Police say armed thieves targeting pedestrians in Roscoe Village, North Center



It’s been a stressful week for the residents of Chicago’s Roscoe Village and North Center neighborhoods.

“I’m nervous to walk. Even at dark, not just midnight. But around 8:00 or 8:30,” said Miranda Byrd-Jameson. “Things are happening in our neighborhood.”

Police are alerting residents and searching for three offenders in a rash of armed robberies that occurred on the North Side in the early morning hours of May 14 and throughout the day on May 17.

Chicago Police said there have been at least eight incidents in the area over the last several days, which they believe are connected to the same three suspects. Police said the suspects were described as three black men between the ages of 17-30. One was described as being 5’9″-6’1″ and wearing a red hoodie, while the other two were described as 5’6″-5’9″ and wearing gray or dark-colored hoodies.

The men, police said, approach their victims from behind and threaten them with a gun before taking their possessions. On one occasion they were seen fleeing in a dark-colored, Jeep-type vehicle.

Byrd-Jameson and friend Dawn Timberlake believe they almost became victims of the same men Saturday night as they walked home from a party just a few doors down from one of the latest incidents and became aware they were being followed by both a car and a person on foot.

“I didn’t know what to do because Miranda was on one side of the street, I was on the other,” Timberlake said. “When I got to the corner here, I turned and there was a man in my front yard, my neighbor’s yard and his activity just looked suspicious. And he ran into my neighbor’s yard. We just started yelling, ‘Please call 911.’ We called for her husband.”

Despite this latest string of incidents, police said robberies in the 19th District are down 27 percent and arrests are up 5 percent compared to this same time last year.

Neighborhood groups are also being more proactive. Roscoe Village Neighbors, for example, is using technology.

“We instituted a camera program,” said Jason Elster of Roscoe Village Neighbors. “The program is a cloud-based, network camera security program that we’re installing. We’re helping residents and businesses install cameras both in alleys and on streets.”

If something happens, Elster said police can immediately access the footage rather than waste time going door-to-door.

Anyone with information is asked to call Area North detectives: 312-744-8263.

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Source: Chicago News

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