Police warn of Near North Side armed robberies, cell phone thefts

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Chicago police have issued alerts after a series of armed robberies and cell phone thefts on the Near North Side.

At least four armed robberies have been reported. Police said the offender starts up a conversation with victims, then pulls out a gun and robs them.

"They're showing a gun now when there's resistance, so if the person tries to fight back, they're pulling out a gun, which we haven't had that problem in the past. It's new," said Bob Johnson, safety chairman of the Streeterville Organization of Active Residents.

The armed robberies occurred in the:

  • First block of East Chicago Avenue in the evening of August 28,

  • 200-block of East Pearson St. in the evening of September 3,

  • 200-block of West Grand Ave. in the early morning hours of September 7,

  • 700-block of North Michigan Avenue in the early morning hours of September 10.



Police have also issued another alert a pair of robbers are ripping cell phones right out of people's hands on the Near North Side.

"More recently, it's been people in cars that have stopped opposite a victim, jump out of the car grab the phone jump back into the car and take off," said Bob Johnson, safety chairman of the Streeterville Organization of Active Residents.

Police said at least seven people had their phones stolen in the last month.

The robberies occurred in the:

  • 600 block of North Wells St., in the evening of August 3,

  • First block of West Grand Ave., in the morning of August 7,

  • 100-200 block of East Chestnut St. in the morning of Aug 18,


  • First block of West Huron St., in the evening of August 29,

  • First block of West Walton St., in the evening Thursday, August 29,

  • 1100-block of North Clark St. in the morning of August 31,

  • 600-block of North Michigan Ave. in the evening of Sept. 1.


The robberies have residents in the area on alert.

"Just reminds people that, you know, were in a big city just be safe," said resident Judy Aiello.

"I'm actually not shocked because it's happening all the time," said Lori Allen, who works in the area.

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