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Police Warn Of Rash Of Robberies In Hyde Park, Near U Of C

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The University of Chicago campus (Credit: CBS)

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CHICAGO (CBS) — Police are warning neighbors of a rash of robberies in the Hyde Park neighborhood and around the University of Chicago campus.

The robberies have occurred since the beginning of the month, in an area bounded between 53rd Street on the north and 58th Street on the south, and between Dorchester Avenue on the east and Drexel Avenue on the west, police said.

In each robbery, a man approaches the victim and announces a robbery. Incidents have occurred on the street and in alleys.

The robber is described as an African-American male between the ages of 25 and 30, standing between 5 feet 7 and 5 feet 10 inches tall and weighing 150 to 170 pounds, with a medium-dark complexion. His weapon is described as a dark-colored handgun, possibly revolver-style.

The community alert from Prairie District police did not make a list of specific incidents, but U of C students were the victims in two incidents earlier this week. In a third robbery on Sunday, the victim was not a student.

The first robbery occurred around 8:30 p.m. Sunday in the 1300 block of East 53rd Street, when the suspect robbed a man at gunpoint, police said. That robbery was not on school grounds and did not involve a student.

But about three hours later, as two students walked down 57th Street at Dorchester Avenue, the suspect robbed them of their cell phones at gunpoint, then fled north on Dorchester.

The area where the second robbery occurred is a quiet and leafy residential district several blocks east of campus, and a short distance from a busy block that includes the campus hangouts the Medici restaurant and Noodles Etc. on Campus.

The third robbery occurred at 12:05 a.m. Monday, right in the U of C Main Quadrangle. The address listed for the robbery was 1025 E. 58th St., which is the address of Swift Hall, the building that houses the Divinity School.

In the incident, three men, one of them armed with a handgun, held up a man sitting on a bench and took property.

A campus alert said that police are reviewing video surveillance tapes and warned students and other area residents to be aware of their surroundings.

Anyone with information is asked to call Wentworth Area detectives, at (312) 747-8382.

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