CHICAGO (CBS) — Three robberies and attacks were reported within 40 minutes of each other near Chicago’s Magnificent Mile Monday.
CBS 2 has learned all the women involved are OK, but the crimes are part of a troubling trend.READ MORE: Chicago Weather Alert: Winter Weather Advisory Through 6 P.M. As Lake Effect Snowfall Continues
The robberies all took place within three blocks in the heart of shopping, dining and tourism.
The first was on Oak Street at 7:38 Monday evening. A woman was hit in the face and robbed. Police say the 23-year-old was walking when a gray vehicle pulled up. A man got out of the vehicle, hit her in the face with an open hand and took her cell phone. She declined medical attention.
At 7:50 p.m. a 29-year-old woman was walking on Lake Shore Drive to turn onto Chestnut when a man grabbed her and attempted to throw her to the ground. The man then stole her cell phone from her hand and fled west on Chestnut. She also declined medical attention.
Minutes later at 8:13 p.m., another woman was targeted and robbed on North Lake Shore Drive. She was robbed of her cell phone by two men. The woman left the scene before officers arrived and declined any other police service, police say.
On Friday, another woman was struck and robbed in the same area during the same time frame. Police say a 55-year-old woman was on the sidewalk using her cell phone in the 800 block of North Lake Shore Drive around 7:41 p.m. when she was approached by two men. One hit her arm and took her phone. Both fled in a silver vehicle.
“We’re off to a difficult start this summer,” said Ald. Brian Hopkins (2nd).READ MORE: Chicago Weather Alert: Snow Totals From Lake Effect Snowstorm
Hopkins said he’s already fed up.
“It really is a problem what’s going on in the downtown area, and it’s unacceptable,” he said.
It was still light out when the robberies happened. He said things get worse at night.
“We’ve seen sexual assaults,” he said. “We’ve seen an increase in carjacking, two fatal shootings and and a stabbing all in the span of a couple of days in the downtown area. It has residents very much on edge.”
Hopkins is considering eliminating overnight, unmetered parking on nearby streets to keep people from coming to the areas after dark.
“The focus is on prevention,” he said. “We make it inconvenient for you to go to a park that’s closed and leave your car there.”
“Losing a bunch of this parking will certainly affect things, but I certainly understand the concerns,” said Bill Doetsch, who works nearby.MORE NEWS: Chicago Weather Alert: Dangerous Driving Conditions With Snow Causing Low Visibility Friday
Chicago police will not say whether they believe the crimes in the area and the surrounding neighborhoods are connected or related but say area detectives are investigating all of them.