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Show of Force in Lincoln Park After Mom Pushing Stroller Robbed

By Quinn Ford | July 16, 2014 7:53pm
 Town Hall District officers held a public roll call after two armed robberies last Friday.
Lincoln Park Police Hold Roll Call After Armed Robberies
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LINCOLN PARK — After a pair of daytime armed robberies in Lincoln Park last week, including the stickup of a mother pushing her baby in a stroller, police held a public roll call Wednesday night to help ease residents' nerves.

About 6 p.m. Wednesday, officers lined up at the corner of Mildred and Wrightwood avenues, near where a woman pushing a stroller was robbed at gunpoint Friday.

A small crowd gathered at the corner as Town Hall District Cmdr. Elias Voulgaris told district officers the show of force was to let the community know police are out patrolling Lincoln Park's streets and alleyways.

Voulgaris said residents gathered for the roll call show the community's support for police as well as a clear message to potential criminals.

"It sends a message to the bad guys," Voulgaris said. "It's not only the police looking out but the community as well."

Ald. Michele Smith (43rd), who announced the roll call after last week's robberies, told neighbors the armed robbery at Mildred and Wrightwood avenues was particularly egregious.

"One crime is too many," Smith said. "This crime, which involved a mother and her baby, is something this community will not tolerate."

Police said they are continuing to look for the gunman, who was described as a 5-foot-7 Hispanic male wearing black pants and a gray hooded sweatshirt. The man was thought to have followed the woman and her child from a nearby 7-Eleven Friday afternoon before robbing the woman of her iPhone and wedding ring and then fleeing onto a CTA train.

About two hours earlier that same day, two men and a woman brandishing weapons tied up employees of Holzmann's Jewelry Store, 2304 N. Clark St., and robbed the store.

Wednesday evening, police officers shook hands and chatted with neighborhood residents following the roll call.

Diana Faulhaber, a longtime Lincoln Park resident who lives on the block, said she thought the roll call helped calm neighbors who were rattled by Friday's second robbery.

"It was scary," Faulhaber said. "I was really disturbed about it because I've lived on the block for 26 years, and we've had our house broken into a couple times, but nothing like that. The use of the gun was definitely disturbing."

Faulhaber said she appreciated police taking the time to show up and said the event would help foster a stronger relationship between officers and residents.

But she also said she still believes the neighborhood is "extremely safe" and last week's crimes will not change that.

"These things happen everywhere you live," she said. "I think it was an anomaly, and I trust these guys to catch the guy if at all possible."

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