A robbery crew hit a woman in the head and mugged her as she walked in Lakeview on Sunday evening, according to Chicago police. The crime is probably linked to another robbery attempt about ten minutes earlier that unfolded steps from the 19th (Town Hall) District police station near Wrigleyville. And they are both part of a weeks-long robbery surge in the area that has claimed dozens of victims.
Sunday’s incidents began around 11:30 p.m. when four men in a dark gray car tried to talk to a 22-year-old man who was walking on the 3500 block of North Fremont, according to CPD spokesperson Kellie Bartoli.
The car drove away, then came back around the block. This time, the four men ordered the victim to hand over his valuables while pointing an object with a laser attached in his direction.
Rather than cooperate, the victim ran to the Town Hall station at 850 West Addison for help, Bartoli said. He was not injured and described the crew only as four men between 18- and 25-years-old.
Then, around 11:41 p.m., two men approached a 25-year-old woman from behind and hit her in the head with a hard object as she walked on the 1100 block of West Oakdale, Bartoli said.
They tried to rob the woman but gave up and escaped in a dark sedan that was waiting nearby, according to Bartoli. Witnesses said a silver car — most likely an Acura used in the earlier hold-up — followed the sedan.
The woman was taken to Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center with minor injuries, said Bartoli.
Lakeview and, to a lesser extent, Lincoln Park and Old Town have seen a surge in robberies since early November, with at least 40 victims being held-up, according to CPD records. The Town Hall police district, which patrols Lakeview and the northern third of Lincoln Park, recorded 40 robberies during the first 28 days of November, up from 29 robberies during the period last year, according to CPD data.
Last Thursday evening, three women ranging in age from 23 to 68 were physically attacked and robbed in under 30 minutes along Southport Avenue between Cornelia Avenue and School Street.
The bold and violent attacks prompted local Alderman Tom Tunney to break his silence as the area entered its second month of elevated muggings and armed street robberies.
In his weekly email newsletter, he told constituents that the local police commander decided to address the problem by putting extra bike patrols on Southport Avenue and residential side streets. Which, of course, does not affect robberies anywhere else in the area — like on the 3500 block of North Fremont Street, a few hundred yards from the commander’s office. And cops on bikes aren’t much of a challenge for robbery crews using cars.
On Friday evening, an armed robbery crew fired a gunshot as they held up three women near DePaul University’s campus in Lincoln Park. No injuries were reported.
One day before the Southport robberies, five victims were robbed in a series of muggings across Lakeview and nearby Lincoln Park. Days before that, on Sunday, four victims were robbed across Lakeview in another spree.
Similar sprees have popped up repeatedly since six people were robbed in a night of robberies across the area on November 8.
No arrests have been announced in any of the crimes.