WVON warns of South Side robberies

August 5, 2009 (CHICAGO) Metra police say there have been several attacks near the Metra station at 87th and Drexel.

WVON Radio's talk show hosts are leading the charge to get more attention paid to the robberies because they say they found out about them from the victims, not the police.

For the second time in two days, the Guardian Angels canvassed a neighborhood that's become a hot spot for crime.

On Tuesday, it was Lincoln Park following the recent robberies and beatings there. On Wednesday, they're in Chesterfield on the South Side, responding to a similar rash of attacks.

Over the past few weeks there have been at least five cases where people are robbed at gunpoint in the viaduct under the 87th street Metra station.

"That's why we're here, to help, assist, flex the wings of the angels, cover ground, heighten awareness, give out some community alert sheets," said Thomas Hunt, Guardian Angels.

The viaduct is just stems away from WVON Radio where all day talk show hosts have been sounding the alarm about the robberies and discussing how the Lincoln Park attacks garnered community alerts and a considerable police response while the South Side crimes have gone unnoticed.

"It is very disturbing. I'm wondering where the police protection is, where are the police, and when they are going to let people know, 'Hey, you need to be a little more careful and be a little more cognizant of your surroundings,' just like they have been able to give the informalities to the people who have been terrorized by these thugs up in Lincoln Park," Small said.

"An informed community is an empowered community. The community does not know what is going on," said Santita Jackson, WVON Radio host.

Radio employees say one victim ran into the station asking for help recently. They say both men and women have been robbed but not assaulted.

Metra confirms that several attacks have taken place and that they have beefed up patrols to the area.

Alderman Michelle Harris says one robbery is too much and more work should be done with law enforcement to raise awareness.

"They do have bulletins that they're supposed to put out, that they can put out. Maybe we need to do a better job working with them to put these bulletins out," said Ald. Harris, 8th Ward.

"We've got great detectives all over this city and if they feel a community alert is warranted, they will issue it as soon as possible," said Cmdr. Gary Yamashiroya, Chicago Police Department.

Police have said they are investigating these robberies and that no one is in custody at this point. No police alert has been issued.

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