Chicago police: Reported robbery on the Mag Mile 'unfounded'

May 16, 2013 9:15:35 PM PDT
Chicago police say they have determined that the reported Michigan Avenue robbery of a 68-year-old woman is "unfounded."

Police issued a statement on Thursday night that stated: "Detectives confronted the victim with inconsistencies between her account of the incident and recovered video, and learned that the story was not true."

Earlier on Thursday, the alleged victim spoke about the mugging she says took place Wednesday afternoon in broad daylight on Michigan Avenue with ABC7's Ravi Baichwal.

Alleged mugging victim tells story

"It was a group of young people, young men, and they surrounded me. One just took my purse, didn't say anything just took my purse. The other person spoke and said either you take off your jewelry or I will," the victim said.

She says she did not shout out for fear of being assaulted by what she says was a group of 8-10 teenagers.

"I really didn't want to do this interview I want to be honest with you but I was violated and I don't want this to happen to anybody else," the victim said.

After the robbers fled, she walked into the Saks Fifth Avenue department store she had been headed to, and told security about the robbery. They called police.

She says her brooch, earrings, bracelet and purse can be replaced. Should they be found, she said she would donate their worth to the police.

"So even though this was a negative, hopefully this negative will turn into a positive," the victim said.

Some experts say there is little police could have done to prevent an attack like this- even in a neighborhood where they have such a visible presence.

"That's what makes these incidents so disturbing. It shatters our illusion of invulnerability in that place in the city," said Arthur Lurigion, a criminal justice professor at Loyola University of Chicago.

On the Magnificent Mile this afternoon, there were parked squad cars and some officers walking the beat - but not in the numbers pedestrians might have expected after yesterday's incident.

"It just gets me that this hallowed ground - Michigan Avenue being hallowed ground - is being violated," said shopper Jim Scully.

"There's a lot of police on Michigan Avenue. People know how safe they are," Mayor Rahm Emanuel said. And back in the south suburbs, a plea:

"You love this city, you love Chicago. I love it, I have lived here my whole entire life. I love it more than anything and I want the best for the city and for everybody in the city," said the victim.

Police do not have any firm leads or anyone in custody.


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