Three women were attacked by a group of thieves in the city's Gold Coast neighborhood on Monday night, according to police, marking the latest in a string of muggings in the area.
The incident took place at around 9:05 p.m. in the 200 block of East Chestnut Street, according to Chicago police. Three women, two 21-year-olds and a 22-year-old, were on the sidewalk when they were approached by three male offenders who tried to take their personal property by force, authorities said.
One of the 21-year-old women was struck in the face with closed fists and had her property stolen, according to police, who said the attackers then fled the scene.
The woman refused medical attention at the scene. No one is in custody in connection with the incident, according to police, who said the investigation remained ongoing.
Monday's attack marked the fifth incident of its kind in recent weeks, with three strong-arm robberies reported on North Dewitt Place and a fourth on East Pearson Street, officials say.
Chicago police said the cases were "active investigations" and that they could not say if any of the incidents were connected. But neighbors in the area believe its the same group.
"It’s frightening. I thought we had a safe neighborhood," said Paula Turner, who lives in the area.
"There’s a lot of fear in the neighborhood," added Louise Rahling, another Streeterville resident. "There are many dogs here and we’re all out walking in the morning, noon and evening… late in the evening, often."
The first attack happened around 10:30 p.m. on Dec. 30, police said, when a 59-year-old man was tackled from behind, pushed to the ground and punched in the head. His attacker searched his pockets before fleeing.
About 10 minutes later, a 63-year-old man was also punched in the head, according to police. His attacker got away empty-handed.
Then at about 10:30 a.m. Thursday, police said a 49-year-old woman was pushed until a man got away with items that fell out of her purse.
Police and the area alderman said last week that they had strong leads in the case and plenty of surveillance images, but warned those in the area to be alert and keep personal belongings hidden at all times.
On Friday, undercover police saturated the area around Lake Shore Park.
"We’ve also worked a cooperative agreement with Northwestern University police," 2nd Ward Ald. Brian Hopkins said. "They’re on patrol as well and have arrest powers.”
"We’ve been able to double the police force in Streeterville using university and Chicago police," Hopkins added. "We’re going to get these offenders.”