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Police: Syringe-wielding teen robber arrested

Lauren O'Brien  / phofrom Chicago Police

Lauren O'Brien / photo from Chicago Police

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A northwest suburban woman was charged Thursday with using a syringe to rob two Lincoln Park businesses last week.

Lauren O’Brien, 18, of Fox River Grove, was charged with armed robbery with a dangerous weapon and aggravated robbery, police said. She’s due in court Friday.

Police say she walked into a shop in the 2000 block of North Clybourn Avenue about 6:45 p.m. on May 25 and handed a clerk a note saying she had a syringe, knife or gun. When she pulled out a syringe, the clerk handed over $215.

In a similar robbery on the same block, O’Brien is also accused of robbing a clerk of $120 about 11:20 a.m. on May 20, police said. This time she displayed a knife instead of a syringe.

O’Brien is the second person arrested for using a knife or syringe to rob businesses in Lincoln Park, attacks that prompted police to issued a community alert.

Austin Pierce, 25, of the 2800 block of North Oakley Avenue, was charged May 25 with three counts of armed robbery with a dangerous weapon, police said. He was armed with a syringe in two of the robberies and a knife in the third, police said.

Pierce is currently being held in the Cook County Jail on $10,000 bond, according to the sheriff’s office.

It’s not clear if there is a relationship between O’Brien and Pierce.

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