An armed robbery crew stole a car from a River North parking garage and took it on a three-hour crime spree that stretched from Wicker Park to Chinatown overnight, according to a source. At least ten people were robbed by the men, according to CPD reports. No arrests have been made.
The night of crime began at midnight when the four-man team stole a white Jeep Compass from a parking garage on the 400 block of North State Street.
From there, they headed to Wicker Park where they spotted a 27-year-old woman riding a Divvy bike on the 1600 block of West Pierce around 12:30 a.m. CPD spokesperson Kellie Bartoli said three men got out of a light-colored SUV and pushed her to the ground while one of them pointed a gun at her. Another offender took the woman’s keys, phone, and wallet, and they all fled westbound in the SUV.
Next stop: Chinatown. Police responded to at least three robberies in that neighborhood shortly after 1 a.m. All of the victims said two or three men stepped out of a white Jeep with handguns to rob them on the street. Hold-ups were reported in the 2400 block of South Princeton, the 2200 block of South Wentworth, and the 200 block of West 24th Street.
The robbers drove back to the North Side and then robbed three people at gunpoint on the 1200 block of North Greenview at 2:08 a.m.
Bartoli said two 25-year-old men and a 34-year-old woman were walking northbound when four robbers emerged from a white SUV. One of the offenders displayed a handgun, Bartoli continued.
She said the crew collected the victims’ property and headed west on Potomac in the SUV.
Finally, at 2:30 a.m., the group robbed three people who were standing on the 300 block of North Jefferson in the Fulton River District, Bartoli said.
A 26-year-old woman, a 33-year-old man, and a 36-year-old man told police that four men arrived in a white SUV, possibly a Jeep, and robbed them at gunpoint, according to Bartoli.
One of the robbers pistol-whipped the 33-year-old in the face before they all returned to the SUV and fled southbound, Bartoli said.
No serious injuries were reported.
Police believe the crimes are connected because victims provided license plate information consistent with the stolen white Jeep, which may have a black roof. The plate begins with BW79. According to descriptions in CPD reports, the robbers were described as four Black males in their teens or early 20’s who wore all-black clothing.
Detectives have been assigned to investigate several similar robbery sprees across the downtown area and North Side this summer. Waves of hold-ups were reported on June 4, June 26, July 27, July 29, August 7, August 8 and 9, and other dates.
But, CWBChicago reported this week, the investigations are being hampered by CPD leadership’s decision to take robbery detectives away from their cases to sit in cars in violence-strapped neighborhoods and patrol the Lollapalooza festival. As a result, detectives are investigating robberies and carjackings just 2 or 3 days a week instead of five. No arrests have been announced in connection with any of the robbery sprees.