Groups of men robbing Chicagoans at gunpoint

CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) - Groups of men are holding people up at gunpoint in several neighboring communities in Chicago.

In the past month and a half, police report eight such robberies in Logan Square, Humboldt Park, Palmer Square, West Town and Wicker Park.

In two weeks, police say the same group of men -- all black males in their 20's, 5-foot-8 to 6-feet tall -- have robbed three people in the Wicker Park area. Police say the suspects get out of a small red or dark colored car, show a handgun, announce a robbery and demand you give them your cell phone and the pass code to unlock it.

As for Humboldt Park, there have been two incidents in a week.

A group of four men, three black males and one Hispanic male, asked a victim if they "gang-bang" before robbing them. That group robbed at least one of the two reported victims at gunpoint.

“There's always cops patrolling here, too. There's always police cars," said Danielle Kothe.

She said that she was nearly robbed close to her home in Humboldt Park. 

“One person came up behind us and then another person came up in front of us, like kind of cornered us,” she said. “This girl pulled out, she looked really young too, like a fake gun. I didn't know it was fake at the time but she pulled the trigger and I just went running."

Just blocks away, Manuel Rodriguez lives on Beach Street where a victim was robbed of their cell phone earlier this month.

He said that he recently stopped a similar incident.

“Six guys were beating up one individual in the alley and no one wanted to get involved, and I just started knocking down garbage cans,” said Rodriguez.

He's lived in Humboldt Park for 30 years and said the violence in front of his house is getting worse.

“It's a whole new breed of people that would have to move in to make some changes,” he said.

Police say not all the incidents are related, meaning it looks like there are three different groups of men robbing people in these neighborhoods.

Police are providing some tips:
1. Be aware of your surroundings and report any suspicious activity
2. If you are confronted by a robber remain calm and try to remember any unique characteristics about the person.
3. Never follow the suspect, call police and try to stay on scene

Anyone with information is asked to contact Area North detectives at (312) 744-8263.

Click play above for more on this story from FOX 32's Anita Padilla. 

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