Chicago police are warning residents and visitors to the city about a series of cell phone and purse thefts that have occurred in the city’s Gold Coast neighborhood.
According to authorities, the thefts all occurred over the weekend and in broad daylight. During each theft, a person approaches a victim from behind and forcibly grabs their cell phone or their purse from their hands, then flee on foot to a waiting vehicle.
The incidents have occurred:
- 0-100 block of East Chestnut Street, March 1 in the early morning
- 900 block of North State Street, March 1 in the afternoon
- 0-100 block of East Oak Street, March 1 in the afternoon
- 0-100 block of West Ontario Street, March 2 in the afternoon
Police say that in one of the incidents, the thief sled in a silver Ford Escape SUV, and when confronted by the victim, he pulled out a blue semi-automatic gun and threatened to shoot the victim.
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The offenders are described as one-to-four African American men, ages 20 to 22, and one woman, also an African American, who is between 20 and 22 years old.
The alleged thieves may not be driving a blue Audi Q5 four-door vehicle, police say.
Residents with information on the thefts are encouraged to call the Area Central Bureau of Detectives at 312-747-8380. Police are advising residents and visitors to be aware of their surroundings, and if they are confronted by an assailant, to remain calm and to remember any unique characteristics about the thieves.