An armed robbery crew that’s believed to be responsible for at least 15 hold-ups over the past 7 days in Lakeview, Lincoln Park, and other North Side neighborhoods apparently managed to escape after an extended pursuit by Chicago cops overnight.
The offenders were again seen using a carjacked black Hyundai Tucson bearing vanity plate FCZENIT as they cruised up on a Lakeview man at Roscoe and Marshfield around 9:30 last night.
Two men got out of the SUV and struck the man in the face with a handgun before taking his money and driving away.
Then, there was a series of close calls:
- A man called 911 at 10:45PM to report that four men in a black SUV stopped to ask him for directions near Wellington and Sheridan in southeast Lakeview. One of the men jumped out of the SUV, but the resident managed to slip inside his home.
- About 10 minutes later, another 911 call came in from near Fullerton and Clark. There, a man said, a black SUV tried to block him from entering an alley and the occupants seemed like they were coming out of the vehicle after him. This man also managed to slip away.
- Just after 11 o’clock, the crew attempted to rob a man at Walton Place and Mies van der Rohe Way, just off the Magnificent Mile, police said.
- And at 11:40PM, the crew again failed in a robbery attempt, this time near LaSalle and Elm in River North.
A police unit crossed paths with the Hyundai in the 1900 block of Clybourn around 1 o’clock this morning and began a pursuit that zig-zagged through Lincoln Park, back into Lakeview, then south to the Dan Ryan. At last report, police lost the Hyundai around 1:45AM near Lake Shore Drive and 35th Street, according to radio transmissions from pursuing officers.
A Growing List
Police now believe that the crew was responsible for robbing a Chicago’s Pizza delivery driver at gunpoint early Sunday morning in the 1500 block of West Barry, about four blocks from where last night’s Lakeview victim was targeted.
Last Thursday, four victims were targeted in our area: one outside of the Illinois Masonic Medical Center emergency entrance; another near Graceland Cemetery; the third at Newport and Seminary; and the fourth just outside the Belmont Red Line station.
Like last night’s Lakeview victim, the Graceland victim was pistol-whipped.
The first news of the robbery crew came from Chicago police on Christmas Eve. In a community alert, detectives connected the crew to eight robberies that were committed last Tuesday and Wednesday in the Irving Park, North Park, and Lincoln Square neighborhoods.
Suspect And Vehicle Descriptions
They are known to have used two vehicles while committing their crimes:
• A black 2011 Hyundai Tucson with Illinois plate FCZENIT, which the crew carjacked last Wednesday morning in the 5400 block of N. Kedzie. This vehicle was used in all of the robberies in our neighborhood on Christmas Eve, witnesses said.
• A black 2014 BMW SUV with Illinois plate 1692225. The car was stolen from a home in nearby Lincoln Park on December 19 after the owner left his keys inside. Witnesses say the BMW is noisy and not in good condition. It was used in several robberies on the North Side late Tuesday and early Wednesday.
Image: Click Click Media