Another woman was mugged Sunday afternoon in a section of Lincoln Park that has been overrun by similar crimes this month. Less than an hour later, a woman’s purse was snatched outside a Lakeview restaurant by a man who jumped out of a vehicle. At least five women have been targeted in the area since noon Saturday.
Around 3:40 p.m. Sunday, a man got out of a vehicle, knocked a woman to the ground near the corner of Lakeview and Fullerton avenues, and took her purse. He then returned to the car and left the scene.
“I screamed as loud as I could to scare him off,” a witness wrote on Nextdoor. “I was across the street in front of 399 Fullerton. The bag dropped on the street near the sidewalk and since he knew he was being watched, he ran back in his car and sped away on Fullerton going east. He didn’t have time to try to pick up the bag from the ground. It’s very unnerving.”
About an hour later, a gray minivan carrying three men pulled up to the 3100 block of North Broadway. One of the men jumped out and snatched a purse from a woman who was eating on a nearby restaurant patio.
“Kid gets out of car, snatches purse, runs to waiting car, jumps in, takes off,” a witness said in an email to CWBChicago. The vehicle was last seen heading south on Broadway, the witness wrote.
Sunday’s crimes appear to be part of an ongoing pattern of similar robberies that involve two or three young males who target women on the street during afternoon and early evening hours. The same group regularly steals cars that are left idling in the area to use as transportation.
Most of the robberies have occurred in a small section of Lincoln Park between Clark Street, Lakeview Avenue, Fullerton Avenue, and Diversey Parkway. But incidents started creeping out of that area on Saturday, when three robberies were reported.
Police issued a community alert about some of the robberies on June 6, but no media outlets reported on the crime pattern and the group.
CPD’s alert described the robbers as two Black males between 15- and 25-years-old.
All of the robberies have taken place in the Town Hall (19th) Police District, where officers have handled 153 robberies this year through June 12, up 49% from this point last year. CPD’s latest CompStat statistics report shows robberies in the district are up 53% compared to 2020, 49% compared to 2019, and 12% compared to 2018.
The first robbery in the pattern occurred around 2:20 p.m. on June 1 in the 2700 block of North Pine Grove. The victims in that mugging were a 65-year-old woman and her 40-year-old daughter. It was captured on video.
On June 3, two muggers knocked a 77-year-old woman to the ground and took her purse by force on the 400 block of West Deming, police said. She refused medical attention. The robbers escaped in a dark blue Nissan Rogue with Florida plates that had been stolen from the 2300 block of North Lincoln, according to a police report.
Before Saturday, the most recent robbery associated with the group occurred at 12:30 p.m. on June 4 in the 400 block of West Arlington Place. A CPD spokesperson said two offenders grabbed “personal belongings” from two women and then fled in a stolen blue Kia.
The Kia was taken from an Amazon driver who left it running and unattended on the 500 block of West Wrightwood the day before. He told police he had a gun in the car.
Police spotted the Kia in the neighborhood shortly after the June 4 robbery, but its driver sped away when cops tried to pull it over on Fullerton Avenue.