CHICAGO (WLS) --Chicago police have issued a warning after they say two people have been targeted in downtown robberies near Millennium Park in the last week.
One of the robberies took place in the 200-block East Wacker Drive, between Columbus and Michigan just after midnight on June 14.
The other took place in the 200-block of East Randolph in front of the Aon Center at 4:30 p.m. afternoon, right before the busy evening rush hour, on Wednesday, June 15.
Millennium Park is one of the most photographed locations in the country, a place where people bring their cameras and cash. And the robber clearly knows that.
Tuesday night, thousands gathered at Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park, within blocks and even feet of the sites of those robberies, for a summer screening of "Ferris Bueller's Day Off." It's generally considered one of the city's safest areas, but residents say they're noticing some changes.
"This is supposed to be the safest area in the city of Chicago, actually, Lakeshore East. It is. Don't get me started," says Sue Brady, who lives in the area. "Things are definitely changing, yes."
"What can I say? Random violence happens anywhere," says resident Eugene Decker.
Police say the robber is described as a black man, 19-26 years old, 5'8"-5'11", 140-160 lbs., with long brown hair or an afro and a medium complexion.
Police say the robber used "force and intimidation" while taking a wallet and camera equipment from the victims, who were out in public.
Since January 1, overall crime in the downtown area is up 35 percent compared to the same period in 2015. Theft is up 39 percent and robberies are up 44 percent.
"I think we better get some police force out here and get a better handle on things," Brady says.