Angry residents of an East Rogers Park apartment building demanded action after a woman reported being attacked and raped Wednesday night.
Police said the 24-year-old woman was in the laundry room of a building on the 1200 block of West North Shore Avenue at about 7 p.m. when a man came up behind her and covered her eyes. The woman told authorities the man said he had a gun and demanded her money. He took her keys and cell phone from her pocket, police said.
When the woman tried to fight him off, he struck her head against a support column in the room and sexually assaulted her before leaving the building, police said.
Alderman Joe Moore (49th) visited the building Thursday and noted that it was easily accessible -- there's no lock on the building and an access key isn't needed to enter -- and many of the doors inside the building, including the laundry room door, were unlocked. Moore instructed the landlord to fix it by the end of the day.
A sign warning of a surveillance sign on the building is a meaningless piece of paper, because there's no actual system in place.
Residents passed around a petition Thursday night demanding working locks on the doors to the building.
"There's no locks on the front gate. I've had packages stolen, I've had two bikes stolen," a resident told NBC 5.
Residents say the landlord installed one lock on Thursday, but say much more needs to be done.
"This has to happen for him to change the locks? It's just crazy," resident Eloisa Serrano said.
The attacker was described as a black male who stands between 5 feet, 10 inches and 6 feet, 2 inches tall. He wore tan boots, blue jeans and a black jacket with black and white wrist cuffs, police said. Authorities did not provide any information about the attacker's age.
"It makes me really scared because I live right here," said resident Ola Baczynski, who hadn't even heard about the attack.
Residents say the neighborhood has come a long way over the past decade, but an eL station nearby means anybody has easy access to the area.
"I try to stay in well-lit areas, I try to commute when there's a high population of people around, but I've always thought this street to be safe, I mean I come home from work at 1 a.m. in the morning and it's never seemed unsafe or dangerous," neighbor Brandolyn Amusa said.
No one is in custody for the crime. Anyone with information should call police at 312-744-8263.