By Megan Dooley
Two more Oak Park women were victimized Tuesday night in what is becoming a string of violent robberies targeting women in the village. The Oak Park police believe the suspect in one of the attacks might be the same perpetrator of three robberies that occurred between March 30 and April 4.
The first of the April 19 attacks occurred just before 11 p.m. on the 900 block of Lyman. Police reports stated that an offender entered the backyard of a residence through a gate and approached the victim, striking her from behind with a "clenched fist" before demanding her purse. The incident was listed as an attempted robbery, and it is unclear if the suspect successfully made off with the victim's purse.
The second incident occurred about an hour later, just before midnight. A woman was walking in her backyard on the 200 block of S. Harvey Ave. when she was grabbed around the neck by an unknown offender. The description of the attacker in the second instance matches the description of the suspect in three prior attacks.
Police said that it's possible the S. Harvey attack was connected to three previous robberies in Oak Park. In their statement, the police did not mention the Lyman incident. According to David Powers, communications director for the village of Oak Park, the police do not believe the suspect in the Lyman incident is the same man responsible for the other four attacks. "It didn't fit the pattern," Powers said of the attack.
"While [we] cannot say for sure that the assailant is the same in all four incidents, the similarities say he could be," the statement read.
The police also noted the Tuesday night robbery on S. Harvey was in some ways different from the other attacks. "Unlike previous incidents ... the offender said nothing and neighbors reported seeing a man enter a light-colored, newer-model Ford SUV and driving westbound on Pleasant Street," read the press release.
The South Harvey attack, like the first three, occurred close to midnight. The victim was walking through her backyard when she was accosted by an offender described as a black male of unknown age, with a medium build, 5-feet, 9-inches, and a short hair cut. The offender "grabbed her around the neck from behind and a struggle ensued," according to the police report. The suspect then made off with a toiletry bag belonging to the victim. Estimated loss is $40.
Three similar incidents were reported in Oak Park between March 30 and April 4. The offender was described as a black male in his 20s, between 5-feet-10 and 6-feet tall, with a medium build.