|Approximate locations of robberies by male and female teams posing as ride-hail drivers.|
Chicago police today warned the public about a second robbery crew that is posing as ride-hail drivers in River North, Lincoln Park, and Old Town. The warning follows a series of alerts that police have issued since July about a similar operation.
The offenders in the latest alert are men while the earlier alert’s suspects are women. Otherwise, their techniques are essentially the same: They either solicit rides while posing as a ride-share service or they pose as ride-hailing cars in busy areas where victims enter their vehicles by mistake. Once the victims are inside the car, the offenders either rob them at gunpoint or beat them until they surrender valuables, according to police.
In at least once instance, police believe the offenders’ car may have had a fake taxi light on its roof, according to a source.
Police said the male robbery team members are black, 25- to 30-years-old, 5’8” to 5’10” tall, and 160- to 170 pounds. Their robberies have been reported during early morning hours at the following locations:
• The first block of West Hubbard on Saturday August 18
• The 1400 block of North Halsted on Saturday, August 25
• The 1500 block of North Wells on Wednesday, August 29
• The 400 block of North State on Thursday, August 30
• The 1700 block of North Halsted on Sunday, September 9
The female crew is black, 20- to 30-years-old, 5’5” to 5’9” tall, and 120- to 150 pounds, according to police. The women’s robberies have been reported during early morning hours at the following locations:
• 700 block of North Larrabee on Sunday, June 24
• First block of West Hubbard on Saturday, June 30 and Sunday, August 5
• 600 block of North Franklin on Sunday, July 22
• 400 block of North Dearborn on Friday, August 10
• 2100 block of North Dayton on Sunday, August 12
• 2300 block of North Ashland on Friday, August 31
Cops have also issued safety tips for ride-hail app users:
• Confirm the driver, color, make and model of the vehicle before entering
• Let someone know where you are going by using the app’s “share my ETA”
• Never allow the driver to convince you to pay cash. Only pay via the app
• Never show or hand your credit card to a ride-hail driver. There is no need for them to have your card as payment is arranged via the app
• Trust your intuition. If something doesn’t feel right, don’t get into the vehicle
• “Most importantly,” the tip list says, “drink and socialize responsibly”
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