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River North robberies prompt increased police presence

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Since January, seven people have been robbed in the neighborhood - the most to start a year in River North since 2005. (WLS)

A rash of robberies in the city's River North neighborhood has prompted a more visible police presence.

It's easy to have a false sense of security in the area packed with restaurants and businesses, where people are out at all hours. But police say thieves are taking advantage of that.

"I definitely go out regularly to visit bars on Hubbard Street," said Kwasi Amankwah, a resident.

Thieves have been coming out, too, in River North - some armed with guns.

"Definitely surprising to me. The neighborhood has been pretty safe. It is very touristy," Amankwah said.

Since January, seven people have been robbed in the neighborhood - the most to start a year in River North since 2005.

Those who live in neighborhood are now watching their back.

"It does make me a little nervous," said Michelle Chaisson, a resident.

"You got to look out for your surroundings and be aware," said Jack Terran, another resident.

Police are now beefing up their patrols in the area from 10 p.m. until 5 a.m. Businesses are on alert as well.

Alderman Brendan Reilly said in a statement to Eyewitness News: "A more visible police presence in the late hours should help deter future incidents. The police have identified or apprehended some suspects and detectives are currently pursuing good leads on other offenders."
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