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Police Warn Of Austin Armed Robberies

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CHICAGO (STMW) — Police are warning West Side residents of several armed robberies in the Austin neighborhood since February.

On three separate occasions, a lone male with his face covered approaches people during the early-morning hours and robs them at gunpoint, according to a community alert from Chicago Police.

The most recent robbery happened April 2 about 6:40 a.m. in the 5700 block of West Midway Park, police said.

The suspect is described as a black man, with a medium-brown complexion, between the ages of 30 and 38, standing between 5-foot-11 and 6-foot-2 and weighing between 180 and 220 pounds. He was wearing a dark brown jacket under a light-green safety worker vest, tan desert style camouflage pants, black boots and a bandana covering his lower face, police said.

On the same day, at that same time, Priscilla Hatch, wife of Pastor Marshall Hatch of the New Mount Pilgrim Missionary Baptist Church in Austin, claimed she was robbed at gunpoint in front of their home on Midway Park, according to a statement from a church spokesman. According to Hatch, the suspect was impersonating a “utility or CPS safety passage worker” and wearing a yellow and orange safety vest. Her purse was stolen and has not yet been recovered.

The church statement said it was the third such robbery at gunpoint on the same block in the last three weeks, all by suspects impersonating utility or safety workers.

About 6 a.m. March 12 — three weeks earlier — police said another robbery happened in the same block.

The suspect in that robbery is described as a black man, with a light complexion, between the ages of 18 and 25, standing between 6-feet and 6-foot-2 and weighing between 180 and 200 pounds. He was wearing a three-quarter length puffy jacket and a tan ski mask, police said.

Less than 30 days earlier, about 6 a.m. Feb. 13, an armed robbery occurred in the 5700 block of West Lake Street, police said.

The suspect is described as a Hispanic man with a slight Spanish accent, between the ages of 20 and 29, standing about 5-foot-11, weighing about 175 pounds. He was wearing a light-brown puffy coat and using a blue or gray neck scarf to cover his lower face, police said.

Anyone with information on the robberies is asked to contact Area North detectives at (312) 747-8263.

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2014. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)