Chicago police on Monday afternoon warned the public about a roving band of young people who are violently attacking and robbing people in the Loop. One of the victims was critically injured. Another was hospitalized.
So, you’re probably asking the obvious question: Why would police issue a warning about a roving gang of violent robbers if police arrested them earlier in the day?
Answer: Because four of them were released without being charged pending further investigation, according to a source.
One of the six teens, a 17-year-old male, was released after receiving a citation for having a BB gun, according to a CPD spokesperson. Another, also a 17-year-old male, was held on an outstanding warrant, the spokesperson said.
But none of them is charged with any of the robberies, even though Monday’s victims identified some of them and at least three attacks were recorded by CPD surveillance cameras.
Today’s warning from Area Three detectives lists three robberies that investigators have tied to the crew, but several other attacks were left out of the public listing.
The alert said, “a large group of subjects approach the victim(s) and demand victims’ property. Subjects then surround the victim(s) and proceed to strike the victim(s) with their hands and feet until victim(s) relinquish property.”
One of the three cases that detectives included in their warning is Saturday night’s violent beating of a woman at State and Jackson. Around 11:30 p.m., a group of about seven teenagers approached the 23-year-old woman and a 26-year-old man as they walked through the Loop and ordered them to turn over their valuables, Officer Alexis Interrante said.
The woman tried to run away, but the group chased after her and severely beat her in the intersection of State and Jackson, according to a CPD report and a source. Interrante said the teens kicked and punched both victims in their bodies and heads before leaving empty-handed.
CPD officers transported the woman to Northwestern Memorial Hospital in a squad car. According to a police report, the woman was in critical condition with head injuries and severe facial swelling. The man declined medical attention, Interrante said. The CPD report said he lives in Florida.
Also listed in the alert is the robbery of a 28-year-old man at the intersection of Michigan and Balbo at 5:23 p.m. Sunday. A group of teenagers threw the man to the ground and took his phone, according to a CPD report.
Also included in the alert was one of Monday morning’s robberies. At 1:03 a.m on the 400 block of South State, a group of eight or nine offenders struck a man in the head and stole his phone and book bag. The crew then shifted their focus to a woman who was waiting for a bus nearby.
The teens walked up to the woman, displayed a gun, struck her in her head, and stole her property at a bus stop on the 400 block of South State, said Karie James, a CPD spokesperson. The victim was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital, but her condition was not known, James said.
Just minutes before police arrested the six teens on Monday morning, a group of offenders pushed a man off of his Divvy bike at Adams and Wells, stole his property, and took his bike, according to a CPD report. A BB gun pistol was recovered from one of them. A sixth suspect was arrested when he pedaled past officers on — Surprise! — a Divvy bike.
But, five of the six were cut loose within hours—no charges were filed against any of them unless you count the BB gun ticket.
Similar attacks and robberies were reported across the Loop and even north of the River over the weekend.
Police received a steady stream of calls on Sunday afternoon and evening from people who said a group of young people were attacking and robbing people around the Loop and, later, Streeterville and River North. According to CPD reports:
- Three teens punched, kicked, and pushed a man inside a fast food restaurant on the 100 block of North Michigan around 3:35 p.m. before taking his backpack and running away.
- A group of about six teens battered and tried to take bags from passers-by along State Street in the Loop between 5:45 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.
- Shortly after 7 p.m., a group of teenagers jumped and robbed a man on the corner of Rush and Grand. A witness recorded the attack on her phone, but the victim was gone when police arrived.
- A group of about eight teenagers reportedly threw rocks and battered people on the 400 block of North McClurg around 7:10 p.m. The teens were seen entering an apartment building on the 400 block of East Ontario a short time later.
Police said the robbery crew consists of between five and ten Black males and Black females between 14- and 19-years-old.
Anyone with information about the crimes can contact Area Three detectives at 312-744-8263 regarding crime pattern P21-3-095.