Posted By: Molly BrewerPosted date: November 21, 2013
Two students who wish to remain anonymous were robbed at gunpoint Friday, Nov. 15, on the corner of Lakewood and North Shore avenues around 3:45 p.m. and are still hoping to catch the suspect who remains at large.
A female student was waiting on the corner for her boyfriend when she heard footsteps approaching her. The suspect, described as an African American male with a height of about five foot nine began repeating, “Give me your bag, give me your purse,” the female student said.
He forced her to the ground and she attempted to fight him off while her boyfriend ran towards them yelling for the attacker to leave her alone, said the male student.
“I felt as soon as I could intervene I could get him off and beat him up. That wasn’t ever a question in my mind,” the male student said. “Then I got about 10 yards closer and [the man] pointed a gun at me.”
After threatening the lives of both students, the suspect finally ripped the bag off of the female student, took her cell phone and sprinted off, according to the male student.
Though Campus Safety later advised against doing this, both students sprinted after the burglar while screaming out and calling 911, the male student said. They followed the man until he got into a bright blue, Mazda 3 hatchback with another African-American male and drove away.
“What’s frustrating is that it hasn’t really been solved,” the female student said. “I’ve seen the car and my friends have seen the car driving slowly right where the incident happened.”
In the last 30 days, there have been seven reported cases of robbery in Rogers Park, five reported cases of battery and two reported assault cases, according to the Chicago Tribune.
“We’re really just trying to get the message out and for people to be on the lookout for the car. It’s such an obnoxious blue that it’s obvious,” the male student added.
Overall, both students are doing all right with the addition of some behavioral changes such as not walking alone and keeping phones and iPods out of sight while walking off campus.
“Basically the main thing we’ve realized from this and what we’re getting at overall is that things like this happen and there’s nothing you can really do to prepare yourself to prevent it because it’s almost just like a freak accident,” the male student said. “It’s just material and it can be replaced. In this situation there’s no winning.”
Campus Safety and the Chicago Police Department have been working closely on the investigation, according to an email sent by Tim Cunningham, student community liaison officer for Campus Safety.
“Campus Safety was awesome. The officers were really great and the people managing the case have been super helpful,” the male student said. “The main thing Campus Safety was emphasizing to us is that we shouldn’t have chased [the robber].
With the days getting darker earlier and the holidays quickly approaching, crimes like this will only increase, the female student said.
“You should be able to feel safe,” the male student said. “But it’s important to note that it just comes with going to school in Chicago where gun violence has been pretty prevalent.”
What both students care most about is making their fellow students aware of the incident and that armed robberies do not only occur after dark on empty streets, the male student said. There isn’t anything that you can do about it.
“If someone has a weapon, they’ve already won,” the male student said. “The best thing you can do is just calm down, get the best description [of the attacker] in your head and as soon as they’re gone just start screaming for help and call 911 right away.”