Groping, robberies reported near DePaul University

CHICAGO — DePaul University is encouraging students to be cautious after a series of attacks were reported Wednesday afternoon.

A public safety alert was emailed to students Wednesday regarding a robbery and two attempted robberies that occurred between 2:20 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. that day in the 900 block of West Fullerton Avenue.

Chicago police said they only have one report from that time and address: A 19-year-old man told officers a man walked up to him, asked for a dollar and then said, "Give me your wallet."

Five minutes later, police said, a criminal sexual abuse happened. A woman told officers she was groped by a man who attempted to take a bag from her. The bag ripped, the woman said, spilling its contents to the ground. When she bent over the pick up her belongings, the man touched her on the lower backside and stole some of her things.

Students said they are concerned about these robberies and attacks. Even though they live in a low-crime area, several said, they know anyone can be a victim.

"It’s just scary to me to think I could be walking down the street and someone could pull something on me and try to grab my stuff," student Elizabeth Bland said.

"I basically just hide my wallet," student Joe Hands said, "and I have my apartment key in a separate pocket."

DePaul’s safety alert said the same person committed each crime. Chicago police cannot confirm that to be true. A school spokesperson would not provide additional information.