Update: Chicago police now believe that the first incident below, at LaSalle and Oak streets, is part of the larger robbery pattern that has been centered around DeWitt Place in Streeterville.
Our original report follows…
While a robbery crew is grabbing headlines for its two-week mugging spree near Lake Shore Park in Streeterville, there have been a number of unrelated robberies over the past week in nearby areas. And one of those hold-ups is believed to be the work of yet another robbery team.
The most recent incident unfolded around 7:45 p.m. Wednesday at the intersection of LaSalle and Oak in River North. A woman who lives in the neighborhood told police that two men approached her from behind, punched her in the nose, and took her phone as she walked on the sidewalk.
The men then returned to a beige pickup truck that was driven by a third man. They were last seen speeding away southbound on Clark Street, the victim said. Police believe this incident may be connected to a series of muggings in the area over recent weeks, according to a source.
No descriptions of the offenders were available.
On Sunday, Jan. 5, three men in a small SUV pulled three guns on a carload of friends during a robbery in River North. The victims were in a vehicle near Ohio and Wells around 11 p.m. when a small black SUV with three occupants pulled alongside them, the men said.
The occupants of the SUV pulled out three handguns with extended magazines and robbed the car’s occupants, according to police.
The offenders reportedly drove a stolen Mazda CX5 that bears a license plate beginning with “FP87.” They all wore black hoodies, but the victims were unable to give more detailed descriptions.
Last Thursday, Jan. 2, a woman told police that she was mugged by a man who approached her as she walked near the intersection of Chestnut and Rush streets at 9:20 p.m.
She said the offender got out of a black four-door sedan, robbed her, and then returned to the car, which fled northbound on Rush and then eastbound on Delaware.
A police surveillance camera captured images of the entire incident.
The offender’s car bears a red license plate, but police had no further description of the robber available.
Area Central detectives are investigating all the incidents.