CHICAGO (CBS) — Two teenage boys have been charged with hitting a woman and stealing her purse in the Wicker Park neighborhood Thursday morning, and police are trying to determine whether the attack is connected to a series of similar robberies in recent months.

Travion Lockett, 17, of the 2200 block of West Maypole Avenue, and a 16-year-old boy, are charged with robbery in the incident, which happened in broad daylight Thursday morning.

Lockett allegedly struck a woman in the face, and stole her purse with the help of the other teen, around 10:20 a.m. Thursday in the 1500 block of North Leavitt Street, police said.

Officers in the area heard a flash message and responded to the scene. They identified the alleged assailants based on their descriptions, and arrested them after a brief foot chase, police said.

Lockett is charged as an adult, and is set for a bond hearing Friday. The younger teen is charged as a juvenile.
In recent months, a rash of strong-arm robberies has hit the Wicker Park, Bucktown and Logan Square neighborhoods. In most of those incidents, only one robber was involved.

He targeted women walking alone, and took wallets, money and cell phones from his victims.

Early in the morning on Friday, Jan. 27, one of the robberies was infamously caught on surveillance video. The video from the camera inside Penny’s Noodles, 1542 N. Damen Ave., shows a woman carrying a purse as she walks past the junction of Damen and Pierce avenues.

A man is walking several steps behind her, but suddenly, he quickens his pace and grabs the woman. He yanks away her purse, throws her to the ground, and runs off.

Robberies have also been reported in the following locations:

• the 3100 block of West Fullerton Avenue, Dec. 4, 2011, 5:20 a.m.
• the 1800 block of North California Avenue, Dec. 17, 2011, 6 a.m.
• the 1700 block of North Central Park Avenue, Dec. 21, 2011, 6:15 a.m.
• the 1900 block of North Western Avenue, Dec. 22, 2011, 11 p.m.
• the 2100 block of North California Avenue, Dec. 24, 2011, 7:30 a.m.
• the 2000 block of North Kimball Avenue, Dec. 31, 2011, 11:20 p.m.
• the 1500 block of North Hoyne Avenue, Jan. 3, 2012, 3 a.m.
• the 1700 block of West Wabansia Avenue, Jan. 4, 2012, 4:32 p.m.
• the 2600 block of West Wellington Avenue, Jan. 6, 2012, 8 p.m.
• the 2100 block of North Milwaukee Avenue, Jan. 8, 2012, noon
• the 1500 block of North Maplewood Avenue, Jan. 20, 2012, 8 p.m.
• the 1500 block of North Milwaukee Avenue, Jan. 21, 2012, 2 a.m.

In an additional incident, Kathy Pilch, 27, told WBBM Newsradio she was robbed by a man and woman on Feb. 4 at Division Street and Greenview Avenue, as she walked to her Wicker Park home.

Pilch says she and a friend were thrown to the ground by the man, who took her purse. She kicked the robber in an effort to defend herself.

On Feb. 3, Ald. Proco “Joe” Moreno reported that a suspect had been arrested in connection with the robberies. But it turned out that the suspect was not linked to the incidents.

The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.

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