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Police Seek Serial Robber Targeting Women On NW Side

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Northwest Side Robberies

Police are looking for a strong-arm robber who has been targeting women in the Jefferson Park and Portage Park neighborhoods. (Credit: CBS)

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UPDATED 03/01/12 5:40 a.m.

CHICAGO (CBS) – Police have issued a warning to women on the city’s Northwest Side, after a string of strong-arm robberies in the Jefferson Park and Portage Park neighborhoods.

As CBS 2’s Susanna Song reports, there have been eight attacks in the past month, and police believe the same man is responsible.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Bernie Tafoya reports

The two most recent attacks happened just this past Tuesday evening.

In the first strong arm robbery on Jan. 28, a woman said she was attacked in the 5300 block of busy West Belmont Avenue around 7 p.m.

Police say a man approaches his female victims on the sidewalk or in the alley, and robs them of their purses money and cell phones.

Most of the attacks happened at night or in the afternoon.

One woman, Sue Thomas, says it pays to be cautious no matter where one lives in the city.

“A lot of times, people get comfortable when the weather is nicer, and we just don’t pay attention the way we should, and think that in a nice neighborhood like this, that it won’t happen here, and that is so wrong,” she said. “It doesn’t only happen in quote-unquote, ‘bad neighborhoods.’ It’s everywhere.”

The suspect is described as a being white or lighter skinned Hispanic man, about 20 to 35 years old, standing 5 feet 8 inches to 6 feet tall.

He has been described as wearing a black or brown hooded sweatshirt, a black or brown jacket, black or brown pants, black or brown ski cap or skullcap.

Police have not released a sketch.

In addition to the Belmont Avenue attack, other attacks occurred in the following locations:

• 5500 block of West School Street – Feb. 10, 7:40 p.m.

• 3100 block of North Lotus Avenue – Feb. 13, 5:39 p.m.

• 5700 block of West Melrose Street – Feb. 14, 2:30 p.m.

• 5600 block of West Cornelia Avenue – Feb. 21, 7:40 p.m.

• 5800 block of West Belmont Avenue – Feb.24, 2:40 p.m.

• 4700 block of North Marmora Avenue – Feb. 28, 6:45 p.m.

• 5400 block of West School Street – Feb. 28, 7:29 p.m.

Anyone with information should call Grand Central Area detectives at (312) 746-8362.

Meanwhile, police are still looking for a robber who has been targeting women in the Wicker Park, Bucktown and Logan Square neighborhoods. The robber has taken wallets, money and cell phones from his victims and pushed them to the ground.

Those attacks happened between Dec. 24 and Jan. 27.

The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.

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