Oak Park police are increasing patrols near areas where two young women were victims of strong-arm robberies during the day over the weekend in Oak Park, said Commander LaDon Reynolds of the Oak Park police. One woman suffered injuries to her face and head as her purse was taken by force.
The first incident occurred Friday, Aug. 23, around 3:30 p.m. in the 100 block of North Ridgeland Avenue. The 16-year-old victim told police she was walking with friends when she noticed a small group of people following her. The pursuers came up close to the victim and one of them, a female, grabbed the teen's iPhone. The victim held onto her phone, and the woman tried to pull it from her hand, according to police. The offender's friends reportedly yelled at the victim to "let it go, let it go." The victim eventually released her grip on the phone and the three fled eastbound on South Boulevard. Officers on the Green Line CTA platform recognized a group that fit the description of the offenders and took them into custody. The three Chicago residents were identified by the victim in a lineup as Denise R. McDowell, 18, of the 3600 block of King Drive; Brian Conner, 20, of the 2700 block of West Roosevelt Road; and Edmen C. Williams, 23, of the 7800 block of South Shore Drive. The three were charged with robbery and mob action.
In the second incident, a Forest Park woman, age 27, was walking northbound in the 1000 block of East Avenue around 4 p.m., Aug. 24, when a man, described by witnesses as 30-40 years old approached her from behind and tapped her on the shoulder. He then attempted to grab her teal-and-blue cloth purse. When she struggled and screamed, witnesses reported, he struck her in the head numerous times with his fists. When she released the purse, the offender ran into an alley where he jumped on a black BMX bike and fled northbound. A witness with a truck chased the bike for several blocks through the alleys, but the offender rode across the grass at Rehm Park and escaped. According to witnesses, the victim had serious injuries to her face and neighbors brought her an ice pack. She declined medical attention.
Reynolds said police did not think the two incidents were related.
"We have increased our police presence in the areas of these incidents," Reynolds said.