CHICAGO (CBS) — Police have released surveillance video in two recent robberies in the Chinatown neighborhood.
The two incidents on the 200 block of West 23rd Street were among at least a half dozen robberies in the area in the last two weeks.
The most recent ones happened across the street from each other, three days apart.
In the first robbery, around 11:55 p.m. on Nov. 8, video shows four people running up to a woman from behind, and one of the suspects pointing a gun at her, before another steals her purse. Police said the video also shows a car the suspects might have been driving before the robbery.
Police said three days later, two suspects snatched a purse from a 58-year-old woman and knocked her to the ground around 7 p.m. Surveillance video does not show the robbery itself, but does show the suspects — a female with curly hair and a male in a sweatshirt — running down the sidewalk.
The robberies were alarming news to Chinatown residents.
“It’s a tourist site. A lot of tourists come around here. I guess that’s the reason? I don’t know. They come around with lots of money,” Mary Awah said.
Community members hope the fact that these suspects were caught on surveillance video deters anybody from thinking about performing robberies here in the future
“It’s always been a safe area, for me at least. I mean, I still think it’s safe,” Stephanie Brulloths said.
Whatever the reason or whoever the target – people who live and work in Chinatown want the criminals to know someone is always watching.
“We can only do what we can just to basically alert the community and notifying parents for our school and stuff like,” said Craig Wong, manager at Pui Tak Chinese Christian Church. “They put more cameras in. That’s been very helpful as well.”
Area Central Detectives were investigating both robberies.
Investigators also were looking into another robbery in Chinatown, in which two sisters reported being pistol-whipped for their purses around 1:45 a.m. on Nov. 2, as they were walking through an alley in the 2400 block of South Wentworth Avenue.
Police have warned of at least three other robberies in Chinatown in late October:
• about 11:30 p.m. Oct. 23 in the 2100 block of South China Place.
• about 2 a.m. Oct. 27 in the 2100 block of South China Place.
• at 12:24 a.m. Oct. 31 in the 2100 block of South China Place.
Anyone with information was asked to call Area Central detectives at (312) 747-8382.