A 61-year-old woman was sprayed with a pepper spray-like substance, and her purse was snatched Sunday morning in the Lincoln Park neighborhood.
The assault comes on the heels of four other similar incidents in the nearby Lake View neighborhood. All happened in the early morning hours, and all involved pepper spray.
In the latest incident, the woman was sprayed with some kind of disabling substance about 7 a.m. in the 400 block of West Arlington Place while the suspect grabbed her purse, according to Belmont Area police Sgt. Timothy Kusinski. The woman declined medical treatment.
Her purse was found later nearby but it was missing her wallet, money and ID's, according to the sergeant, who said Sunday afternoon they are investigating if this is the work of the same crew responsible for the four other attacks.
“We don’t know if it's related to the other ones,’’ Kusinski. “It’s under investigation.’’
Images taken by cameras from nearby businesses and buildings in the area are being obtained, he said.
While police have received “plenty” of phone calls and tips, no one has been arrested in Sunday’s incident or in any of the other four, but police are working hard to solve them, according to the sergeant.
A Community Alert was issued Friday after a 3:32 a.m. attack that day in the 800 block of West Aldine, police said. The robber made away with an iPhone from a 25-year-old man. And just an hour earlier, a 19-year-old woman was robbed of her purse and cell phone in the 600 block of West Buckingham Place.
The robberies began on Wednesday when two other women were robbed. About 1:23 a.m. in the 3500 block of North Pine, a 27-year-old woman was robbed of her purse. At 3:50 a.m. the same morning, a 21-year-old woman was robbed of her purse.
The alert said the two robbers approached the victims as they were walking on the street or entering their homes during the early morning hours, then sprayed the victims in the face with pepper spray or mace.
The victims were knocked to the ground and personal property was forcibly removed before the two robbers fled the scene.
The suspects were described as being males between the ages of 18 and 30, about 175 pounds, and are 5-foot-5 to 6-foot-3 in height. They have dark complexions, black hair and were wearing t-shirts and blue jeans, according to the alert.
Anyone with information is asked to call Belmont Area detectives, (312) 744-8263.