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Wicker Park, Bucktown, West Town

After At Least 19 Wicker Park Armed Robberies, Victim Says Enough Is Enough: ‘There Needs To Be Attention On This’

The larger Wicker Park and Bucktown area has been hard hit by such crimes since Oct. 11. “And all those 19 events aren't just a sentence, those are people's lives," a victim said.

Sunlight reflects off buildings at the corner of Damen, Milwaukee and North avenues in Wicker Park on Oct. 19, 2021.
Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
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WICKER PARK — A Wicker Park woman had just parked her car Wednesday when two men robbed her at gunpoint outside her home.

The woman, who asked to remain anonymous, was approached by two men carrying guns from a car she had previously noticed idling up the street. 

“I noticed this black car, about halfway up the block, double parked with their lights on. And it was enough for me to say, ‘oh, they’re just sort of sitting there’…it was enough for me to notice it. But I immediately was like, ‘oh, it’s probably somebody’s Uber or Lyft,’” she said. 

The two men pointed their guns at the woman’s head, and demanded her purse, phone and PIN numbers for her debit card and phone. 

“One guy got up in my face. And he had a semi-automatic at my face and said, ‘give me your purse, give me your phone.’ And so I was holding my keys and my phone and my purse. So I gave him the purse, I gave him the phone, I gave him my keys and everything else I just dropped on the ground,” she said. 

The resident said police later told her the weapons were likely semi-automatic guns based on the description she provided.

The robbery on Nov. 3 was one of at least 19 armed robberies have been reported in the larger Wicker Park and Bucktown area since Oct. 11, according to a community alert issued by police last week. 

In each incident, armed offenders stole personal items, as well as demanded PIN numbers for debit cards and cell phones, police said.

The advisory did not include an incident on Oct. 15 when a man was shot during an attempted robbery in the 2000 block of West North Avenue.

The Wicker Park resident was not physically injured during Wednesday’s robbery, but said her ID, credit cards, vaccination information and passport were all stolen.

And days later, she’s still grappling with the emotional fallout. 

“I consider myself a very strong, independent woman. I travel all over the world. And when my best friend came to pick me up for dinner, to take me out for dinner [on Friday], he met me at the door to my building … and even with him right there with me, immediately, this sense of anxiety and fear just started to take over my chest,” said the woman, who works as a flight attendant. 

Police had no additional updates Monday on the armed robbery spree in the area. They’re encouraging anyone with information to call Area Three detectives at (312) 744-8263 or Area Five detectives at (312) 746-7394. 

In the community advisory, police recommend anyone being robbed to not resist and to call 911 as soon as possible with a description of the offender. 

The Wicker Park resident who was robbed on Nov. 3 said she wants to see a more police allocated to the neighborhood, and to let people know what happened to her so they can keep their guard up.

“A lot of times when you see a one sentence incident report, that’s all it is. It’s one sentence on a page. And if nobody, thank God, got killed, or seriously maimed or injured, it’s just one sentence that goes into a file. And all those 19 events aren’t just a sentence, those are people’s lives. And they’re affected, in many ways, sometimes physically, sometimes emotionally, sometimes professionally,” she said. 

“There needs to be attention on this. And it needs to spark a conversation and spark change.”

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