Police in Oak Park, Illinois, are looking for a man they believe to be responsible for a series of attacks on women in the Chicago suburb. The most recent incident is the fifth in just over a month and has residents on edge as investigators search for answers, WGN News reports.
The suspect targets women who are walking alone at night, and according to police, all of the incidents have been similar. The man allegedly approaches the victims from behind, chokes them and steals their purse and other belongings. The most recent robbery occurred around 8 p.m. and followed a similar timeline.
According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, in 2009 the rate of robbery was about 2.1 per 1000 adults over age of 12. Though the rate has been on the decline over the last several years, taking personal safety measures is still a good idea.
One of the most effective ways to boost one's safety is to buy pepper spray. When aimed in the face of an attacker, the device can cause temporary blindness and shallow breathing, which may allow a potential victim to get to safety.