Security Alert: September 21, 2009


September 25, 2009—Police have charged four teenage suspects in connection with two separate robberies in or near the Metra train station on 59th Street at Harper Avenue. The suspects are being held on armed robbery and robbery charges.

To: Faculty, Staff, Students, and Community Members
From: Marlon C. Lynch, Associate VP for Safety and Security and Chief of Police

Two robberies were reported recently in or near the Metra train station on 59th Street at Harper Avenue. We have now received additional information that appears to show a pattern.

1:10 p.m., Friday, September 18—A male University of Chicago graduate student walking west from Stony Island was assaulted by three male youths as he walked on the sidewalk under the Metra viaduct. He was struck in the face and forced to hand over his wallet to the suspects who then fled on their bicycles.

2:40 p.m., Saturday, September 19—A male, not affiliated with the University, entered the Metra train station and was assaulted by four male teens who struck him with their fists and took his wallet and cell phone. The suspects fled on bicycles.

The suspects in both cases are described as African American males, 12–16 years of age.

We are reviewing video footage from security cameras in an attempt to identify the suspects.

University of Chicago police are working with Chicago police and Metra police to increase police presence in the area and address this pattern of crime. Transit riders may also consider the more heavily used 57th Street Metra station as an alternative. Other suggestions include:

  • Be aware of your surroundings and walk with a companion, when possible.
  • If a person confronts you and demands your money or possessions, give what is demanded and create a safe distance.

  • Use public transportation options: free bus service and umbrella service.
  • If you have any information related to this incident or if you witness any suspicious activity, please report it immediately to the Chicago Police Department (911) or the University of Chicago Police Department—123 from a University phone or 773.702.8181 from other phones.
  • More safety and security information is available at the University’s Safety & Security website
  • Security Alerts are based on information that has been reported to the University of Chicago Police. The reported information may not have been investigated or confirmed at the time the Alert was issued. Security Alerts will be issued via e-mail and posted to our website when an incident occurs that should be brought to the immediate attention of the University community.
  • Comments or suggestions relating to security related issues should be sent to
  • PLEASE NOTE: The University of Chicago Police patrol area boundaries are 39th Street on the north to 64th Street on the south /Cottage Grove to Lake Shore Drive (39th to 60th )/Evans to Stony Island (61st to 64th Street).