A carjacking, robbery, and theft crew struck three more times Friday in the Loop and Old Town, police say. The crime spree followed a similar performance by the offenders on Thursday as they swept through Lakeview, Rogers Park, and the north suburbs.
CWBChicago first told you about the group yesterday and our subscribers received an email alert as Thursday’s events were unfolding. Late Friday night, CPD issued a public bulletin to warn about the ongoing crime pattern.
Police said the group, which is sometimes armed, steals vehicles and uses them to go on crime sprees across the North Side and downtown. The team has also used stolen and hijacked vehicles to commit burglaries and other crimes in the suburbs, according to CPD.
The team struck three times in about an hour on Friday:
- At 11:04 a.m., they stole a woman’s purse in the 1700 block of North Wells in Old Town.
- At noon, they tried to rob a woman on the 900 block of South Wabash
- At 12:08 p.m., they knocked a woman to the ground and tried to take her purse near Michigan and Balbo
According to witness reports, during Friday’s crimes, they were using a white Toyota Verza that has a light blue stripe running up its hood. Police said the vehicle had been stolen earlier after its driver left the keys inside. A source said the Verza was taken in Skokie.
Police said the same team struck three times early Thursday afternoon:
- At 1:10 p.m., a woman reported that five men who may have been armed took her purse and phone in Lakeview. The offenders then climbed into a white Jeep that bears a license plate beginning with AE68 and sped away, tossing some of her property out of the window as they did. This incident was originally reported near Belmont and Sheridan, but police on Friday updated the location to the 700 block of West Addison.
- At 2:27 p.m., a 21-year-old man who stepped out of his car in the 6600 block of North Damen was pushed to the ground by an offender who then jumped into his vehicle and drove away, a CPD spokesperson said. A witness reported seeing the carjacker get out of a white Jeep before the crime. The stolen Toyota slammed into another car near Pratt and Ridge, leaving two people in the other vehicle injured, according to CPD. Both victims were taken to St. Francis Hospital for treatment.
- At 5:47 p.m., two men pulled out handguns and took a man’s black 2005 Volvo in the 7700 block of North Ashland. The offenders got into the victim’s car and fled through a nearby alley.
The white Jeep used on Thursday is believed to have been taken from a delivery driver who left it running in the 2600 block of West Fitch around 7:45 p.m. on Wednesday. Officers located the Jeep Saturday morning, January 9, on the 1600 block of West Fargo in Rogers Park. Evidence technicians will process it.
On Friday night, police said the suspects are two Black males between 18- and 25-years-old who stand 5’5” to 5’10” tall and weigh 150-160 pounds. They have worn black hoodies and black masks, according to CPD.
Anyone with information about the crimes can contact Area Three detectives at 312-744-8263 regarding pattern P21-3-008.