Police link rifle-wielding robbery crew to December carjacking pattern

Detectives have confirmed that a rifle-wielding robbery crew pulled off at least five hold-ups and carjackings in a little more than three hours Tuesday in Lakeview, Humboldt Park, and the Lower West Side.

The information is contained in a new vehicular hijacking and robbery alert from Area Three detectives that connects this week’s crimes to a previously-announced pattern of similar crimes across Lakeview and Lincoln Park.

Detectives said between two and four offenders approach victims on the street to demand money and vehicles at gunpoint. Some of this week’s victims noted that the offenders’ guns included a rifle.

Tuesday’s crime spree began with an armed robbery on the 2900 block of West Augusta around 5 p.m. Then, they struck again in the 900 block of West 18th Street at 6:16 p.m., according to the alert. Less than ten minutes later, they carjacked a white Jeep Cherokee in the 2100 block of West Cullerton.

Then, they moved to the Lakeview neighborhood where four victims were robbed by rifle-wielding offenders who arrived in a white Jeep Cherokee:

At 7:20 p.m., two men got out of a white Jeep Cherokee and robbed a 24-year-old woman who was unloading her car in the 600 block of West Grace, according to the alert. The offenders took the woman’s grocery bags, a purse, phone, and keys to her car.

At 8:16 p.m. three men got out of a white Jeep Cherokee on the 900 block of West Sheridan and robbed two 24-year-old women and a 30-year-old man, according to a police statement.

They took the victims’ phones, cash, credit cards, and a purse before fleeing in the SUV. A fourth offender stayed in the vehicle during the robbery, police said.

Police provided descriptions of four suspects in their alert:

  • three Black males between 15- and 26-years-old. One stands 5’8” tall, another 6-feet, and the third about 6’2”.
  • a Black male between 19- and 23-years-old

December carjacking and robbery reports

This week’s alert links Tuesday’s crimes with five similar cases that detectives included in a public warning late last month.

On December 20, two men robbed a woman at gunpoint outside her home on the 600 block of West Wrightwood in Lincoln Park around 7:30 p.m. The offenders put a firearm to the woman’s head and took her valuables before running northbound on Orchard Street, she said. Police previously said this incident took place on the 700 block of West Wrightwood.

Around 6:30 p.m. on December 21, several witnesses reported seeing a victim fighting with three men during a robbery on the 3800 block of North Fremont in Lakeview.

Three men robbed a woman as she sat in her car under the “L” tracks on the 900 block of West Oakdale around 7:10 p.m. on December 21. The woman, age 22, told police that the three robbers pulled up next to her in a dark SUV, grabbed her, and began taking property from her and from inside her car. She was not injured.

At 8:20 p.m. Monday, a group of carjackers in a dark SUV pulled up next to a 28-year-old man as he got out of his Honda CR-V on the 1700 block of West Wrightwood, according to Bown. One robber pointed a handgun at him while the others took his belongings, then they drove away with his Honda CR-V.

Police found the carjacked Honda in traffic near Fullerton and Ashland a few minutes later. Officers began pursuing the car, but police supervisors ordered them to terminate the chase under CPD policy.

Just after 7 p.m. on December 22, three men pulled up next to a 53-year-old woman as she sat in her parked car on the 2500 block of North Seminary, CPD spokesperson Sally Bown said. The offenders got out of their vehicle, opened the woman’s driver’s door, and dragged her from the SUV. According to Bown, they then threw her to the ground, and she struck her head on the pavement.

Two carjackers got into the woman’s Nissan Rogue and sped away northbound. The third offender followed them in the vehicle they all arrived in, according to Bown.

Cops located the stolen car a few minutes later as it traveled northbound on Sheffield near Belmont. A police supervisor ordered the patrol unit to terminate their pursuit of the carjacked SUV near Addison and Southport.

Moments later, the stolen SUV slammed into two other cars at the intersection of Montrose and Clark. The two occupants of the stolen car ran away northbound, according to witnesses. Officers who responded to the scene said they found one of the other drivers trapped and unconscious in his car. An ambulance transported him to Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center.

Anyone with information about the crimes can contact Area Three detectives at 312-744-8263 regarding crime pattern P20-3-226A.

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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