Chicago police say at least three men jump out of a white car, surround their victims and demand their belongings--including their coats--in a string holiday robberies over the past week.
It's happened at least four times so far in several Chicago neighborhoods this week. Police say the crooks are using a stolen white Audi S4.
One of the latest happened in the 1200 block of South Indiana Avenue in the South Loop on Tuesday.
"It's a little disappointing, a little surprising, but it's a city you always want to be careful," said Dana Wagner, who was visiting friends in the area Friday. "But, I didn't think it wasn't that kind of a clear and present of a situation day to day and that's too bad."
The South Loop has seen two of these types of robberies, one on Indiana and the other in the 600 block of South State Street. Residents couldn't believe some of the victims were also stripped of their coats.
Resident Andrea Vernon-Cwik is outraged.
"Who takes someone's coat? It's like negative two degrees out right now, who does that? It's so cold," she said.
Wagner was in disbelief over the coat thefts, too.
"That's like taking somebody's horse in the wild west, that's a huge offense, if you leave someone without a coat in this weather they can be in for a lot of trouble," she said.
For those who are still walking despite the frigid temperatures, they're being extra cautious.
Roger Gonzis works in South Loop.
"Just watch what you're doing that's all and watch around you, that's what I always do. Don't make yourself an easy target," he said.
The robberies have occurred in the following areas, according to police:
- 1300 block of East 47th Street Dec. 26 at 6:50 p.m.
- 1200 block of South Indiana Avenue on Dec. 26 at 7:58 p.m.
- 100 block of East Chicago Avenue on Dec. 26 at 8:08 p.m.
- 1600 block of South State Street on Dec. 28 at 11:40 a.m.
Chicago police ask that residents be vigilant.
Keep an eye on your surroundings and report anyone or anything suspicious, they say.