LAKEVIEW — A woman was maced during a robbery attempt outside Ann Sather on Belmont Avenue on Wednesday morning, police said.
At 9:44 a.m., a woman in her 20s tried to take the cell phone of 45-year-old woman outside the restaurant, 909 W. Belmont Ave., which is owned by Ald. Tom Tunney (44th). A "struggle ensued," said police spokesman Officer Veejay Zala, and the alleged robber did not take what she wanted.
The alleged robber sprayed the victim with mace, said Erin Duffy, the alderman’s community relations director. She then ran west on Belmont, Zala said.
The victim was taken to Illinois Masonic Medical Center and has since been released, Duffy said. Police are investigating camera footage from the CTA and Ann Sather, she said.
Tunney's office is asking anyone with information to contact the police.
"Ald. Tunney is working closely with the Chicago Police Department and the CTA to review camera footage from his restaurant as well as the CTA’s surveillance cameras," Duffy said.
Paul Djuricich, 35, who works in the Walgreens pharmacy across the street from Ann Sather, and said the victim seemed “shook up” afterward.
“I’m probably a little more apprehensive" about the area now, Djuricich said.
Lakeview residents said this summer that the neighborhood no longer feels safe. They’ve pointed to how an area in Lakeview leads the city in robberies, a stat police say needs to be viewed in context due to the high population density of the area and large number of late-night bars and restaurants.
The timing of Wednesday’s crime shocked area employees. Most robberies in Lakeview occur overnight between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m., police have said.
Leslie Saur, 40, said she got comfortable with the neighborhood in the four years she’s worked at the Walgreens pharmacy, 912 W. Belmont Ave. But now she plans on emptying her purse of most valuables before heading to work after Wednesday’s incident.
“It scares the heck out of me,” she said. “I think the time of day is the most scary thing about it. It’s broad daylight.”
The street also usually feels safe because of how many people walking around, said Martha Gomez, 45, who walks down Belmont each day to work at Marshall’s, 3131 N. Clark St.
“What really freaks me out is that there are so many people out here,” she said, “and they still had the nerve to do that.”