By Jean Lotus
Oak Park police reported four incidents of cell phones being stolen by force from Oak Park residents within the past week.
In the first robbery, a victim was walking eastbound near Erie and Kenilworth around 10:30 p.m. June 6 when he was approached by four males who appeared to be juveniles. The victim told police one demanded the man's wallet and then struck him in the face with a closed fist. The other three then began to strike the victim and during the struggle, the man dropped his black iPhone. The subjects grabbed the phone and ran northbound on Kenilworth Avenue from Erie Street. Police recovered the phone on the ground in the 400 block of N. Kenilworth.
In the second robbery, a 15-year-old boy walking in the 300 block of North East Avenue on June 7 around 11 p.m. was followed by a male who allegedly tapped him on the shoulder and asked to use his cell phone. When the boy refused to give up the phone, the offender allegedly struck the boy on the side of his head with a closed fist, causing him to fall to the ground. The victim told police the offender continued hitting him and then stated, "I have a gun, give me your phone." The aggressor then reached into the back of his waistband. Then he removed the victim's black iPhone in a blue case and fled northbound on East Avenue. The loss was estimated at $600.
In another incident, a man was ambushed on his bicycle by five men as he rode southbound in the 700 block of Fair Oaks Avenue around 11 p.m. on June 9. The victim told police as he crossed Augusta he observed three men approach from the right and two from the left, blocking his path and forcing him to stop. One man displayed a black handgun and allegedly pressed it into the victim's side. He then allegedly reached into the victim's pocket and removed a Pantech Discover cell phone in a clear case. The offenders then told the man to get off his bike and run away northbound on Fair Oaks. Police could not find the offenders. Loss was estimated at $50.
A 9-year-old girl had an iPhone snatched from her hands as she played on the playground equipment at Hatch school, 1000 N. Ridgeland Avenue around 7:40 p.m. on June 10. According to police, the child's parents were about 100 feet away watching a baseball game at the field when five male Chicago juveniles approached their daughter, took the iPhone from her hands and ran from the scene. Oak Park police found a group of juveniles matching witnesses' descriptions and recovered the cell phone. Four Chicago juveniles, ages 14, 13, 13 and 12 were arrested and turned over to parents.