CHICAGO (CBS) — Police on Thursday announced they are searching for two men and a woman in connection with a violent home invasion in an apartment building on Fullerton Parkway in Lincoln Park.
The men barged into a woman’s home, handcuffed her, taped her mouth shut, and then beat and robbed her, police said.
Police initially described the assailants as three men. But police said Thursday that one suspect – described as African-American and between 26 and 28 years old, standing between 5 feet 6 and 5 feet 9 inches tall, was actually a woman. Police said she was wearing a red scarf or hoody with a black coat over it, and had shaved hair on the sides that was braided on top.
Another suspect was described as an African-American male between 35 and 45, standing 5 feet 4 to 5 feet 9 inches tall and wearing all black clothing. The victim said he weighed 150 to 175 pounds with brown eyes and black hair in braids. He was wearing black pants, a black shirt, black shoes and a gold necklace.
A third was described as an African-American male between the ages of 26 and 28 with a light complexion and a thin build, wearing a white long-sleeve shirt. He had brown eyes and black hair and was wearing blue jeans, the victim earlier told police.
The home invasion and attack happened around 9:10 p.m. Tuesday in the Beachwalk Apartments, at 420 W. Fullerton Pkwy. just east of Clark Street. The building is mostly made up of studio and one bedroom apartments.
Police said the 32-year-old woman was inside her top-floor apartment when she heard a knock on the door. When she answered her door, three men rushed into inside. She did not know the assailants, and they covered the peep hole while knocking, according to a police source.
A police source said the assailants were all armed with guns and repeatedly slapped and hit her in the head and on her face and hit her in the head with an unknown object.
One assailant held her against the wall while the other two searched the apartment, the source said. She was asked, “Where is the money? We know you have money here.”
When she told them she didn’t have any money one of them put a gun inside her mouth and said, “Do you want to die today?” He then said, “We should shoot her and leave,” the police source said.
The woman was then forced to lie face down on the bed where she was handcuffed and had her mouth taped shut. The source said the assailants told her not to move or look at them and they would be back.
The assailants went on to steal miscellaneous items from the apartment before running off, police said. A police source said they took a ceramic container filled with cash, her purse and wallet and a laptop.
The woman then ran to a neighbor’s apartment to get help after the violent robbery. A 911 call said the victim walked into the neighbor’s apartment handcuffed and saying someone was “after her.”
A police source said the neighbor was able to take the cuffs off her while waiting for police to arrive.
The woman was transported to Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center where her condition was stabilized, according to police
There are cameras all around the Beachwalk Apartments building, and a call box at the front door. To get in, you need either a key or a renter to buzz you. There is even a sign inside the entrance reading, “You can improve security by denying access to anyone you do not know.”
TLC Management Company, which manages the building, issued a statement early Thursday:
“We share the concern of the entire Lincoln Park Community and are deeply troubled by the incident that occurred at one of our properties. We are fully cooperating with the Chicago Police Department and are hopeful that the clear images provided by our camera system will aid the police department in their investigation. Because this is an open criminal investigation we cannot comment further but we do want to remind all persons living in any apartment complex throughout Chicagoland to never ‘buzz’ or allow a visitor into your building without first verifying the person is someone you know or are expecting. Any threatening or suspicious activity should result in an immediate call to 9-1-1.”