Sunday, August 12, 2018

Police again warn of robbers posing as Uber, Lyft drivers in River North nightlife districts

| Who's Driving You?
Police are once again warning about fake ride-hail service drivers who are robbing people in the River North area. Detectives typically issue community alerts when they believe a series of crimes are the work of an individual or a single group of offenders.

Police list three recent cases in which people have been robbed by force or at gunpoint by two women after getting into cars that they thought were their ride-hail pickup. Two of the robbery victims were picked up on the Hubbard Street bar district between State and Dearborn, police said. One was on June 30th, and the other was last Sunday. The third victim was picked up in the 600 block of North Franklin on July 22nd. All of the incidents took place during the early morning hours, according to the alert.

The robbers are described as two African-American women in their 20’s who stand 5’7” to 5’10” tall and weigh 120- to 150 pounds.

Ride-hail service users should always confirm that the license plate listed on their app matches the license plate of the vehicle that they get into.

Anyone with information about the latest series of robberies can contact Area Central detectives at (312) 747-8380.

Ongoing Problem

Cops in Chicago have repeatedly warned about robbery and sexual assault offenders who pose as Uber and Lyft drivers across the city. The robbers almost always troll nightlife districts where victims may be intoxicated and less likely to compare vehicle and driver details with information provided via ride-hailing apps.
• Last March, 24-year-old Nytina Raymond was sentenced to a pair of three-year sentences for two separate robberies of passengers who were lured into her fake Uber vehicle on the North Side.
In April, undercover detectives watched as 45-year-old Stacey Means and 51-year-old Robert Archer picked up a victim in the 100 block of West Kinzie around 3:30 a.m. and then drove the man to an ATM, forced the victim to withdraw money, and then robbed the victim of valuables, according to police. The case against Means, a paroled murderer, and Archer continues to work its way through the court system.
In November 2016, a 21-year-old woman was sexually assaulted by a man who posed as a ride-hailing driver to pick her up in the 3300 block of North Halsted. No arrest has been made in the case.
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