Pepper Spray-Wielding Robbers On The Loose In Lakeview

CHICAGO (CBS) — Wrigleyville, Boystown, and other parts of the trendy Lakeview neighborhood have been targeted by a group of robbers who roam the streets wielding pepper spray.

The robberies have been happening in an area bounded by Belmont Avenue to the south, Addison Street to the north, Pine Grove Avenue to the east, and Sheffield Avenue to the west.

The pepper-spray attacks have happened four times over the last two days.

Belmont Area Robbery Sgt. Timothy Kusinski said in each case,  the victims heard footsteps and were sprayed before they could react.

“It makes it easier to get the proceeds, and take the fight out of the victim,” Kusinski said.      

He said that at that point, the thieves merely knocked the victims to the ground and took their valuables.  

“It’s wallets, purses, phones — the typical things that they’re looking for,” Kusinski said. 

Kusinski said in no case did the thieves get a lot of cash. 

The robbers are described as African-American men between the ages of 18 and 30, standing 5 feet 5 to 6 feet 3 inches tall and weighing between 150 to 200 pounds. They all have black hair and a dark complexion, and were seen wearing T-shirts and blue jeans.

Police advise people in the neighborhood to avoid walking alone if possible, tell their friends about the incidents, and find out if the buildings where they live have working surveillance cameras.

Neighbors near Buckingham and Broadway say they’ll be more careful now.

“I walk out two or three o’clock in the morning sometimes, and I feel completely safe,” Rey Rodri said. “So this is something new.  It’s shocking — scary actually.”

Detectives are checking in the vicinity of each of the robberies to see if private security cameras captured the attacks.

Anyone with information about the robberies is asked to call Belmont Are police detectives, at (312) 744-8263.

  • srdib

    any other questions about why concealed carry weapons should be allowed? now thanks to the news media, this is going to be happening all over the city.

    • Mr. Justice

      You are correct. We need Conceal Carry here in Illinois. Maybe it is time citizens just start taking matters into their own hands. Everyone has the right to protect themselves. After a few of these punks get “read from the good book”, then perhaps we can have a safer city.

    • Leave Chi Then...

      How exactly will a gun help you after you’ve been blinded by pepper spray? CC doesn’t sound like a primary solution here.

      • Leave Chi Then...

        Good point Mr. Justice. The only problem is I reach into my inner jacket pocket quite a bit. If you thought I was following you too much, would you shoot me? Key point, accidental shootings would be up too if CC passed. To me, that is why CC is a non-issue. It is weapons training that is the real issue. I know there are going to be people who buy a gun and have NO TRAINING on how to use it even though they have the licensing to prove it. There is a fine line between innocent and guilty in this country. It all comes down to responsibility, and someone (like Mr. Justice) who thinks they are deterring crime by carrying a weapon can be a criminal by accidentally shooting innocent people instantly. All it takes is one mistake.

      • Mr. Justice

        Well, for one, everyone should be aware of their surroundings. Secondly, if I believed someone was following me, I would turn around, hand on gun, and see what they do. Thirdly, one does not need to wait to be pepper sprayed before one defends themselves. If the threat is perceived, act quickly. Finally, if the citizens of Illinois were allowed to carry, the punks would definitely think twice before committing a crime or who they would attack. Conceal Carry DOES lower crime rates. Have a nice day, “leave Chi Then…”

      • Donald Smith

        Depends. Pepper spray is more like a slap/punch in the face than a debilitating agent like CS or CN. If you train for thr fight, you have a good chance of getting through it.

  • Edward O

    Very good description,I saw them hundreds of times this week.



    • Leave Chi Then...

      That is true. I’ve noticed a lot of men in the Boys Town area who wear goggles and other expressive metro-sexual apparel. Just please don’t shoot me by accident. That’s all I ask.

    • Mr. Justice

      I like your thinking.

  • sam

    Why are the bad guys always brothers?

  • Say What

    Carry some heat,in the heat . to protect yourself against the ‘HEAT”.

  • PeterO

    Because the thugs might think twice about attacking people if they think that they might end up with holes in their bodies.

  • bmorepapa

    So, basically any black man in Boystown is a suspect?

  • Advice on Riding CTA trains to ORD in the late evening - Page 2 - FlyerTalk Forums

    […] These seem to be occurring late night and involve attacks with pepper spray or mace. Here are links to a couple articles. The streets where these have occurred are largely residential, but it's […]

  • Peter

    Are these the same bro-zos who were robbing and mugging Lakeveiw residents in 2009-2010?
    Did they ever catch those guys? Anybody know?

  • Woman Sprayed, Mugged In Lincoln Park « CBS Chicago

    […] The assault comes on the heels of four other similar early morning incidents Wednesday and Friday in the nearby Lakeview neighborhood. […]

  • srdib

    what we need is open carry. let the punks see the butt of my handgun, think twice about what they are gonna do. but its all wishful thinking. bing back the draft, haul these punks into the army or marines, or just make up a new branch, g.t.o a. ghetto thugs of america, ship them off to where ever obama has us fighting, they make it home, they will be better men for it, they dont make it home, too bad, no loss

  • Ray

    As an African-American male living in Lakeview, I am offended by some of the comments made on this section. I am emphathetic towards the victims; however, negative racialized language is not the answer. I do not want to be feared, nor do I want my presence in the community to make others uncomfortable. These incidents are isolated and do not represent the collective black community. The way of thnking presented here only widens the already existing racial divide.

    • Sunlight

      Ray, which country in Africa do you hail from: Nigeria? Liberia? Or did you mean you are a BLACK American?

blog comments powered by Disqus
Daily Weather Reports Delivered To You!SIGN UP NOW: Get daily weather reports every morning from meteorologist Steve Baskerville!
CBS Sports Radio RoundupGet your latest sports talk from across the country.

Listen Live