Chicago police are warning about an armed robbery and carjacking crew that has struck four times in River North and the West Loop since last Wednesday. And there are suspicions that the crew may be responsible for robbing a man of his car’s license plates in the Loop yesterday morning.
Just after 11 a.m. Monday, a 24-year-old man and a 25-year-old woman were walking to their car on a parking lot near 800 South Michigan when they saw a man removing the license plates from their silver Ford Fusion, a police spokesperson said. The offender then replaced the couple’s plates with a set of plates that were previously reported stolen in the south suburbs.
When the victims confronted the man, he threatened them with a handgun and jumped into another silver Ford Fusion that sped from the scene followed by a black Dodge Charger, police said.
Police suspect the thieves’ Ford Fusion is also stolen and the offenders intended to use the couple’s license plates to evade police license plate reading technology.
Robbery and carjacking alert
It just so happens that a black Dodge Charger is being used by an armed robbery and carjacking crew that is targeting the downtown area, according to Area Central detectives.
Police said the robbers walk up to people on the street, display a handgun, and take the victim’s property. A shot was fired during one of the robberies. And a car was taken in another.
Investigators have connected the crew to four cases since Feb. 19:
- At 10:45 p.m. on Feb. 19, a valet worker reported that three masked men forced him to turn over the keys to a black 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee near the intersection of West Fulton and North Peoria in the West Loop.
- On Feb. 20, two masked men robbed a couple at gunpoint as the victims walked on the 600 block of North Clark in River North around 12:15 a.m. The 26-year-old man and 33-year-old woman handed over their wallet, phone, cash, and other valuables to the men who got back into a black SUV that fled westbound on Erie.
- Around 9:30 p.m. on Feb. 20, a masked man tried to rob a victim in front of White Palace Grill, 1408 West Madison, in the West Loop. The would-be robber fled in a Dodge Charger that was occupied by two other people.
- At 9:45 p.m. on Feb. 20, a masked gunman got out of a black Dodge Charger and tried to take a 28-year-old man’s BMW M5 on the 700 block of North Hudson. The victim initially resisted, but he decided to comply after the robber fired a shot into the air. The offender eventually fled back to the Charger because he didn’t know how to drive the BMW’s stick shift.
Police said the crew consists of one to three black men in their teens or early 20’s who stand 5’7” to 5’11” tall and wear black ski masks.
Anyone with information about the robbers can contact Area Central detectives at 312-47-8380 regarding pattern P20-1-072.