CHICAGO (CBS) -- A North Side Chicago alderman is calling on Mayor Brandon Johnson, and soon-to-be-confirmed police Supt. Larry Snelling, to staff his ward properly with officers.
This is after four robberies overnight – many of them happening in the Lincoln Park neighborhood.
As CBS 2's Charlie De Mar reported, all the robberies happened in a span of about 40 minutes – and the victims all reported a common link. That link was three to four people jumping out of a white sport-utility vehicle with guns and demanding the victims' belongings.
Right now, Chicago Police will not say if the robberies are connected.
The robbery spree began in the 900 block of West Armitage Avenue – between Sheffield Avenue and Fremont Street, around 11 p.m. Sunday. Chicago Police said four men jumped out of a white SUV and robbed a 42-year-old woman of her purse.
About 20 minutes later just a few blocks to the east - in the 600 block of West Armitage Avenue near Howe Street – a 56-year-old man and a 60-year-old woman walking down the street reported that they were robbed by men who hopped out of a white SUV.
A third robbery occurred in the 1400 block of North Halsted Street near Eastman and Schiller streets on the Near North Side, and a 31-year-old man was robbed in the 1700 block of West Hubbard Street near Hermitage Avenue in West Town.
A lone Chicago Police squad car stood sentry near Halsted Street and Armitage Avenue Monday – close to the spot where one victim, Mary, was robbed. Mary did not provide her last name.
"A white SUV was going extremely quickly westbound, and they ended up going into the wrong lane, and I knew exactly what was going to happen," she said.
Mary said she was walking home with her boyfriend after attending a concert at the Salt Shed after missing the bus. She said indeed soon afterward, she and her boyfriend were robbed at gunpoint.
"Three guys got out – at least one, maybe two of them had guns," she said. "I had a purse. They took my purse. They told my boyfriend to get down. He went down. They went through his pockets. We complied. We didn't fight. We didn't try to run - and they took off."
Nobody was injured in any of the robberies, and no one was in custody Monday morning.
Area 3 detectives are investigating.
Ald. Timmy Knudsen (43rd) declined to be interviewed on camera. But he did provide a statement that says his office has called for increased police resources in the area:
In the past few weeks, a robbery trend has emerged targeting DePaul University and the surrounding area. During this time, six robberies have occurred targeting local students including robberies that featured multiple victimizations. These robberies are particularly brazen and have occurred in the late evening from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. by groups of 3-4 while wearing face coverings and black hoodies. In several occurrences, the robbers have resorted to physical harm to gain control of property. DePaul has taken steps to combat these incidents including increasing its public safety presence with additional security officers.
Furthermore, last night two robberies occurred on Armitage between Racine and Larrabee around 11 p.m. by a group of 4 men who demanded personal property from victims and escaped in a white SUV. In these instances, the robbers were armed with guns. Area 3 Detectives are currently investigating.
My office has been in constant contact with the Chicago Police Department and has requested an increase in police resources in the area. In addition to the 18th & 19th District Police, the city-wide robbery task force is aware of these trends and is working together to address them. We will continue to update the community as investigations into these robbery trends continue.
I reiterate my call to Mayor Johnson, and soon-to-be-confirmed Superintendent Snelling, to focus on community policing and properly staff our police districts and beats in the 43rd Ward. As we've written in the past, the path to a safer Chicago is by working together to focus on recommitting police patrol resources to the districts, responsive 911 call time, enforcing our laws, and investing in innovative public safety technology. As a productive step towards a safer Chicago and increased CPD morale, I look forward to confirming Chief Snelling as Superintendent of the Chicago Police this Wednesday at City Council and welcoming him to Lincoln Park, the Old Town Triangle, and the Gold Coast.
Alderman Timmy Knudsen
Chicago Police would not tell us whether or not the plan to allocate more resources to the area.
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