Police Warn Of Rash Of Robberies On South Side; ‘Our Community Is Scared’

CHICAGO (CBS) — A crime spree has several South Side neighborhoods on alert. Chicago Police say the suspects are stealing vehicles, and using them to commit armed robberies.

Three community alerts have been issued one week in the Beverly and Morgan Park neighborhoods.

“This is scary for our community,” said Ald. Matt O’Shea (19th).

The alderman said he’s concerned about the recent uptick in crime in the area.

“Our community is scared based on the amount of incidents we’ve had over the past week,” O’Shea said.

RELATED: Police Warn Of Armed Robberies In Beverly, Morgan Park

The most recent incidents happened Saturday morning. Police said it started when someone stole a Chevy Equinox that was left running in a driveway the 400 block of West 100th Place, and then used it in at least four robberies in Beverly, Washington Heights, and Auburn Gresham.

One of those crimes happened around 7:30 a.m. Saturday in the 2600 block of West 106th Place.

“They took a cell phone from a young man jogging through the neighborhood, and demanded he disarm the phone so that it could not be tracked,” O’Shea said.

O’Shea said cell phones are the primary target.

“It just tells you what the demand is on the secondary market for cell phones. People will take these and get money for it,” he said.

Police have not provided detailed descriptions of the suspects, who are believed to be 14 to 18 years old.

While investigators have an idea of who they’re looking for, neighbors said the crime spree is a shame.

“It’s absolutely terrible tragedy. I mean, it’s a tragedy that kids are going around taking stuff that don’t belong to them,” Michael Shanks said.

Police said you can protect yourself by making sure you have tracking software and security locks on your cell phone. You also should write down serial numbers for your electronics just in case.

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