NAPERVILLE, Ill. – The safety of teenagers in Naperville has been spotlighted as extortion cases targeting young individuals surge to unprecedented levels, according to the latest crime and incident data released by the Naperville Police Department for the first half of 2023.
The report, which runs from Jan. 1 and June 30, unveiled a distressing trend of extortion and blackmail incidents, with a shocking total of 14 cases reported so far. Even more concerning is that 11 of these cases involved sextortion, primarily targeting teenage boys. In this exploitative scheme, young victims shared intimate pictures of themselves with an unknown individual who then weaponized the images to extort money from them. By threatening to publicly expose the photos, the perpetrators inflicted immense fear and distress upon the vulnerable teenagers.
Police Chief Jason Arres expressed deep concern over the surge in extortion attempts and called for immediate action. He urged teenagers and their caregivers to remain vigilant and informed about the dangers of sextortion. In response to the rising threat, the Naperville Police Department has made essential resources available at www.fbi.gov/sextortion to empower the community to combat this menace and safeguard its youth.
While extortion cases highlight the overall report, there are positive noteworthy trends. No homicides have been recorded in 2023. Drug overdose incidents, most involving prescription drugs are down year over year while overall firearm-related offenses have shown a decline.