taxi driver robberies

Chicago Police Investigating Rash of Downtown Taxi Driver Robberies

A total of five incidents were reported in the last month downtown Chicago

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Chicago police are searching for suspects in several violent robberies targeting taxi drivers on the city's Near North Side.

According to police, a total of five incidents were reported in the last month on North Michigan Avenue and in the city's Gold Coast and Lincoln Park neighborhoods.

The thieves start by hailing a cab, and once they reach their destination, they attack the driver, take whatever they can and run away, police said.

Police added that the suspects in the crimes are "sophisticated," and the suspects know what they are doing. Officers have increased patrols in the downtown area in wake of the incidents.

Ald. Brian Hopkins, who represents the ward where some of the crimes occurred, said as many of 10 suspects are working together in teams of two or four.

Hopkins said he and others are informing hotel doormen about the crimes' patterns, so they can warn cab drivers.

In a statement to NBC 5, the union representing cab drivers, Cab Drivers United, said driving a taxi is among the most dangerous of all professions.

"We urge drivers to be alert and report suspicious activity," the statement read. "Our union meets regularly with the Chicago Police Department to ensure that crimes against drivers are properly investigated and prosecuted."

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