CHICAGO (WLS) — Chicago police said they do not believe two kidnapping attempts in West Loop are connected.
Cell phone video shared with ABC7 shows the most recent incident from Sunday morning. It shows a sedan trying to block in a maroon Dodge Plymouth minivan before it speeds off.
Police said the attempted kidnapping happened at around 8:45 a.m. in the 200 block of South Sangamon Street.
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CPD said that maroon van stopped near a 45-year-old woman. The suspect got out of the vehicle and approached her. Police said that’s when the suspect grabbed the woman’s arms and attempted to pull her into the van.
A person can be heard yelling, “Block him in,” as a sedan reverses before the minivan speeds off.
The woman was able to fight off the offender, while police said a passenger in a nearby rideshare tried to confront the suspect in the van.
Neighbors said this case has eerily similar circumstances to an attempted kidnapping in August.
“A little scared because I like to go walking myself and everything and just to be able to walk, and that could happen to me, you know, is a little terrifying,” said Liza Alvarez, who goes to church just a block away.
“It’s discouraging, especially for people like us, as women, to feel like, ‘Can I be out at a certain time? Do I need to be with other people?’ It feels very vulnerable,” added fellow church-member, Deb Gorton.
CPD explained why this recent incident is not connected to the previous attempt.
“We’re working with the victim as well as the pubic to help us to identify this individual and this person of interest. As it relates to the separate crime that happened a few months ago, we don’t believe that those two are related based off the two victims’ accounts,” said Deputy Chief Rahman Muhammad.
Last month, an attempted kidnapping was thwarted by a Good Samaritan walking his dog.
Police said they are still looking for a suspect from this weekend’s kidnapping attempt, but they did recover the maroon minivan in question. They also noted that no injuries were reported.
“Who wouldn’t be scared of that? That’s just something out of a nightmare,” said Julie Darling, with West Loop Community Organization. “Right now, people are talking about banding together and walking together, and don’t walk alone and what can we do as a group together.”
Neighbors now say it’s more about proactive measures to keep people safe.
“It’s really now gotten to the point where, if people aren’t taking matters into their own hands from a self-awareness and self-protective measure, I think more and more, it’s going to become — it’s the crimes of opportunity,” Darling said.
CPD asked the public to be aware of their surroundings and to report any suspicious activity. Pay special attention to suspicious people loitering in an area and report them to police. If confronted by an offender, police say to stay calm and remember any unique descriptive characteristics of the person (scars, limp, acne, teeth, etc.). Dial 911 immediately and provide a detailed description of the offender. Police also say to never pursue a fleeing suspect and suggest to always walk in pairs.
Anyone with information should call police at (312) 744-8261 or anonymously sublit a tip at CPDTIP.com.
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Quoted from Various Sources
Published for: Mr Blow Up