Chicago's volunteer Guardian Angels say the city's Magnificent Mile shopping district could just as well be dubbed "Muggers' Mile" following a string of recent muggings targeting shoppers and tourists in the area.
While patrolling and passing out flyers Tuesday, the Guardian Angels said they've noticed the city has increased its police presence in the area but that attacks are continuing to happen -- and that they are getting increasing violent, CBS Chicago reports.
Around 7 p.m. Friday, a 51-year-old woman was approached from behind and robbed of her iPhone by a group of eight teens in the 700 block of North Michigan Avenue, the Chicago Tribune reports. When a 15-year-old girl saw the attack and attempted to help the woman, she was punched in the face by one of the members of the group. All of the juveniles in the group were arrested when police responded to 911 calls from other witnesses passing by.
Meanwhile, early Monday morning in the nearby River North area, a 21-year-old woman and her friend were robbed in the 200 block of West Illinois Street, according to the Tribune. One of the women had a gun pointed to her temple and the other was held at knifepoint. The robbers made away with $300 in cash, both women's phones and one wallet.
The main targets of muggers in the area are smart phones, which can easily be resold.
In response to the volunteer anti-violence group's claims, the Chicago Police Department insists the Magnificent Mile and surrounding downtown area is safe and claims only three mugging incidents have taken place there over the last 28 days, according to WGN.
The Guardian Angels' push against violence comes on the heels of the city reporting record tourism numbers so far this year on Monday.