Police Bulletin

Police seek robber in fourth similar incident; caution urged 04.20.11

A fourth incident in less than a month involving late-night robberies of lone female residents has Oak Park police urging caution, further stepping up patrols and asking the public to be alert for suspicious individuals and vehicles in their neighborhoods.

The latest incident occurred at about 11:50 p.m., Tues., April 19, in the 200 block of South Harvey Avenue. The victim, in her mid-40s, had just parked her car in the garage and was approached from behind as she entered her rear yard. As in three similar incidents, the offender approached from behind and grabbed the victim around the neck. He took a small nylon bag from inside a grocery bag and fled. Estimated loss was about $40.
Unlike previous incidents, however, the offender said nothing and neighbors reported seeing a man enter a light-colored, newer-model Ford SUV and driving westbound on Pleasant Street.

This latest incident was not far from the Lake Street corridor where three similar late- night robberies of lone women occurred. These incidents occurred on March 30 in the 200 block of Lake Street, April 2 near Lake Street and Austin Boulevard, and April 4 in the 200 block of North Oak Park Avenue. All occurred between 11:40 p.m. and 12:45 a.m., no serious injuries were reported and no weapon was seen or implied.

In each incident, the suspect is described as an African-American male in his 20s, about five feet 10 inches to six feet tall with a medium build. In the first three incidents he was believed to have been wearing a light colored jacket with a black knit hat. In the latest incident, the offender was described similarly, but with short hair and wearing a dark, hooded sweatshirt and dark pants.

The victim of the April 4 robbery, who was the only victim to get a good look at her assailant, helped police create a computer-generated composite picture of the suspect in at least the one incident. While Police cannot say for sure that the assailant is the same in all four incidents, the similarities suggest he could be.

Police will continue to have increased patrols in the area as the investigation continues and until the offender is apprehended. Anyone with information regarding these incidents is urged to contact the Oak Park Police Department at 708.386.3800 or e-mail police@oak-park.us. Information can be provided anonymously via telephone to 708.434.1636 or on-line at www.oak-park.us/police.

In the meantime, Police are reminding residents they can call 708.386.3800 and request an escort – especially if arriving home late at night.