The University of Illinois at Chicago is asking students to be alert after two students were robbed at gunpoint in separate incidents earlier this week.
In the first robbery, a student told authorities he was walking south on Racine Avenue just south of Taylor Street about 12:50 a.m. Sunday when two men got out of a white Chevrolet Impala and forced him into the back seat while a third man drove, UIC Police said in an online alert.
One of the men pulled a handgun and demanded the student's belongings. The student turned over his laptop, an iPhone and credit cards before being released on the street, where he flagged down a Chicago police squad car.
Just before 10 p.m. on Monday, a student was walking home through an alley in the 700 block of South Western Avenue when a robber pulled a handgun and threatened the student, authorities said.
The student handed over some cash and a cell phone, and was hit in the face with the handgun, police said.
The Near West Side ranks fourth among the city's 77 communities for property crimes, with 19 robberies reported in the last month, according to Chicago police statistics.
UIC officials reminded students to travel in groups, avoid isolate places like alleys and to refrain from being distracted while traveling.
The assailants in the first robbery were described as African-American men, between 20 and 26. One was 6-foot-3-inches tall, with short hair, wearing a dark hooded sweatshirt, armed with a small, black and silver semiautomatic handgun. The second robber was 5-foot-4-inches tall, with black hair in long dreadlocks.
In the second attack, the robber was an African-American man, 28 to 33 years old, 5-foot-8 to 5-foot-10 inches tall, clean shaven with medium complexion and black hair, wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt, dark blue jeans, and armed with a black handgun.
Anyone with information was asked to call UIC Police at (312) 996-2830.
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