UIC campus robberies being linked to suburban crime

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Two robberies on the UIC campus are now being linked to a suburban crime spree. (WLS)

Two robberies on the UIC campus are now being linked to a suburban crime spree.

Investigators believe suspects in a luxury SUV that was stolen in Chicago are linked to a series of robberies in the south and southwest suburbs.

While no one has been caught, suburban police confirm a black Land Rover has been recovered in the city's northwest side. Its' the same vehicle many people have reported at UIC and the south suburbs.

From an urban college campus to small rural towns, armed robbers have been busy this week. The Peotone police chief met Friday with a Monee, Ill. detective to share information about several incidents involving a group of robbers driving a stolen black Land Rover.

On Wednesday, four Peotone, Ill. residents under the age of 20 were held up while walking in a quiet subdivision.

"One of the ladies tried to hide her phone, and they reached down in clothing, tried to grab phone, people starting arguing, some got hit in the head with guns but no serious injuries," Chief Bill Mort, Peotone Police Department, said.

Police said after stealing phones, purses and wallets, the robbers took off in the Land Rover.

Similar incidents were reported in Manteno, Ill., Matteson, Ill., Bolingbrook, Ill. and Hickory Hills, Ill. For Peotone residents, it's a reality check that crime can happen anywhere...

"I lived here 34 years and never locked my garage door in my life, I now lock it every night and turn on all the lights outside, I have motion sensors on the lights," Paul Bockelman, Peotone resident said.

Bockelman said he also relies on his dog and the Second Amendment to keep safe.

Meantime, police believe the suburban crimes are linked to two more on or near the UIC campus. An employee was robbed in a UIC parking lot Tuesday night and early Wednesday morning, a student was robbed near south Racine and Taylor Street.

Students say they are taking precautions after receiving alerts from campus police.

"Once it gets dark, I don't listen to music, I don't carry my stuff, I pay more attention than during the day when there are people around," Cloie McClellan, a UIC grad student said.

UIC police advise students even during the day, especially when they're walking alone, do not have headphones or earbuds in and do not walk around displaying your phone.

No one has been caught but police believe the suspects are teenagers.

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University of Illinois - ChicagoChicago - University Village
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