Chicago police have issued a public warning after two individuals say they were robbed at gunpoint and forced to withdraw money from ATM’s after they arranged sales of items on online marketplaces.
The two thefts were reported in recent weeks, with one occurring in the Darrow Homes neighborhood and the other in the Lake Meadows neighborhood, both on the city’s South Side.
In each theft, the victim arranged to meet with a person to sell an item on an online marketplace. When the victim arrived at the location, they were approached by four men, who forced them into their own vehicles at gunpoint.
Once inside, the individuals both reported being physically assaulted, and then told to drive to a nearby ATM, where they were forced to withdraw money from their bank accounts.
The thieves then allowed the victims to get out of their cars, then stole the vehicles.
The first robbery was reported in the 3500 block of South Cottage Grove Avenue on June 25, and the second occurred in the 500 block of East 33rd Place on July 17, according to police.
Residents are being urged to check the online profiles of buyers or sellers on online marketplaces prior to meeting. Residents are also advised to meet in a public place, such as a police station.
If residents are the victims of a robbery, they are urged to remain calm, and to try to remember any unique physical characteristics to help police.