At least two robbery teams, including one apparently composed of four juveniles, unleashed a torrent of attacks Sunday evening from the Gold Coast to Old Town to Lincoln Park. The crews targeted at least nine victims in three hours, according to police records.
Officers detained suspected members of the juvenile crew, but other offenders remain at large. Here is what we’ve learned so far:
Around 7 p.m., two men wearing ski masks grabbed a 21-year-old woman by her shoulders and demanded her wallet as she walked on the 1100 block of West Dickens in Lincoln Park, said Officer Ronald Westbrooks of CPD’s Office of News Affairs.
The woman elbowed the offenders and ran away, screaming for help, according to Westbrooks. The men fled without getting anything of value and neighbors waited with the victim until police arrived.
Witnesses said the offenders, described as two black men in their mid- to late 20’s, ran northbound on Clifton. One is about 5’8” tall and the other is about 6’2” tall, they said. No one is in custody.
At about 8:15 p.m., two armed men approached a couple as they were unloading items from their car on the 1300 block of North Astor in the Gold Coast, Westbrooks said.
The victims, a 33-year-old man and a 34-year-old woman, said the men took a tote bag from the woman by force and then pushed the male victim to the ground, causing cuts to his knee. An ambulance crew treated him at the scene.
A witness reported that the offenders, who both carried firearms, fled to a Jeep Cherokee that was waiting for them with a getaway driver. The SUV fled the scene eastbound on Banks.
Westbrooks said the robbers are three black men. One wore a red jacket; one wore a yellow coat with a red winter cap, and one wore a white jacket bearing a black stripe.
Area North detectives are investigating.
Just before 7 p.m., a group of about four suspected juveniles began a series of attacks that would eventually spread across the Near North Side, Old Town, and nearby Lincoln Park. According to reports:
- One victim said four young offenders grabbed her, spun her around, and tried to take her backpack on the 100 block of West Maple shortly before 7 p.m. They fled when the 25-year-old victim began screaming.
- Moments later, a Lincoln Park woman flagged down police after the group robbed her near the intersection of LaSalle and Division. She told police the offenders took her phone and then gave it back when she paid them $20.
- At 7:25 p.m., four juveniles battered and robbed a 64-year-old man of his iPhone on the 1700 block of North North Park in Old Town. The man was kicked, beaten, and fell to the ground.
- Around 8:30 p.m., callers reported that a group of young offenders knocked people to the ground and rifled through the victims’ clothes near 10 East Chicago.
- About 15 minutes later, a similarly described group threw a 24-year-old woman to the ground and tried to take her purse outside her home on the 200 block of West Eugenie in Old Town. She said she fought them off.
- At 9:30 p.m., a witness reported seeing four teenagers push a woman to the ground in an apparent robbery attempt on the 1700 block of North Dayton in Lincoln Park.
Police officers detained four suspects on the 1800 block of North Fremont about 15 minutes after the last incident. At least one of the victims identified a member of the group as an attacker, police said.
Officers were also provided with a video of the offenders. An officer said the three detainees were wearing clothing and had facial features identical to those seen in the footage.
A 14-year-old boy, two 13-year-old boys, and a 13-year-old girl were taken into custody on charges of reckless conduct, police said this morning.
Detectives are investigating the spree.