CHICAGO (WLS) --Armed robbers approached women in two separate incidents Tuesday night in the city's Lincoln Park and Lakeview neighborhoods.
Chicago police said the first incident took place around 9:20 p.m. in the 1100-block of West George Street in Lakeview. The victim spoke exclusively with ABC7 Eyewitness News about her ordeal.
"Thank goodness he didn't actually make physical contact with me because I think it would have been 10 times more traumatic than it already was," the victim said.
The 29-year-old woman, who did not want to be identified, was had just arrived home in Lakeview and was on her front steps when a man snuck up on her, grabbed her handbag and said: "Excuse me, miss. Can I have your purse?"
"So I said, 'What? No!' That was my natural reaction. And then he said 'yes,' moved his shirt away and said, 'Or I'll kill you," and showed me the gun that was in his waistband," she said.
The man took her purse and keys before fleeing in a vehicle driven by an accomplice.
About an hour later, police said a similar encounter happened near the intersection of W. Roslyn Place and N. Lakeview Ave. in Lincoln Park, a narrow street lined by historic homes.
A 61-year-old woman was getting out of her car when she was confronted by an armed robber demanding her jewelry. She yelled for help.
"All of a sudden I just heard a screech. And I opened my bedroom window and our neighbor was yelling, 'Please call 911, 911. I was just held up,'" Jablonski said.
Scared off by her screams, police said the would-be robber took off in a dark-colored SUV parked down the block, fleeing southbound on Clark Street.
The landlord of the victim in Lakeview said crime is out of control.
"In the last six months it's gotten much worse. There's never been this kind of crime in this area," said William Gibson.
The Lakeview victim said she's lived in Chicago all her life and knows to be aware of her surroundings. In fact, moments before being robbed she had looked over her shoulder. The offender still managed to sneak up on her.
"You can never be too careful. These offenders are practiced," she said.
No one was injured, but residents are rattled. Police do not believe the cases are related; the offenders were of similar description but were dressed differently.