Five times last weekend, armed robbers approached people on the street near Wrigley Field, forced them into waiting cars, stole their wallets and phones, then left them, Chicago police said in an alert.
No injuries were reported in the robberies that occurred in the early morning hours of Saturday and Sunday on Clark Street between Addison and Roscoe streets, south of Wrigley, police said.
The alert said the assaults occurred in the 3500 block of North Clark on Saturday, the 3400 block of North Clark on Sunday, the 1100 block of West Addison on Sunday and the 3600 block of North Clark on Sunday. Police later reported a fifth attack that also happened in the 1100 block of West Addison early Sunday morning.
Police described the suspects as two or possibly three black males, 5-foot-10 to 6-foot-6, 150-170 pounds, 25 to 30 years old. A black handgun was used.
The attacks took place in the City Hall Police District, where overall crime is up 66% from a year earlier, according to police data. Robberies increased by 48%, damaged batteries by 17%, and thefts by 84%.
Retirement of Ald. Tom Tunney (44th) has spent the last four years complaining about the lack of Chicago police officers in the City Hall district that includes his protégé. The troubling spate of recent kidnappings has only strengthened his argument.
“On Monday, I met with command staff in the 19th District and advised our commander that these recent crimes indicate the need to have additional police coverage in our entertainment areas along Clark and Halsted,” Tunney, who is still considering a mayoral run, wrote is in a text message to the Sun-Times.
“I have also reiterated to CPD leadership that they need to increase the number of officers assigned to the 19th Precinct and that, in the meantime, I fully support the district’s request to CPD headquarters to send these additional resources to the area for the weekend of Halloween,” he said. “As always, I would like to remind residents to be aware of their surroundings, to walk in pairs and to call the police if they see suspicious behaviour.”
The City Assembly currently has 287 sworn officers. That’s down from 416 officers just months after Mayor Lori Lightfoot took office.