(STMW) — A man who tried to rob three women with a knife in the River North area Thursday night was apprehended by police who spotted him downtown soon after the crimes.

About 8:15 p.m., the man approached three women in the 600 block of North Dearborn, threatened them with a knife and attempted to snatch one of their purses, police News Affairs Officer John Mirabelli said. He was unsuccessful in his robbery attempt and fled on foot.

Officers put out a description of the would-be robber on police radio and Near North District officers began a search for him. Bicycle officers spotted him on Ontario, between State and Wabash, and captured him, Mirabelli said.

The suspect, 48-year-old Gregory Busby of the 100 block of West 96th Street, was taken back to the scene of the crime, where he was positively identified by the victims, Mirabelli said.

Busby, who had a misdemeanor charge of battery in August 2012, was charged with one count of attempted armed robbery and three counts of aggravated battery in a public place, Mirabelli said.

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2013. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

Watch & Listen LIVE