CHICAGO (CBS) – Police are investigating three similar abductions and armed robberies in Wrigleyville.
In each of the attacks, one to three robbers have forced victims into a car, driven them to another location, and stripped them of their cell phones, wallets, and other belongings, according to police.
As CBS 2's Charlie De Mar reported Monday night, these abductions and robberies are not happening on dark and quiet streets or alleys. Police are reporting they have occurred on busy stretches of Clark and Addison streets in Wrigleyville – where there is no shortage of cameras.
But at this point, no arrests have been made.
The first robbery happened around 12:15 a.m. Saturday in the 3500 block of North Clark Street. The second robbery happened around midnight Sunday morning in the 3400 block of North Clark Street. About 15 minutes later, the robbers struck again outside the Taco Bell Cantina in the 1100 block of West Addison Street.
Police said in one of the robberies, the attackers forced the victim into their car at gunpoint.
None of the victims were injured.
Police have only a vague description of the robbers.
Residents of the Lakeview area have been put on notice.
"I shouldn't say this," said Bob Clarke, "but I carry a decoy wallet and phone, just in case they say, 'Hand it over!'"
Clarke has lived in the area since the 1970s, but in just the last year he started carrying a bogus phone and a wallet filled with dollar bills — just in case he gets robbed.
"It's a new thing since these street crimes have occurred more – and now with the abductions, that's another layer of concern," Clarke said.
The number of violent crimes in Wrigleyville reported to Chicago police is up so far this year, with 32 incidents, compared to just 24 by this time last year.
Robberies in particular are up with 17 reported so far this year, compared to nine at the same point in 2021.
However, according to CPD data, 2021 numbers were lower than previous years.
"Being kidnapped takes this to a whole new level," said Brian Comer, president of the Sheffield Neighborhood Association.
Comer said CPD is working hard, but they don't have enough man power.
"They are working six, seven days a week and they are working at their max," he said. "Right now, we just don't have enough officers on the street and that's something that the city needs to address, you know, right away."
Ald. Tom Tunney (44th) did not have time for an interview on the incidents, but his public safety director, Calvin Cottrell, said in a statement, "Alderman Tunney has spoken with Commander of the 19th Police District about these concerning robberies. As always, Alderman Tunney would like to remind residents to always be aware of their surroundings, to walk in pairs, and to call the police if they see suspicious behavior. He also urges CPD to increase the number of police officers in the 19th District and he supports the district's request to CPD headquarters to have more officers in Lakeview for the upcoming Halloween weekend."
Area Three detectives are investigating.
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