Police late Wednesday issued two community alerts after a surge in robbery reports around River North, the Magnificent Mile, and Streeterville.
Detectives have identified two separate patterns, one involving a man who’s armed with a gun and the other involving teenagers who are taking phones from pedestrians by force. Investigators issue community alerts when they believe an individual or group is responsible for a specific series of crimes.
Armed robbery alert
Four people in the area have been robbed by a gunman since late August, police said. The gunman is engaging people in conversation before he demands money and property while holding them at gunpoint or implying that he is armed with a gun.
On Aug. 28, a 70-year-old woman was robbed at gunpoint in the first block of East Chicago at 10:53 p.m., according to the alert and police records. The victim told officers that the robber wore a blue shirt and was last seen walking toward Michigan Avenue.
Then, a 53-year-old woman was robbed at 10:45 p.m. on Sept. 3 as she walked in the 200 block of East Pearson near the Museum of Contemporary Art.
Police said a struggle broke out, but the woman stopped resisting when the man displayed a handgun. The offender then fled eastbound on Pearson in a “boxy white vehicle.” That victim said the offender was wearing black jeans and a black hoodie that has white stripes at the bottom, police said.
The third robbery of the pattern was reported early on Sept. 7 on the 200 block of West Grand, but no further details of the case were immediately available.
Most recently, a victim was robbed at gunpoint on Michigan Avenue just south of Chicago Avenue at 12:58 a.m. on Sept. 10. The offender, who wore a white T-shirt, blue jeans, and a gold chain, fled the scene southbound on a bicycle, the victim said.
Detectives described the robber as a black male between 25- and 35-years-old who stands 5’9” to 6’1” tall, and weighs 160 to 180 pounds.
Information about the crimes may be shared with Area Central detectives at 312-747-8380. Refer to pattern P19-1-295.
Seven victims have been robbed in Streeterville and River North recently by men who either battered them or used force to gain control of their phones, according to the second alert.
Police records indicate the robberies were reported in the 600 block of North Wells at 6 p.m. on Aug. 3; in the first block of West Grand at 9 a.m. on Aug. 7; in the 100 block of East Chestnut at 7:15 a.m. on Aug. 18; in the first block of West Huron at 9 p.m. on Aug. 29; on the first block of West Walton at 6:55 p.m. on Aug. 29; on the 1100 block of North Clark at 11;41 a.m. on Aug. 31; and on the 600 block of North Michigan at 6 p.m. on Sept. 1.
The offenders are one or two black males between 15- and 18-years old. They stand 5’8” to 6-feet tall and weigh 150 to 180 pounds, according to the community alert.