In the first case, a trio of young men confronted a 24-year-old white male in the 4300 block of Maryland Avenue around 6 p.m. and asked if they could use his phone. But as he tried to retrieve it, police say, they struck him in the face and knocked loose his car keys.
In the second case, four days later, a group of four young men confronted a 54-year-old woman in the 6100 block of Pershing soon after she parked her 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee. As one raised his fist, they demanded her keys and cell phone.
In the second case, the thieves made off with the car and the phone. In the first, the male victim somehow thwarted them — police say he "was able to retrieve his firearm," and that the suspects fled on foot.
But police believe the same group is behind both incidents. They've released surveillance photos in hopes that members of the public will help identify the four young men who they say are now suspects.
The incidents took place on April 24 and April 28.
On May 2, a 69-year-old man walking his dog was attacked in the 4300 block of McPherson by a youth who pushed him from behind. More recently, on May 5, a different group of young men attacked a deaf man near Lindell and Euclid
, leaving him with lacerations deep enough to require stitches.
Anyone with information is urged to call CrimeStoppers at 866-371-TIPS.