Sex assaults, robberies reported on West Side

October 7, 2011 6:12:25 PM PDT
Residents in Chicago's Austin neighborhood are warned to be alert after a series of sexual assaults and robberies targeting women on the West Side.

Police say the attacker displays a gun, robs and then sexually assaults the victims.

Chicago police confirmed that eight attacks have taken place. The armed robberies and sexual assaults have happened in the last five weeks on the between 3 a.m. and 6 a.m. The first incident took place on August 28 in the 1100-block of North Lawndale. The latest took place Friday morning in the 600-block of North Leamington.

The seven attacks have happened in these blocks:

621 N. Leamington
900 N. Leamington
1100 N Lawndale
800 N Harding
4700 W. Maypole
3800 W. Monroe
2200 W. Monroe
5500 W. West End

Women on the West Side know to be careful if traveling alone overnight. Now those who have heard about the recent series of robberies and assaults are taking even greater care.

"I've been kinda nervous, skeptical. But I am aware of my surroundings and when I am going to work, I try to have my husband with me or I get on the bus," said Fladiya Tatum.

Sharon Minor is most concerned about her teenage daughter on her commute to and from school.

"My daughter has to catch the train at Lake and Central, she gets off or Lake and Laramie, in the evening to come home and, we're just not aware of this," said Minor.

Melicia Robinson, co-owner of Melitricks Styling Studio, is careful with her well-being and well being of female leaving the salon.

"If somebody is parked on the corner, you walk them to the car and make sure that they are alright or sometimes we even have a few friends that live in the neighborhood, we'll call them down and ask them if they can walk our client down and they will walk them to the car," said Robinson.

Police say the suspect wore a ski mask during some of the assaults. No other description has been released.

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