OAK PARK, Ill. (CBS) – She was outside her own home, but Oak Park police said that did not stop a man from attacking and robbing a woman in the western suburb Tuesday night.
As CBS 2′s Suzanne Le Mignot reports, police believe the suspect is the same man responsible for at least three other attacks in Oak Park in recent weeks.
Tuesday night, a woman entered her garage on the 200 block of South Harvey Avenue in Oak Park and then went into her back yard. That’s when a man approached her from behind, grabbed her around the neck and took her purse, which had $40 in it.Police said the man who robbed the woman matches the description of the suspect in at least three other attacks in Oak Park.
The woman, who was not injured, described her attacker as being about 5-foot-9, 200 pounds, medium build, unknown age. Unlike previous incidents, the assailant was seen by at least one other witness. That witness said the suspect ran from the Harvey Avenue alley to the driver’s side of a light-colored newer model Ford SUV or Jeep Cherokee, and drove away westbound. Another witness described the car as possibly an older model.
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Oak Park Police said that, in light of this latest robbery, they’ve stepped up patrols in the area.
Local resident Katie Galmiche said, “I’m definitely not walking home alone from the train anymore at night.”
Her friend, Will Hooper said, “these incidents occur close to 12, most of them at night. We’re never out that late either … we always walk together.”
The latest incident was not far from three similar late night robberies where women were alone.
On March 30, a woman was robbed on the 200 block of Lake Street. A second incident took place on April 2, near Lake Street and Austin Boulevard. The third happened on April 4 on the 200 block of North Oak Park Avenue.
The victim in the robbery on April 4 was able to help police create a composite sketch of the suspect.
“I mean, he got $100, but he almost killed me,” victim Lisa Dodge said. “He jumped me, he started strangling me. He threw me to the ground and started basically trying to kill me for my purse.”
Galmiche said she hopes police find the suspect soon.
“I would like to see this person caught so that our neighborhood can feel safe again,” she said.
About an hour before the attack on Harvey Avenue, another woman was attacked in her back yard in Oak Park, but police said they don’t believe that robbery was related to the other four.
That attack happened about 10:50 p.m. in the 900 block of South Lyman Avenue. In that incident, the man entered the yard through the rear gate, punched the woman “several times” and then demanded her purse. He ran off westbound through the Harrison Street alley. The woman was treated for facial bleeding and transported to Oak Park Hospital.
Anyone with any information regarding these incidents is asked to contact Oak Park police at 708-386-3800, or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Information can be forwarded anonymously by calling 708-434-1636, or online at www.oak-park.us/police.
(The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.)