CHICAGO — Police are warning Lakeview residents after a series of purse and wallet snatchings by a group of robbers that may include some cross-dressing bandits.
Two similar robberies occurred Monday morning at 12:20 a.m. in the 1200 block of West Cornelia Avenue and at 12:50 a.m. in the 600 block of West Belmont Avenue, according to a community alert.
In the five incidents that occurred since Sept. 11, one to five robbers have robbed people after asking to use the victim's cell phone.
In some of the incidents, the robbers struck with their hands and feet before removing property from the pockets.
In two incidents, pepper spray was used.
On Saturday, similar robberies occurred at 4:10 a.m. in the 3500 block of North Sheffield Avenue and at 7:30 p.m. in the 900 block of West Belmont Avenue.
There was another incident at 3:30 a.m. Sept. 11 in the 900 block of West Belmont Avenue.
The suspects are described as black men and women, or men dressed as women, ranging from their teens to 30 years in age.
In the Sept. 11 robbery, the suspect was described as a man wearing a long blond wig and a dress.
In Monday's robbery on Cornelia, the suspect was described as a woman wearing a orange-hooded sweatshirt with white letters. She is believed to be 20 to 25 years old, 5-foot-8 to 5-foot-10 tall.
In the purse snatching later Monday on Belmont, a man 25 to 29 years old was seen exiting the back seat of a old, dark sedan which might have been a Nissan Altima.
The car contained three or four men dressed women, according to the alert.
Anyone with information is asked to call police at 312-744-8263.
They can also report tips anonymously to TIPSOFT.COM.