Gold Coast residents say crime is changing the character of their neighborhood

Despite heightened patrols, two high-end stores in the Gold Coast were robbed within minutes of each other on Wednesday.

In one of the incidents, a security guard was maced.

In both cases, thieves walked in, grabbed the goods and then disappeared onto busy city streets.

Chicago police say the robberies at the Prada and Hermès stores, which are across the street from each other at Oak and State streets, happened just after 5 p.m. They say two men went into the Prada store, grabbed what they could and took off.

Then, just 10minutes later, police say one man went into Hermès, sprayed the security guard with what appeared to be mace, and made off with some more pricey goods.

These high-end thefts are plaguing the country. But people who live in the Gold Coast say they're also changing the character of their neighborhood.

"We think about it a lot. It's very unfortunate," said Kelli Jasinski. "This neighborhood has always been so vibrant and so full of life with all the upscale boutiques and everything. And you know, it makes me sad to see the empty storefronts and to think that some of that could go away."


Another resident in the area, Paula Turner, called the changes in the last few years "monumental."

"It's frightening .... It's just scarier – the entire world – how things are happening day after day," said Turner. "We really need to be vigilant. And I love my neighborhood and I don't want to move, but it's frightening."

Police didn't say exactly what was taken from the stores or give a value.

The security guard who was sprayed refused medical treatment at the scene.