Northwestern student, woman mugged separately in Streeterville this morning; Robbery pattern appears to spread

Locations of this morning’s two robberies. | Multiplotrr

A Northwestern University law student is one of two persons targeted in separate robberies around the Streeterville neighborhood overnight. No one is in custody. Police believe the muggings are the work of a single robbery crew that has been targeting the area since March 1st.

The first sign of trouble came shortly after midnight Tuesday when a woman reported that two men tried to steal her car as it idled near State and Ontario. The woman intervened, and the two men fled into an Audi SUV that was waiting nearby.

Less than five minutes later, a woman was attacked by two men as she stood in the 200 block of East Superior, according to Chicago and Northwestern University police. The woman was knocked to the ground by one man and a second man grabbed her purse, which contained her wallet and phone, according to information released by the university. A struggle broke out, but the men gained control of the woman’s property and then escaped in an Audi SUV that had a third person driving.

The woman’s phone was later located a short distance east of the former John Hancock Center at Delaware and Mies Van Der Rohe, police said.

Northwestern police said the suspects were two black males in their late teens or early 20’s who stand 5’6” to 5’8” tall. One of the men wore a black jacket with a knit hat.

Then, just after 4 a.m., a Northwestern University student reported being robbed as he wore headphones and watched a movie on his iPad while on the pathway at Lakeshore Park. The victim was walking southbound when a silver sedan pulled up on Chicago Avenue, and two men got out. The men punched the victim in the face, took his iPad, then searched him for additional property, the school said.

The suspects, whose descriptions are similar to the offenders in the earlier robbery, returned to their car which fled westbound on Chicago Avenue.

Chicago police have issued two community alerts over the past week about a series of similar robberies closer to State Street. The warnings have said that detectives identified a pattern in which offenders approach victims from behind, commit a robbery, and then run to a waiting vehicle. A Ford Escape was reportedly used in some of the earlier robberies while a blue Audi SUV has been used more recently, the latest alert said.

At least eight cases have been connected to the robbery crew since March 1st. Known cases were reported:

• In the first block of East Chestnut in the morning of March 1
• In the 900 block of North State in the afternoon of March 1
• In the first block of East Oak in the afternoon of March 1
• In the first bock of West Ontario in the afternoon of March 2
• In the first block of East Walton in the evening of March 7
• In the first block of East Chicago in the afternoon of March 8
• In the first block of East Chestnut in the morning of March 9
• In the first block of East Erie in the morning of March9

The alert described the robbery crew members as between one and four black males ages 16- to 22-years-old along with a black female who is in her early 20’s.

Anyone with information about the robberies is asked to contact Area Central detectives at 312-747-8380.
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CWBChicago was created in 2013 by five residents of Wrigleyville and Boystown who had grown disheartened with inaccurate information that was being provided at local Community Policing (CAPS) meetings. Our coverage area has expanded since then to cover Lincoln Park, River North, The Loop, Uptown, and other North Side Areas. But our mission remains unchanged: To provide original public safety reporting with better context and greater detail than mainstream media outlets. Our editorial email address is