A group of thieves is approaching people near CTA Red Line trains, asking a distracting question and then punching unwitting victims before rifling through their pockets, police said in a community alert.

Multiple incidents have been reported as happening near or on CTA property along the Red Line at nighttime hours during the month of March, police said.

Police say the robberies occurred in the 100 block of South State Street on March 15 about 11:20 p.m., the 100 block of West Adams Street on March 17 about 1:25 a.m. and the 100 block of West Van Buren Street on March 17 about 1:49 a.m.

The transit agency confirmed at least one of the attacks occurred on CTA property and says it is working with Chicago police in its investigation.

Police only have vague descriptions of three of the possible assailants, but encourage anyone who might fall victim to the crime to remember distinct physical characteristics of the offenders.

Published at 7:28 PM CDT on Mar 17, 2017 | Updated at 10:56 PM CDT on Mar 17, 2017

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