CHICAGO - Chicago police issued a safety alert for people across a wide area of the city's North and Northwest sides after 13 recent armed robberies.
The robberies took place during the overnight hours between Aug. 21 and Sept. 3 in neighborhoods including Lincoln Park, Lakeview, Rogers Park and Roscoe Village, as well as in the Albany Park and Shakespeare police districts.
In the community alert, police said at least two men working together are responsible for them. They approached their victims from behind on foot, produced a weapon and sometimes struck them in the head before taking off with their possessions. The offenders have been spotted entering a vehicle described as an older grey or silver sedan, police said.
The robbers were described as Hispanic men between 18 and 26 years old, between 5-foot-8 and 5-foot-10 with medium builds, wearing dark-hooded sweatshirts or jackets with dark pants, police said.
Here's a list of where the robberies occurred:
-at 11:14 p.m., Aug. 21 in the 3500 block of West Foster;
-at 11:20 p.m., Aug. 24 in the 3700 block of West Cornelia;
-at 8:30 p.m., Aug. 29 in the 3300 block o North Troy;
-at 8:35 p.m. Aug. 29 in the 2900 block of North Francisco;
-at 11:05 p.m., Aug. 29 in the 3800 block of North Troy;
-at 10:45 p.m., Friday in the 1900 block of West Cornelia;
-at 3:23 a.m., Saturday in the 3200 block of North Albany;
-at 11 p.m., Saturday in the 2800 block of North Seminary;
-at 11:25 p.m., Saturday in the 1900 block of West Warner;
-at 12:10 p.m., Sunday in the 2200 block of West Morse;
-at 1:15 a.m., Sunday in the 3600 block of North Wolcott;
-between 2:48 a.m. and 3:02 a.m., Sunday in the 1300 block of West Waveland;
-at 11:15 p.m., Sunday in the 3300 block of North Hoyne.
Police asked people to be careful, especially if they have to walk alone at night.
"Especially in the summer, we walk everywhere. That's why we choose to live in the city, because you can walk home from restaurants, walk home from people's houses that you've been at. We let our 15-year-old boys do the same thing, usually in groups, but that's unsettling to us," said Annie Quinn, who lives in Roscoe Village.
Police also asked residents to be on alert and to report anything suspicious.
"Our community is very close. We always send out an email if we hear about anything. My neighbor actually sent me an email about the one, I believe, was on the Oakley block, and I forwarded it on to people. So it becomes this chain, which is trying to take care of our community, because that's what it comes down to. You have to take care of each other," said Annie Madiea, who also lives in Roscoe.
While many seem surprised at the uptick in armed robberies in the area, lifelong Roscoe resident Laura Hadley is not.
"If you're going to go and you're going to rob somebody, you're going to rob somebody where the money is. I'm not surprised they're in this neighborhood or in Wrigleyville or in Lakeview," Hadley said.
Three more people were the victims of armed robberies Tuesday night on West Grace Street. But police said they do not believe those robberies were connected to those that took place over the last two weeks.
Anyone with information should contact Area North detectives at (312) 744-8263.