Police warn of Loop cellphone, headphone robberies

Chicago police are warning people who walk or commute in the Loop about a series of recent robberies on sidewalks and CTA platforms.

- Chicago Police are warning people in the Loop to be on alert after a series of robberies. The thieves are targeting people on the street and CTA platforms, robbing them of cellphones and headphones.

“I think with crime being what it is, you always have to be alert, you always need to pay attention. Even when I walk around with headphones, I leave one off so I can actually hear my surroundings,” said Wendall Weaver, which is something police wish more people would do.

Police say the suspects in the string of robberies are jumping people from behind, and they are not afraid to rough people up to get what they are after. According to a community alert, the suspects are young black males between the ages of 10 and 23. Sometimes they work in groups, and other times alone.

“I'm concerned, I'm definitely concerned, but I try to be aware, I look around me as I walk down the street,” said Darnella Patterson.

Police say all but one of the robberies happened between 7:30 PM and 1:30 AM. The first one happened March 6th, and the most recent one April 4th.

“When I feel more secure then I'll put them on,” said Richard Perez, lifting his headphones from around his neck. “But I usually just hold them like that so that I can hear whatever's coming around me, cause you just never know.”

“I'm definitely kind of aware of my surroundings, about who's around me, but I do have my headphones in a lot, so I'm listening to music, I can't always hear things,” said Garrett Gassensmith.

Cellphone robberies may not be a new phenomenon, but the community alert speaks to the easy targets thieves are now finding downtown.

“It used to be it never touched downtown, but something about this younger generation, downtown is now, it used to be off limits, it's not like that anymore,” said Wendall Weaver.

The robberies happened:

about 1:30 a.m. March 6 in the 0-100 block of East Randolph;
about 7:30 p.m. March 17 in the 100 block of North State;
about 10:15 p.m. March 31 in the 0-100 block of South Wabash;
about 9:25 p.m. April 1 in the 0-100 block of East Lake;
about 9:35 p.m. April 1 in the 0-100 block of South Dearborn; and
about 11:40 a.m. April 4 in the 100 block of North Wabash.

Anyone with information should call detectives at (312) 747-8384.

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