By Jean Lotus
Police reported four armed robberies in Oak Park last week where offenders displayed handguns. One juvenile offender from Riverside was caught and arrested.
Oak Park police arrested a 16-year-old Riverside juvenile after he allegedly returned to a garage to retrieve a woman's purse he had reportedly stolen at gunpoint around 1:50 p.m. on March 25.
Police said the juvenile approached a Berwyn woman in the 900 block of South Austin, displayed a handgun and demanded the victim's black purse. The woman turned over her handbag and the offender allegedly fled on foot.
Investigating police recovered a jacket and a loaded .38 caliber revolver and a black purse in a garage of a building on the first block of Garfield. Around 4:15 p.m. a witness observed an unknown male entering the garage where the purse had been found. He was stopped as he walked south on Austin Blvd. and identified in a police lineup. He was charged as an adult with armed robbery and criminal trespass.
On the evening of March 26, a man from Hammond, Indiana who told police he advertises on Craigslist that he purchases iPhones, was robbed at gunpoint in the 1000 block of South Taylor Avenue around 9:25 p.m. on March 26. The man said he made an appointment to meet with a seller to buy 23 Apple iPhones for $370 each.
When he and three friends arrived at the designated address, he spoke on the phone to the alleged buyer who told him his brother would come outside with the phones. The victim told police a man approached on foot, displayed a black automatic handgun and demanded money. The victim complied and the offender fled southbound on Taylor Avenue. Estimated loss was $8,500.
Oak Park police said a Jiffy Lube in the 6800 block of North Avenue was robbed in the early morning of March 28. According to reports, a man entered the shop around 8:25 a.m. and confronted the manager.
He allegedly withdrew a black semi-automatic handgun from his waistband and demanded money. The victim complied, handing over cash. The man allegedly fled on foot northbound into Chicago, according to police. Estimated loss was $120.
On March 31, a listing for an iPhone for sale on Craigslist resulted in an armed robbery around 10:30 p.m., in the 1100 block of Pleasant, Oak Park police said.
According to police, a 17-year-old from Elmwood Park, listed his iPhone for sale on Craigslist last week. He was contacted by a purported buyer and suggested they meet near an Oak Park friend's home near the Pleasant Street address that night.
A male offender, said to be in his 20s, and a second man met the juvenile and his friend in Oak Park, said Detective Sergeant Mike Richardson.
"The offender shows up and asks, 'Can I see the phone?'" Richardson said. "The victim handed over the white phone. The victim asked him, 'Have you got the money?' And the offender [allegedly] said, 'No, but I've got this,' and displayed a handgun.'"
According to reports, the armed man told both victims to turn around and searched their pockets, taking the victim's car keys and a gray Galaxy S phone and removing the friend's black HTC phone. The offender entered a black sedan which fled northbound on Maple and the second male entered the front passenger seat of a brown Honda Civic, which then fled. The victims estimated the loss of the three phones at $1,100.
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