Chicago police warn community after recent Gold Coast robberies

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Chicago police have issued an alert warning of recent robberies on the Near North Side.

In the incidents, the two to three male robbers approached and attacked the victims and robbed them by force, taking the victims' property before fleeing.

"This is a neighborhood that was never plagued by crime," said Gold Coast resident, Philip Wizenick.

Gold Coast neighbors said their quiet area of the city is now plagued by a rash of violent robberies.

"There's a storm of crime going on, street crime," Wizenick added.

"What they're doing is they're pulling up with a car they're looking for people who are walking by themselves, and they're allowing a guy to come out and he's jumping on people and taking their stuff, and the car rolls up and they jump in the car and they're gone," said Bill Stone, who works in the area.

Just before the holiday, Stone said he saw his coworker minutes after he was beaten and robbed in the area.

"He's an ex-Marine and it didn't matter because he was surprised by the whole thing. You know, a guy came from behind him and just slammed him down. He didn't have a chance to react to anything," Stone said.

Gold Coast Resident Patrick Cutrera is part of the neighborhood crime watch. He said he captured cell phone video of robbery that happened last November involving a female cab driver that crashed into a guard rail after she was robbed in the same place three women were robbed Monday night.

"I thought the lady was very upset. She was screaming and crying," Cutrera said.

The three women were robbed in the 200-block of East Chestnut Monday at about 9:05 p.m.

The women were on the sidewalk when police said they were approached by three male suspects who struck one of the women in the face and took property from her before fleeing.

The woman refused medical attention at the scene and no one is in custody.

"This is a traumatic violent occurrence, and it's part of a pattern," said Alderman Brian Hopkins, 2nd Ward. "We will catch these guys one way or another."

Witnesses told police the suspects were seen fleeing the scene in a white-colored SUV.

The robberies occurred in the:

900-block of North Dewitt Place in the late evening of December 24,
200-block of East Pearson Street in the late evening hours of December 30
800-block of North Dewitt Place in the morning hours of January 2
900-block of North Dewitt Place in the evening of January 3.

Area Central detectives are investigating and it is not known if the robbery on Chestnut Street is connected to the other robberies reported during the holiday.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Area Central detectives at (312) 747-8380.
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