Police: “Armed and dangerous” robbery team targeting businesses on North, Northwest Sides

Police are warning about an armed robbery team that is robbing businesses, forcing employees into back rooms over the past eight days. They have struck stores from Lakeview to Dunning and even fired a warning shot during one recent robbery.

CWBChicago told you about the crew after smoke shops were robbed by offenders in Lakeview and Logan Square last Tuesday, February 9.

Those crimes appear to be some of the earliest hold-ups that police are now linking to the team, which includes one member who carries a distinctive yellow backpack.

Police said in a community alert that two men are pulling out handguns and ordering employees to open registers before forcing them into back rooms where the offenders access safes.

Most recently, one of the robbers fired a round into the ceiling after an employee refused to follow their instructions in the back room of Dunkin’, 6200 West Belmont, around 7 a.m. on February 16.

The robbers left their car outside the Dunkin’ and ran away westbound on Belmont after the hold-up, according to a CPD report.

Two hours before that robbery, the team held-up the Subway at 3551 North Central, according to police.

The men are suspected of committing a number of robberies, but police are publicly linking them to three more:

  • Ray’s Smoke and Vape, 2947 West Armitage at 3:55 p.m. February 9
  • Buy Low Liquor at 3360 West Montrose at 4:47 p.m. February 9
  • A robbery on the street at 3632 North Kedzie at 9:45 p.m. February 15

The SmokePost at 905 West Belmont in Lakeview was robbed at gunpoint by two men, including one who wore a yellow backpack, around 6 p.m. on February 9, but that case is not included in the list of crimes that Area Five detectives announced. Lakeview robberies are investigated by Area Three detectives.

Police are urging people to comply with their demands “to ensure the safety of all workers and customers.” The men “are considered armed and dangerous,” according to the CPD alert.

According to CPD, the suspects are two Black men between 18- and 25-years-old who stand 6-feet to 6’2” tall and weigh 150 to 160 pounds. The men wear dark hoodies, jeans, gloves, masks, and one wears a white hat. And, of course, there’s the yellow backpack.

Anyone with information about the offenders can contact Area Five detectives at 312-746-7394 regarding crime pattern P21-5-016.

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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