Watch your back. And keep watching it.
Thugs carried out yet another robbery in upscale Lincoln Park Thursday night, mugging a couple at 3:30 am. That brings the total number of mugging victims in the DePaul University area to at least nine, and perhaps more.
The men took the woman’s wallet, Chicago Police News Affairs Officer Amina Greer said, but unlike previous muggings no one was hurt.
But Thursday’s attack might lead to a crack in the case.
A black T-shirt, believed to have belonged to one of the robbers, was found near the scene and could be used as evidence. But police are still unwilling to connect the robberies as a rash of serial crimes. At this point they believe the attacks could be unrelated.
But the couple said they were attacked by a group of four men, at 430 W. Deming Place. Four attackers were also involved in more than a few of the previous attacks.
"The victims are all males walking alone," said Sgt. Tim Kusinski of the Area 3 robbery division told the Chicago Sun-Times when the first attacks took place. "They’re basically surprise attacks. The victims hear footsteps coming up behind them, someone says, 'Hey, where you going?' And as soon as they turn around, the first thing they see is a fist."
The attackers don’t have much compassion, either.
"These guys are vicious and cruel. They don't just rob and hurt. Like I said, we're doing everything we can to catch them and I'm confident we will," said Supt. Jody Weis, Chicago Police Department.
One victim, who refers to himself only as "John," for fear of retribution, was attacked Monday night. But "John" fended off the assailants after he grabbed his bike lock and started swining. He also tossed his money on the ground.
Three attackers approached a man walking his bicycle near the intersection of West Fullerton and North Cannon. The assailants demanded money, and after keeping the three men at bay with his bike lock the victim threw $137 on the ground and fled the scene, Chicago Police News Affairs Officer David Banks said.
"It was almost like my senses were kind of putting me in line for what was to happen," said the 36-year-old man, who asked not to be identified for fear his attackers might seek retribution told the Chicago Tribune. "This lock was my saving grace, really."
Police describe the muggers as Hispanic males in their early 20s, and one victim spotted a small older-model, maroon car on the scene, the release said.
Detectives urge residents to walk in groups when possible and avoid secluded areas such as parks, alleys and vacant lots late at night and early morning.
They also urge anyone with information on the robberies to call 911 or Belmont Area detectives at (312) 744-8263.