Currency exchange robbery attempt put two North Side schools on lockdown Monday, parent says

The Illinois Currency Exchange. | Google

Two schools were locked down briefly after a gunman tried to rob a North Center currency exchange on Monday afternoon, according to parents and a police report. No injuries were reported.

Police said a masked man walked into the Illinois Currency Exchange at 4101 North Lincoln and displayed a handgun while demanding money around 12:15 p.m. Employees activated an alarm and took cover behind the counter. When they looked up, the man was gone.

A witness reported that the man propped the business’ front door open, possibly to avoid being intentionally locked in by the exchange’s security system. Several people told police that the offender fled west on Belle Plaine and then ducked into an alley.

He was described as being black, very short, and dressed in all black clothing. He also wore a black face mask.

Police searched the area with a helicopter and dogs, but came up empty-handed, according to a police spokesperson.

St. Benedict Preparatory School at 3900 North Leavitt went on lockdown for a short time while police searched the area, according to the parent of a student. The parent said a soft lockdown was implemented as a precaution at St. Andrew School, 1710 West Addison.

Last Wednesday, a Dollar Tree in nearby Lincoln Square was also robbed.

In that case, a man entered the store around 6:40 p.m., punched the cashier, and took money from the register, according to a police report.

The Lincoln Square robber was described as a black man in his early 20’s who is very tall and very skinny. He was wearing a gray tee shirt with shorts and white tennis shoes. Witnesses said he fled northbound on Western, then west on Lawrence.

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CWBChicago was created in 2013 by five residents of Wrigleyville and Boystown who had grown disheartened with inaccurate information that was being provided at local Community Policing (CAPS) meetings. Our coverage area has expanded since then to cover Lincoln Park, River North, The Loop, Uptown, and other North Side Areas. But our mission remains unchanged: To provide original public safety reporting with better context and greater detail than mainstream media outlets. Our editorial email address is