Uber driver, cabbie targeted in separate Loop robberies

Police arrested a suspect in the second robbery inside Block 37. | Google

A gunman robbed an Uber driver in the Loop on Thursday morning, police said. Less than 30 minutes later, a different offender robbed a taxi driver just a few blocks away. Charges have been filed in the second case.

Uber hold-up

A 31-year-old Uber driver told police that a man robbed him at gunpoint as he waited for a red light to change on the 300 block of East Lower Wacker around 11:15 a.m., according to CPD spokesperson Kellie Bartoli.

The victim said he was sitting at the light when a man approached his car from the rear, opened the driver’s side passenger door, and displayed a handgun.

Police said the offender reached into the car, took valuables, and ran away. The victim was not injured.

The offender is a black man between 25- and 30-years old who stands 5’10” tall and weighs about 145 pounds, Baroli said. He was wearing a gray hoodie.

Area Central detectives are investigating.

Taxi robbery

Duane Austin | CPD

A cabbie reported being robbed in the heart of the Loop about 25 minutes after the Uber driver was targeted, according to police

The second victim told police that a passenger robbed him when he arrived at the fare’s destination at State and Randolph around 11:40 a.m. 

According to police records, the robber told the cabbie, “if you don’t give me your money, I’m gonna kill you.” The victim complied and the offender fled without paying his fare, police said.

The cabbie took a picture of the robber as he fled into the Block 37 complex. 

Officers searched the building and detained a suspect near a movie theater on the fourth floor. The victim then identified the man as the offender, according to a CPD spokesperson.

Prosecutors charged 33-year-old Duane Austin with misdemeanor counts of theft of labor or services and battery. He was then released to await trial.

Chicago police have arrested Austin five times since Sept. 3, according to department records. Three of those arrests, all for misdemeanors, were in the Lakeview and Uptown neighborhoods.

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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 news@cwbchicago.com