A man was shot during a robbery September 9, 2021 in River North. | Adobe Stock Photo

The attacks occurred less than a day after a police commander promised more weekend patrols to stem a spike in crime in the downtown neighborhood.

At least one person was shot during two armed robberies just minutes and blocks apart in River North early Thursday — less than a day after a police commander promised more weekend patrols to stem a spike in crime in the downtown neighborhood.

One of the attacks occurred around 2:15 a.m. in the 200 block of West Erie Street, according to police.

A woman and two men were sitting in a parked car when three people got out of a black SUV and announced robbery, police said. One of the men, 31, struggled with one of the robbers and was shot in the back.

His friends took him to Rush University Medical Center, where he was listed in fair condition.

The woman told police she was robbed of two purses, and the other man in the car said his wallet and iPhone was stolen.

The other attack occurred half an hour earlier in the 300 block of West Ontario street, police said.

Three people were walking down the street when three gunmen got out of a black SUV and stole their phone and wallets, police said. No one was injured in that attack.

No one was reported in custody, and police did not say whether the two attacks were believed to be connected.

On Wednesday afternoon, police officials told a neighborhood meeting they were increasing nightly foot patrols in River North on weekends after a recent uptick in violent crime.

“This is going to be a permanent presence,” Deputy Chief Mike Barz told residents gathered at Moe’s Cantina during a monthly Chicago Alternative Policing Strategy (CAPS) meeting for the 18th District.

Newly appointed 18th District Cmdr. Jon Hein declined to say how many additional officers were being deployed to River North during the weekends, or whether patrols were also being stepped up during the week.

Two killings occurred last month in the 18th District, compared to zero from the same time period last year, according to police data.

Overall, however, murders have fallen 33% in the district since this year, records show. But shootings have increased this year by 21%, up from 24 to 29. Sexual assaults and motor vehicle thefts are on the rise, too, records show.

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