Lakeview robberies uptick as people venture out for post-COVID living

Robbery reports in Lakeview East, including Boystown, are at the lowest level seen in a generation this year — thanks in part to the COVID-19 pandemic that has caused the cancelations of major events, thinned nightlife crowds, and nixed the Cubs season so far.

But there has been a noticeable uptick over the past week, although there are no apparent connections between the muggings.

Police recorded just 33 robberies in Wrigleyville and Boystown between January 1 and June 30 this year. That’s the fewest number of muggings for the first half of any year since at least 2001, the first year for which crime data is publicly available in Chicago.

With bars and restaurants either shuttered or operating on limited hours with reduced capacities, foot traffic in the area has been much lighter than usual. More people have been working from home and avoiding public transportation during the COVID outbreak, which is providing fewer opportunities for robberies to break out.

In fact, the neighborhoods only had five recorded robberies for the entire month of June. That’s far below June’s 19 year average of 18 robberies. Chicago’s Pride Parade and Pride Fest street festival, both annual June events, were canceled this year.

But there have been more incidents reported over the past week in Boystown and nearby Lakeview, with at least four robberies involving at least seven total victims reported:

Boystown mugging

A 68-year-old man was pushed to the ground and robbed by a man he met Monday evening on the Halsted Street bar strip in Boystown, according to Chicago police.

The victim and the other man walked from the intersection of Roscoe and Halsted to the 700 block of West Waveland before the robbery unfolded shortly before 11 p.m.

As the men neared a Walgreens store, the offender pushed the victim to the ground and then took his wallet and phone, according to police. A passerby saw the victim lying on the ground and called 911.

The victim injured his left elbow, but declined medical attention, a CPD spokesperson said.

Police said the offender is a White man between 30- and 40-years-old who stands about 6-feet tall and weighs about 190 pounds. He has black hair and wore a dark baseball cap and a black t-shirt.

Belmont CTA robbery

Around 11:45 p.m. Tuesday, a man told police that he was robbed at knifepoint near the Belmont CTA station at 945 West Belmont. The victim said the offender battered him and took his bookbag while displaying a knife.

He described the robber as a Black male with orange braided hair who stands about 5’11” tall and weighs about 240 pounds. The offender reportedly wore tan shorts with a black t-shirt and fled eastbound in a brown car that has a cracked windshield.

Two men mug three women

Three women were pushed to the ground and robbed by a pair of offenders who attacked them from behind near the Wellington Brown Line station on the evening of Friday, July 10, police said

The victims were walking westbound in the 1000 block of West Wellington when the men pushed them down, punched them, and stole their property at 10:54 p.m., according to a CPD spokesperson.

All three robbers ran to the Wellington train station and boarded a southbound train.

The women, a 25-year-old and two 26-year-olds, were not seriously injured. Police did not provide a description of the offenders.

Dining disaster

As CWBChicago reported previously, two men are charged with robbing a woman after exchanging phone numbers on a Lakeview bar’s sidewalk dining area Saturday evening.

Devin White, 31, and Germaine Hampton, 26, are both charged with felony robbery and unlawful restraint in the case. Full details of prosecutors’ allegations against White and Hampton are available here.

Area Three detectives are investigating the other three robberies. No one is in custody for those crimes.

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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 news@cwbchicago.com