Chicago police have been scouring the Gresham neighborhood looking for whoever has been involved in as many as 10 attacks on women in the last month, a community activist said Monday.
Andrew Holmes said some of the muggings have happened in broad daylight, but all of them have been within a four-block radius: between South 76th and South 79th streets and South Racine Avenue and South Loomis Boulevard.
"He said, 'Let go of the the purse or I'm going to shoot you," recalled one victim of an attack four weeks ago while with her 5-year-old and 3-year-old granddaughters. She asked for anonymity because her attacker was still on the loose Monday.
In a report she filed with police and shared with NBC Chicago, the woman, who agreed to be identified as Linda Jones, said she was hit from behind and threatened while her purse was over her shoulder and her attention was on the children.
"I think maybe when I fell I was laying on the purse. I remember holding up my arm ... waiting for a bullet to hit me," she said.
The attacker took her purse and ran off.
Other women have described similar attacks are were hoping police would issue a community alert to help keep other women safe. One landlord in the neighborhood said she had two tenants attacked.
Holmes said police could be looking for as many as three attackers, and he said there is a $1,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest and conviction.