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Lakeview Crime 'Out of Control,' Armed Robbery Victim Says

By Alex Nitkin | September 7, 2015 10:07am | Updated on September 8, 2015 8:37am
 Police file photo
Police file photo
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LAKEVIEW — West Lakeview was the last place Spencer Brown expected to be robbed. 

On a block with "million-dollar houses" a five-minute walk from the heart of Wrigleyville, Brown — a sales representative for DNAinfo Chicago — felt sure he was living in a safe neighborhood.

Yet that didn't stop Brown and his boyfriend from being robbed at gunpoint early Monday morning as they walked home together from a nearby bar.

Around 4:10 a.m., Brown said, he and his boyfriend were walking north in the 3600 block of Janssen Avenue when two young men jumped in front of them, pulled out guns and demanded their phones and wallets.

"It was traumatic, but really we just felt angry that this could happen here, where we live," Brown said. "It was a shock, but based on what we'd been hearing, I guess it shouldn't have been surprising.

"The situation around here is just getting out of control," he said.

Chicago Police said the investigation into Monday morning's robbery is ongoing.

Brown said he had heard friends and neighbors talking about robberies, and according to police, Lakeview and Roscoe Village have seen at least three other robberies in the past two weeks.

In every one of those three other robberies, police said in a Thursday community alert, at least one man was responsible for robbing people on the street at gunpoint.

Police said those robberies were reported in the 3200 block of North Seminary Avenue, the 2300 block of West School Street and the 3100 block of North Kenmore Avenue. They all happened on different days between Aug. 22 and 30, the notice said.

The robbers are described slightly differently in each incident. In the Seminary Avenue robbery, the men were described as driving a silver four-door sedan with black rims and body damage in the rear right quarter panel.

Monday morning's robbery, which was not included in the police alert, left Brown and his boyfriend pondering their own safety in their neighborhood.

"It's sad, but we're probably not really going to be walking around here late at night from now on," Brown said. "There are so many nice bars around here, and I really think people are going to think twice about making Lakeview a destination on weekends."

Anyone with information on the robberies is asked to call detectives at 312-744-8263.