Update: Since posting this story, we have confirmed an eighth robbery that involved four victims took place in the Fulton River District. Around 11:15 p.m., four men who are all 27- or 28-years-old were robbed at gunpoint by four men on the 400 block of North Milwaukee, according to a CPD report. The offenders fled in the same Ford Fusion that was used in the other crimes, according to the victims’ description.
It took less than 45 minutes for a team of armed assailants to rob ten people in seven separate incidents across River North, Old Town, and the Near North Side on Thursday evening, police said. The offenders appear to be the same crew that struck the same area five times in under an hour on Tuesday evening.
On both evenings, the offenders held their victims at gunpoint and traveled in a stolen four-door green Ford Fusion that has a license plate beginning with BL636, according to multiple police reports.
Thursday’s crime spree began around 10:30 p.m. when the offenders robbed a 25-year-old man and a 32-year-old woman at gunpoint on the first block of West Superior, said Officer Ronald Westbrooks, a CPD spokesperson.
Five minutes later, they robbed a man who was sitting in his car on the 800 block of North Sedgwick. They took the man’s phone and headphones at gunpoint, Westbrooks said. The victim’s age was not immediately available.
At 10:40 p.m., they confronted two 19-year-old men walking on the 300 block of West Huron and took the victims’ phones.
Then they robbed a woman of her backpack on the 900 block of North Franklin around 10:45 p.m., Westbrooks said.
Five minutes later, they took a 22-year-old man’s keys, wallet, and phone at gunpoint in the 200 block of West Schiller.
They robbed a 35-year-old man and a 30-year-old woman at gunpoint as the victims walked on the 600 block of North Kingsbury around 11;10 p.m.
Within a minute or two of that, they robbed a 24-year-old man of a bag containing his valuables on the 200 block of West Ontario, according to Westbrooks.
He said no injuries were reported in any of Thursday’s incidents. The suspects are four to five Black males who wear dark hoodies with masks, Westbrooks said.
The crew struck in the same area and the West Loop during the same time of the night on Tuesday, according to police reports:
At 10:55 p.m, three men robbed a 41-year-old woman of her purse and other items on the 300 block of West Oak Street.
Around 11:09 p.m., the same scenario unfolded on the 300 block of West Superior. A 69-year-old man was walking when three men exited a green sedan and robbed him of his wallet and keys at gunpoint.
Six minutes later, a 31-year-old woman walked on the 700 block of North Halsted when a man robbed her of a fanny pack at gunpoint. The gunman escaped in a sedan that another person drove, James said.
At 11:20 p.m., two men got out of a sedan and robbed another man of his wallet on a parking lot in the 200 block of North Halsted while displaying a handgun.
Then, the robbery team returned to River North. Around 11:40 p.m., three men stepped out of a dark sedan and robbed a man at gunpoint on the 100 block of West Chestnut.
Ald. Brian Hopkins (2nd) represents the area where some of the robberies have been reported.
“These incidents can be deeply traumatizing, and my staff is hard at work to assist witnesses and victims with contacting local law enforcement to provide any new information to investigators,” Hopkins told constituents in an email Thursday afternoon.
Hopkins said some victims “did not immediately call 911 to report the crime, and were understandably stressed and went home, or talked with friends or family, instead of making an immediate report.” He urged future victims to call 911 immediately so police can begin connecting the dots of a crime pattern.
However, the problem on Tuesday and Thursday appeared to be less of delayed reports and more of a lack of available police officers to handle all of the calls for help.
This week’s crime sprees resemble a similar wave of hold-ups that swept across the Loop and Streeterville on June 26. On that night, an armed robbery crew left one man shot, a driver carjacked, and at least five other people robbed.
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