CHICAGO (CBS) — Police believe the same person is responsible for at least eight armed robberies involving a machete in neighborhoods on the northwest side.
The attacks took place in Irving Park, Avondale and Logan Square.
CBS 2’s Charlie De Mar spoke exclusively to one woman – who said she thought she was going to die when she saw the size of the machete fired at her. She complied with the thief’s demands and was unharmed – but the randomness of the attacks is a concern for those on the northwest side.
Maria Mayancena pointed to the spot in a sleepy block of Avondale where she was robbed while walking alone on Friday night.
“Maybe here, a really big machete,” she said.
A car pulled up around 9 p.m., and a man got out and pulled a large machete at it. She is still shaken.
“I don’t know,” Mayancena said.
Mayancena handed over his belongings. The man climbed back into the passenger seat of a car and they drove off.
In Spanish, Mayancena said: “I thought he was going to kill me with the machete. I didn’t want him to do anything to me. I let him take the money. I let him take the bag.”
The most recent attack happened on Sunday evening, when a 52-year-old man was walking alone near Troy and Grace streets in Irving Park with a pizza when a machete was swung at him – knocking him down. Police say the assailant also jumped out of a waiting car.
The man’s wallet and the pizza were stolen. CBS 2’s Tara Molina spoke to the victim’s girlfriend.
“He came with the machete,” the victim’s girlfriend said. He told her, he told her give me your money.”
Incident times and locations are as follows:
· 3000 block of North Christiana Avenue on Friday, May 27 at 7:58 p.m. The machete-wielding assailant approached a 34-year-old man and demanded the victim’s property. The victim handed it over and the attacker drove off in a gray sedan.
· Block 3200 of North Monticello Avenue on Monday, May 30 at 11:45 p.m. A 19-year-old man was walking down the sidewalk when the machete man approached and demanded his property. The victim complied and the assailant drove off in a silver/grey sedan.
4100 block of West Fletcher Street between Monday, May 30 at 11:45 p.m. and Tuesday, May 31 at 12:10 a.m. A 47-year-old man was walking on the sidewalk when the assailant approached and claimed his property in brandishing a machete. The victim obeyed and the attacker fled in the silver gray sedan.
· Block 3300 of North Monticello Avenue on Friday, June 3 at 9 p.m. A woman was returning home when the man approached her, brandishing the machete as he demanded her property. The victim complied, but the assailant then pushed the victim and fled to the passenger side of the vehicle he had arrived in.
· Block 4000 of West Eddy Street on Friday, June 3 between 9 and 9:15 p.m. Two women, ages 22 and 56, were accosted by the assailant armed with a machete. He demanded both their property and they complied. He fled in the silver gray sedan.
· 3000 block of Christina Avenue on Saturday, June 4 at approximately 8:20 p.m. A 44-year-old woman was walking when a man came up from behind and spoke to the victim’s attention. The man ordered the victim to hand over her belongings, and she complied.
· Block 4100 of West Wellington Avenue on Saturday, June 4 just before 9 p.m. A 28-year-old woman was crossing the street with a 7-month-old baby boy when a silver sedan nearly hit her. The driver apologized and continued on his way. The woman and baby then drove into the alley, at which time the silver sedan reversed into the alley. The driver then waved a sharp object, demanded the victim’s property, got back in the car and drove off.
· Block 3700 of North Troy Street on Sunday, June 5 at approximately 9 p.m. This is the incident in which the 52-year-old man was held up with a machete while carrying a pizza.
Avondale resident Lisa Russell, who did not want to show her face, says she saw the man wanted by police.
“I saw him walk to a front door and knock on the door and no one answered,” Russell said. “I used to walk to the grocery store, walk to the dollar store. Now I won’t.”
As for Mayancena, she has this message for her attacker.
“Stop doing what you’re doing,” she said in Spanish. “We’re not hurting anyone. We don’t want any more tragedies to happen. We’re out there and we’re scared.”
Police say they have dedicated more resources to the northwest side and are focusing on arrest. No serious injuries were reported in any of the flights.