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Guardian Angels Take To Oak Park After Robberies

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Police sketch of a suspected robber in Oak Park. (Credit: Oak Park Police)

Police sketch of a suspected robber in Oak Park. (Credit: Oak Park Police)

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OAK PARK, Ill. (WBBM/CBS) – The Guardian Angels have descended on the CTA Green Line ‘L’ in Oak Park, since five women have been beaten or robbed in recent weeks.

As WBBM Newsradio 780’s Michele Fiore reports, the five robbery attacks have occurred since March 30. The victims were all women walking alone around midnight.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780′s Michele Fiore reports

Police increased patrols following the third attack, and are circulating a sketch of the assailant based on the third victim’s detailed description.

Meanwhile, the Chicago Chapter of the Guardian Angles is providing escorts, the Oak Park Leaves is reporting. Chapter founder Miguel Fuentes said the group came to Oak Park after the third victim provided a usable description.

At first, the Guardian Angels spent several 12-hour days passing out fliers and making their presence known.

Over the past week, they have given as many as 15 escorts a night to people walking home from the Green Line, from Austin Boulevard to Harlem Avenue, Fuentes said. They’ve also patrolled areas adjacent to the elevated tracks on bike.

The first in the string of robberies happened March 30 in 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.”

Another attack happened April 19 in the 200 block of South Harvey Avenue. The victim spoke exclusively CBS 2’s Suzanne Le Mignot, and said she was screaming for help at the top of her lungs with a bloody nose.

“I walked outside of the garage and I was closing the back garage door, and the person just jumped on me from behind,” she said. The robber got her purse, which contained $40.

The woman described her attacker as being about 5 feet 9 inches tall, 200 pounds, medium build, unknown age. A witness said the suspect ran from the Harvey Avenue alley to the driver’s side of a light-colored newer model Ford sport-utility vehicle or Jeep Cherokee, and drove away westbound. Another witness described the car as possibly an older model.

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.

Anyone with any information regarding these incidents is asked to contact Oak Park police at 708-386-3800, or e-mail at police@oak-park.us. Information can be forwarded anonymously by calling 708-434-1636, or online at www.oak-park.us/police.

Pioneer Press’ Oak Park Leaves contributed to this report, via the Sun-Times Media Wire

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