Chicago lakefront path robberies | Teens display weapons, attack victims in Hyde Park, Kenwood neighborhoods

July 26, 2013 (CHICAGO)

Two robberies occurred in the 4300-block of Lake Shore Drive- on July 5 and 19; and a third happened in the 4700-block of South Lake Shore Drive on July 17. A community alert was issued Thursday evening.

In each of the incidents, anywhere from two to 13 young men approached the victims at the lakefront and displayed weapons or physically attacked victims before stealing the property.

"This is the first time I've heard something like this, and normally when I go there's people around so I do feel safe. But this makes me think twice about going early," Anne Scranton, runner, said.

"Since it's been happening, I think we need more police presence. That would deter people from doing those attacks," Desmond Konadu, jogger, said.

Chicago police already patrol the lakefront path regularly, but say they will step up security. They are also encouraging walkers, runners and bikers to be aware of their surroundings.

"You have to be aware, period, you have to watch your surroundings, looking back, side while you're running. Who's ever around, know your surroundings," said Genae Davis, lakeshore path runner.

Martha Hernandez turned down her headphones during her early morning job.

"I'm not getting paranoid because that's the way people get after a while. I think the issue is that you be conscious of your surroundings. Even though I have these on, it's low enough so I can hear if someone's behind me," Hernandez said.

ABC7 public safety expert Jody Weis said the best thing you can do is be aware of your surroundings and pay attention.

"If you see a group of young men like that, it's not being anything wrong to turn around and get out of there. And have a phone with you so that you can call 911. Police would much rather respond to dozens of false alarms. They're going to have a pretty high presence, I'm sure, down there anyway so be a good citizen, if you see something, say something," Weis said.

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