the source of most of this as is an apt. right next to Dengeos. They duck over the canal into a park that is on the other side. We all know this, why don't the police? There has been a roving gang kids for years, riding little bicycles or walking up and down the blocks here with back packs on. all day, all night. They are all black and once when I was walking they were saying horrible, rascist things as i passed.meet on a corner before they spread out again. At times there are 15 of them. Others are selling drugs out of cars in plain view and it is well known what building they come out and they duck to a park that is just over the canal on the Evanston side. Every night I could write a book on the same cars coming and going. I have told police yet see no car coming around just to check. We just learned another apt. bldg across the street from us has become Section 8. We moved here 15 years ago and are leaving soon due to all this activity
Steve Mottel August 17, 2012 at 01:25 AM
Rene, Thanks for painting the picture of Skokie in 2012. Those with blinders on, living in la la land that casually call others racists need to observe what you have. Village "officials" say crime has not gone up - that is not what the Skokie Voice review found. It is not too late for things to change. Will take decades for this sorry state to improve, but it can happen. People need to vote the idiots out of city hall to start. They also need to speak up, as you did, and not fear being labeled by those that turn a blind eye to this. They have no spine.
LanaP August 17, 2012 at 06:57 PM
Your on the right track, Steve. Change is needed but shouldn't take decades. Start in September with a group to organize to run against the Skokie Caucus Party, The SCP is the only game in town. It has been in power way to long and is deaf and blind to Skokie's downslide, living in la la land as you say. Mayor VanDusen where are you? Trustees? If we are going to vote the idiots out of City Hall we need someone else (non-idiots) to put in there. Who will step up?
Gregg Baker August 18, 2012 at 01:49 AM
Several comments have been made about associating "blacks and crime" as being racist. I am not sure that making that association makes one racist. In 1999 The New Century Foundation published "The Color of Crime" and analyzed the crime statistics for America. The police do that, the FBI does that,a lot of people and organizations do that. NCF came back again in 2005 and once again analyzed the crimes based on race. Which race committed which crimes? Which race is most/least likely to be a victim? Which race is most/least likely to commit hate crimes? It is thorough. It is well done. It is statistically valid. The findings; Police and the justice system are not biased against minorities. Blacks are 7X more likely than other races to commit murder and 8X more likely to commit robbery. That statistics go on, but in the end, the conclusions are the same. In Chicago blacks account for 36% of the population, yet they commit 90% of the crimes. Adam, forgive people if they appear racist and are reading between the lines because they have a hidden agenda. While not all blacks commit crimes, they are statistically more likely to do so. Of course now we can no longer report perpetrators race in the papers because that would be racist. We could take that a step farther and not report gender or age as well. Then when the police go looking for a suspect they can easily find the person, because everyone is a suspect.
Skokie Southsider August 18, 2012 at 02:30 PM
Gregg - The NCF has received substantial funding from the Pioneer Fund. I would not consder The NCF a reliable source when commenting on race relations. Let's focus on the subject at hand - should the Skokie retailer have fired a weapon into a group of children and what can we, as Skokie residents, do to prevent this type of crime in the future?
Marlena Jayatilake August 18, 2012 at 09:20 PM
Longtime Skokie Resident, I'm delighted that you never shoplifted or drank liquor as a teen. Your parents did a great job, as did mine. However, KIDS/TEENS do stupid things at times.......I like to call those mistakes. Should they be shot at over it....ummm, no! Good parents can teach you right from wrong and raise you with great values, BUT does that mean you will never do anything stupid? The point I was trying to make is that the store owner made a bad decision by shooting at teens for shoplifting. Shooting at someone who just stole something worth $10.00 is not only wrong...its stupid.
I love Skokie August 18, 2012 at 10:36 PM
Rene, I live within 1 block of you. I called the police recently because I saw, and this might shock you, a "white man" trying to break into my neighbor's home. Black does not equal crime. Check out the recent story of the "white TEENS" who committed armed robbery against white drug dealers in Highland Park on August 2, 2012. IMAGINE THAT!!! By the way other ethnic groups carry backpacks too but you're so focused on the "black kids" that you don't notice the "white kid" sneaking in your back door! That sounds awful doesn't it? There is a racist undertone here. We are all human beings FIRST. What is important is that we need to come together (keyword together) and combat crime in Skokie. Pointing the finger at any one race is unfair and at best not reliabe. I have had great experiences with black people. We have had a surge of both foreigners and blacks in the area. Read the reports lots of foriegners are committing crimes as well. Its easier to look at a black person and say "ah ha, see look at those black poeple." You shouldn't want any criminals destroying Skokie.....black, white, brown or green! By the way several of the new Section 8 neighbors are Assyrians, blacks and yes, whites and they are really nice people. I'm not saying that Section 8 is working because I have seen my fair share of folks that I wish would go back where they come from, and they come in all colors!
I love Skokie August 18, 2012 at 11:09 PM
Let's not leave anything out... Since blacks are more likely to be arrested than whites on drug charges, they are more likely to acquire the convictions that ultimately lead to higher rates of incarceration. Although the data in this backgrounder indicate that blacks represent about one-third of drug arrests, they constitute 46 percent of persons convicted of drug felonies in state courts. Among black defendants convicted of drug offenses, 71 percent received sentences to incarceration in contrast to 63 percent of convicted white drug offenders. Human Rights Watch’s analysis of prison admission data for 2003 revealed that relative to population, blacks are 10.1 times more likely than whites to be sent to prison for drug offenses. Source: Fellner, Jamie, "Decades of Disparity: Drug Arrests and Race in the United States," Human Rights Watch (New York, NY: March 2009), p. 16. http://www.hrw.org/sites/default/files/reports/us0309web_1.pdf
ashley September 10, 2012 at 03:32 PM
Everyone here is commenting without knowing the whole story!!! The shopkeeper didn't try to shoot the black thug because of the $10.00 vodka bottle, it was because the shoplifter raised a knife threatening the shopkeeper!!!
I love Skokie September 13, 2012 at 03:58 AM
This is not an intelligent debate anymore.Some of the comments, though I get it, are just hateful from some of the longtime residents.Too much hate and not enough reasonable action. Do you think that will solve the problem? I'd like to think that we are all intelligent, GOD fearing, hard working residents. Back and forth comments about who commits these crimes is not as important as solving them and getting to the root of why it is happening. Landlords should stop renting to "unsavory folks." Seems like that is the root! Keep pointing fingers, yet the problem still grows. Having a spine means not just complaining about it on a blog but actually putting things in motion to eliminate crime,starting with running background criminal checks to renters. Instead of telling folks to take the blinders off, lead by example. Go to the police station and talk to the captain and voice your concerns. If you simply complain amongst eachother it falls on deaf ears or opens up a venue to meaningless venting. Trust me if enough of Skokie residents rally together to put the pressure on the "police" we can stop the crime and get Skokie back. I'm free today to go to the police station in solidarity with you. Let's organize a time to meet with Skokie's Police Chief and discuss our obvious concerns. As a group, we are powerful....on a blog, we are just venting. Please feel free to comment so that I can arrange a meeting ASAP. The choice is yours. Stand up! Respectfully and honestly submitted.
sally September 13, 2012 at 03:23 PM
I am sitting down and reading this article and reading people comment. WOW is not even the word. I just don't understand who wrote this article and why would they write lies. I guess people will write stuff to make them look good.all I have to say is that, I have know this family for the 20 years.This family has owned that dollar store for 20 years and I been going there for that long. Karam is really nice kid, with clean record. He has never been into any fights or has he harmed anyone. Since I am friends with the owners. I was able to hear their side of the story. The owners don't judge people by their color of their skin or discriminate because of age. These kids who came in the store and stole a bottle of liquor, was not the first time that they have done that. These teens have had stolen from there couple times and had them caught on a camera for doing it... If you were a owner of a store who is trying to make money to provide for your family, how would you feel when someone comes in at your store and steal something and leave. Would you just stand there and don't do anything or will you say something. This store owner was standing up for himself and for his family. There were 8 teens surrounding him with knifes in their hands, ready to stab him. He was just defending him self from them. The gun is legally registered under his name.People don't sit there and make rude comment and saying that only a drink they stole. think from other side. Have a blessed day

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