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Noble Square Armed Robbery Victim Says He Should Have Paid More Attention

By Alisa Hauser | October 12, 2017 9:58am
 The intersection of Milwaukee and Haddon Street
The intersection of Milwaukee and Haddon Street
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NOBLE SQUARE — While walking in Noble Square on Tuesday night, a 25-year-old man says he was robbed of his phone and wallet by two teens who also took his North Face rain jacket  — and he wants to warn others, so they don't make the same mistakes he did.

The man, who asked not to be named, said he was walking north in the 1000 block of North Milwaukee Ave around 11 p.m. on Tuesday.

"I was just walking around talking on my phone, doing circles [of area streets], had my earbuds in," said the man, who was "not thinking," as he put it.

When he got to Milwaukee and Haddon Street, he turned left onto Haddon and was about 10 feet off the main stretch of Milwaukee, when a teen came up behind, he said.

"He put a gun to the back of my head and said, 'Give me what you have,'" the man said.

The man said he "froze for a second," then took his phone from his pocket and thought, "'Just comply, take a second to think."

Then a second robber, wearing a khaki jacket, "came out of nowhere," he said.

As the two held the man's wallet, phone and air buds, he said the second robber suddenly put his fists into the man's back.

"He was fishing around," he said. "They looked at me and grabbed my arm, my jacket. I was wearing a thin North Face rain jacket; it's shiny like a raincoat, and I understood what they were asking, and I unzipped my coat calmly and gave it to them."

Then, the teens "bolted west on Haddon."

In the robbery, the man lost $15, a credit card and driver's license that were all in his wallet, and an iPhone, in addition to his coat.

The man said his girlfriend, whom he had been on the phone with, and who heard the start of the robbery, was "pretty freaked out."

As he walked away after the incident, he said he thought, "I don't have a phone."

He was able to knock on the door of a friend's house and that friend was able to get his girlfriend's number. He only had it saved in his phone as her name and had never memorized it, he said.

The man said he called 911, which was "incredibly responsive," and he waited about three minutes before police showed up.

Officer Laura Amezaga, a Chicago Police Department spokeswoman, confirmed the robbery.

Amezaga described the suspects as Hispanic males, between the ages of 14 and 18; the armed man wore a red hoodie and looked to be about 14 years old, and the slightly older robber wore a khaki jacket.

The gun was a small silver revolver held by the robber in the red hoodie. Both men were average weight and height, about 160-180 pounds, the victim said.

Amezaga said no suspects are in custody.

A graduate of a Chicago-based university who has lived in the city for seven years, the man said he knows "robberies happen often enough," but now after being a victim, he wants to exercise more caution in the future.

"There is something to be said about always being aware of your surroundings and keeping an eye out. Make sure your iPhone finder is on and photos uploaded somewhere. And keep a separate credit card outside of the one in your wallet," he said.

When asked if he will take the same path again, using Haddon Street to avoid Division Street, the man said he will "keep walking it, definitely, but just be more cautious overall and especially when on side streets."