Police are searching for a man who they believe was involved in at least four recent sexual assaults involving five victims in Chicago.
The string of attacks began in July, with multiple incidents following in the Grand Crossing and Gresham neighborhoods, according to police. The most recent attack happened Friday, authorities said.
In a community alert, Chicago police said a man approached female victims between the ages of 18 and 25 and lured them to a secluded area before pulling out a gun or knife and sexually assaulting them. After the assault, he took items, including their cell phones and money, from them and fled in an unknown direction, police said.
Police did not elaborate on how the man lured the women, but said that there were conversations involved.
"There was some conversation between the victims and offenders," said acting Area Central Commander Ozzie Valdez.
The incidents reported include:
- 7600 Block of S. Evans on July 12, 2019 at approximately 5 a.m.
- 7400 Block of S. Vernon on July 25, 2019 at approximately 5:30 a.m.
- 7400 Block of S. King Drive on August 6, 2019 at approximately 12 a.m.
- 7700 Block of S. Langley Ave. on August 23, 2019 at approximately 2 p.m.
In a vague description, police said the suspect was described as a man between 20 and 30 years old, standing between 5 feet, 7 inches tall and 6 feet, 2 inches tall. He weighed between 130 and 160 pounds, had black hair and was wearing a white T-shirt, blue shorts and gym shoes. In two of the assaults, the man may have been wearing a mask, authorities said.
"We did get from one of the victims that she was certain he was wearing a Chicago Bulls hat," Valdez said.
The suspect was last seen in the 6700 block of Prairie, but police said they were still reviewing surveillance images from the areas where the attacks occurred to see if a man matching the description could be seen.
Authorities urged residents, particularly anyone in the 75th Street Corridor between King Drive and Cottage Grove Avenue, to be aware of their surroundings, walk in pairs when possible and report suspicious activity “immediately."
“If anybody, male or female, is approached by someone they don’t know and try to engage in conversation, I would be very cautious," Valdez said.
Police said they did not know of any additional cases but urged anyone with information to call (312) 747-8380.
"We hope that if there are more they would come forward and call Area Central Division," Valdez said.