‘We're Prey': Teen Stole Cellphone From Driver's Hand at Loop Stoplight

A woman says thieves walked up and grabbed her cell phone out of her car as she was waiting at a stoplight in downtown Chicago.

Tracy Alston was robbed as she sat in her car at the intersection of Michigan Avenue and Randolph Street during the evening rush on Tuesday.

"I’m not fine, I now know I’m not fine and I’ll never be fine again," she told NBC 5. "This young man comes up and he’s waving like he knew me."

The Chicago businesswoman says the teen walked up to her car sitting in traffic.

"My phone is in my lap with my hand on it he grabs and snatches it and he darts back," she said.

She screamed for a police officer’s help. Alston says the officer told her the incident was one of several in the area.

"They are hitting women in the face then snatching their phone and another thing they are cutting the purse straps," she said.

According to Chicago police the department is working to increase the number of officers patrolling neighborhoods across the city.

In addition to the summer mobile patrol of 100 officers dedicated to the lakefront and parks, CPD officials say.

“The 18th and 1st districts have received between 25 and 30 new officers so far this year," the department said in a statement. "We have also set up dedicated patrols for the Chicago Riverwalk and surrounding areas."

Alston thinks patrols are only part of the solution.

"I think we need cameras on every single block," she said.

For now she wants women to be on guard.

"I’m so disappointed, I’m still mad," she said. "I want women to know, we’re at prey."

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