Police investigate Loop garage attack

February 5, 2009 3:19:23 PM PST
Police hope surveillance pictures of the garage attacker will help lead to his arrest. His victim hopes he's captured before he can target anyone else.

On Thursday, Chicago police announced a drop in crime for January.

During economic hard times, things like theft and robbery increase.

On Monday evening, a woman working in the Loop walked to her car with a friend at Dearborn and Lake. They got into the parking garage elevator with a man.

As one women exited at the third floor, surveillance video captured the images of the man as he attacked and robbed the other women left on the elevator.

"I screamed for anybody to help me. Nobody was around, which is unbelievable at rush hour. But nobody was waiting for their cars or anything," said the victim.

The woman who did not want to be identified had been recovering from cancer and surgery to her neck. She says that was exactly where he grabbed her, wringing her neck to quiet her screams. She was punched and thrown the floor of the elevator.

The man took her $30 and cell phone and got out at the eleventh floor.

Chicago police have been investigating a series of robberies at Loop garages. At this time it's unclear if they're unrelated.

For now, they're keeping watch and urge caution to Loop commuters and visitors.

"In these hard economic times, these crimes tend to spike and people just need to be aware of their environment and what's around them," said Sgt. Timothy Kusinski, Chicago Police Department.

The woman attacked on Monday is bruised and frightened. She hopes the suspect is caught and warns others to stay vigilant even in a busy rush hour parking garage.

"Don't feel overly safe. I've worked downtown for over 20 years and never felt scared. I just did my job. I go and come as I want. Now it's changed my life," said the victim.

If you have any information about the garage robberies call the detectives at 312-744-8263.

The victim ABC7 spoke with hopes that she can avoid any future medical procedures, and despite her discomfort on Thursday, she wanted to get the word out about what happened to her so that it doesn't happen to others. Police are urging people to walk together if you can. Also some garages offer escort service.