Update: Serial armed robbery crew that swept downtown Saturday is linked to Thursday carjacking in River North

An armed robbery crew that shot one victim, carjacked another, and held up at least five others in the downtown area early Saturday is also responsible for carjacking a driver in River North on Thursday, according to a law enforcement source.

CWBChicago has learned more about that case and Saturday’s incredible crime spree that rolled through Streeterville and the Loop.

First, detectives have determined that the black Land Rover the robbery crew used to commit Saturday’s crimes was taken in an armed hijacking on the 500 block of North Rush around 1:44 a.m. Thursday.

A 29-year-old man was sitting in the SUV when four men who all displayed handguns and ordered him out of the car, police said. Less than 30 minutes later, another driver was carjacked of their 2016 Dodge Durango by three men on the 1100 block of West Van Buren. Again, all of the offenders had guns. But CPD has not formally linked the West Loop carjacking to the wider crime spree, according to a source.

Between 12:20 a.m. and 12:51 a.m. Saturday, the offenders used the carjacked Land Rover to commit a series of robberies across the downtown area that culminated with a victim being shot, detectives have determined. Saturday’s first four armed robberies were reported:

  • at 12:20 a.m. at 441 East Erie
  • at 12:27 a.m. at 256 East Grand
  • at 12:40 a.m. at 232 East Ohio
  • at 12:51 a.m. at 180 North Michigan

In each case, between two and four men stepped out of the Land Rover while wearing ski masks and displaying firearms to demand the victims’ property, according to a CPD report. At 12:58 a.m., the crew tried to rob a man on the sidewalk at 222 South Wabash using the same technique. But the victim refused to comply and one of the offenders shot him in his right ankle, police said.

Incredibly, the crew struck again even after they shot the man, according to a timeline developed by investigators.

At 2 a.m., a man was smoking a cigarette on the fifth floor of a parking garage at 217 West Washington when three offenders approached, and one of them implied they had a gun by holding their hand under their hoodie, the CPD report said. The offenders took the man’s phone and wallet, then drove away with his black Dodge Journey.

The crew also used a silver Infiniti SUV during some of the robberies, the police summary said. According to the report, the offenders are four Black men between 18- and 25-years-old. They stand 5’6′” to 5’8″ tall and wore black ski masks, black hoodies, and black pants, and carry multiple firearms.

Area Three detectives are heading up the investigation.

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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