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Chicago Police looking for man in 2 sex assaults on Near North Side

Police are warning people Near North Side neighborhood walk groups be alert after two recent sexual assaults including one this

Police are warning people in the Near North Side neighborhood to walk in groups and be alert after two recent sexual assaults, including one in this alley in the 1000 block of North Dearborn Street about 5:40 a.m. Sunday, June 23, 2013. | Sandra Guy~Sun-Times Media

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Updated: July 25, 2013 6:37AM

Chicago Police are warning residents to walk in groups and be alert after two sexual assaults on the Near North Side in recent days, including an attack early Sunday.

Several people who work and live in the area said they must be constantly vigilent of muggers and shoplifters, especially as the weather warms up and the area draws more visitors.

Clark Bui, owner of Azure Nail & Waxing Studio at 54 W. Maple St., said Sunday he started noticing more men wandering around in groups and sleeping in a nearby alley about four months ago.

One night when he stayed late, he saw a man urinate on the parking pay box outside his salon. He said his clients increasingly talk about local muggings.

“This is bad for business,” he said.

In the most recent sexual assault case, a 26-year-old woman was walking in the 1000 block of North Dearborn about 5:40 a.m. Sunday when a man approached her from behind and dragged her into an alley, said Chicago Police Officer Jose Estrada, a department spokesman. The man threw her to the ground and sexually assaulted her, Estrada said. A nearby witness scared off the attacker. The woman was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital .

On June 17, a woman was sexually assaulted in the 1100 block of North Clark, about a block from Sunday’s attack, police said. She also was dragged into an alley.

Police think the same man is responsible for both attacks.

Anyone with information about the attacks can contact Area Central detectives at (312) 747-8380.

John Landeroz, is a ballet teacher at the Ruth Page Center for the Arts at 1016 N. Dearborn. A Chicago native, he said he knows — and advises others — to always be alert and vigilant.

“People who walk around wearing earphones with their iPods and mobile devices lose consciousness of their surroundings,” he said.

A walk around the neighborhood revealed many young women walking by themselves wearing earphones.

Police urge people to walk in groups; be aware of your surroundings; report suspicious activity immediately; remain calm if confronted by an assailant, and remember the person’s unique traits, such as a scar, tattoo, limp or acne.

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