Police warn of violent South Loop robberies

FOX 32's Craig Wall and Anita Padilla contributed to this report.

CHICAGO (Sun-Times Media Wire) - Two violent robberies in the South Loop in the last week have prompted police to issue a community alert.

The robberies were reported about 12:30 a.m. on Aug. 21 in the 0-100 block of West Harrison and about 9 p.m. on Aug. 22 in the 900 block of South Michigan, police said.

Both attacks happened at night in areas that are generally considered safe.

"It's scary, especially because a lot of teenagers are down here," said downtown worker Karen Rivera.

"I do know that last year there was a lot of stuff going on south of Roosevelt, so it's not surprising if crime is starting to come north of Roosevelt. But generally I am very comfortable," said downtown resident Drew Barrett.

People that FOX 32 talked to said that they don’t worry about their safety too much around the area. However, they also did not seem surprised to learn of the attacks.

"I don't think anything sounds out of place these days, so I just think you have to be alert when you're out," said Amanda Kelroy.

"I mean, I'll still be out at night, you just have to be extra careful and pay attention and be with people," said student Amanda Ferguson.

FOX 32: Does it make you anymore worried going out?

"Not really, honestly, things happen, but I feel safe here," Ferguson added.

Despite the alert, there was no sign of any extra police presence, and some people sure wish there would be.

"There should be more police officers on foot around here, or there should be more type of security around here to keep everybody safe and be more alert," Rivera said.

In both cases, two males walked up to people on the sidewalk and punched or knocked them to the ground, police said. As the victim was on the ground, suspects either continued to kick them, or one suspect held them down while the other went through their pockets. In one case, the suspects stole a victim’s computer equipment.

The suspects were described as black males, between 5-foot-9 and each weighing between 160 and 200 pounds, police said.

Anyone with information on the robberies is asked to call Area Central detectives at (312) 747-8384.