Evanston police reported today that two similar robberies occurred in the city Thursday afternoon, including that of a teacher at Nichols Middle School, and they think the same suspect may have been involved in both.

The first occurred at about 3:55 p.m., as the 31-year-old Nichols School teacher was walking in the 900 block of Elmwood Avenue, according to police spokesman Perry Polinski.

He was robbed of his wallet and cell phone by a masked male black in his late teens, Polinski said, who was about five-feet-eight-inches tall and wearing a light-colored hoodie and jogging pants, with white/red shoes. He was armed with a handgun and a knife, Polinski added.

He was last seen fleeing on foot northbound in the 1000 block of Sherman Avenue. Although responding officers were unable to locate the offender, Polinski said, they did recover the victim’s phone in the yard of a house on Sherman Avenue.

Then, about two hours later, a 61-year-old Evanston man reported that, while walking in the vicinity of Sherman Avenue and Washington Street, he was approached by a male black described as being in his mid-late twenties with slight facial hair, skinny to medium build, wearing a denim hoodie and dark colored pants, armed with a handgun, who demanded the man’s wallet.

When the man refused to comply, Polinski said, he was struck in the mouth and the offender fled on foot northbound in the 800 block of Sherman Avenue.

The teacher in the first robbery was not injured, but the man in the second robbery sustained a minor laceration to his mouth, according to Polinski. Detectives are continuing to investigate both robberies, and no one was in custody by early Monday afternoon.

Polinski warned that “the public should always be aware of their surroundings and hyper vigilant when walking down the street while looking down at their cell phones and/or listening with earbuds or headset.”

Charles Bartling

A resident of Evanston since 1975, Chuck Bartling holds a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and has extensive experience as a reporter and editor for daily newspapers, radio...

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