Groups of robbers are targeting Divvy bikers in the Loop, CPD says in latest crime warning

Police are warning Divvy riders about groups of robbers who are targeting users of the city’s bike share system downtown. The warning is the latest in a series of similar bulletins from CPD about people being attacked or robbed by groups of offenders in the downtown area.

Two incidents listed in the new alert occurred Saturday evening as police were flooded with calls about groups of teenagers attacking and robbing people in the Loop.

The incidents began around 6:15 p.m. in River North, where callers said a group of five or six young men was punching people at random on the streets.

At 7 p.m., a Divvy rider on the 100 block of South Michigan was approached by a group of people who implied they had a weapon and demanded their bike, according to the newly-released alert. Officers at the scene requested an ambulance for the victim and reported that “kids” had abandoned five Divvy bikes at the scene. The victim was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital with unspecified injuries, according to a CPD report.

Another Divvy biker was attacked on the same block about 30 minutes later, the alert said.

Robberies and random batteries by small groups of offenders were reported over the next three hours in the Loop and River North, CPD records show. Shortly before 1 a.m., five teenagers were seen throwing Divvy bikes down the stairs of the Lake Red Line station before leaving the area.

Another Divvy bike rider was robbed on the 200 block of East Randolph at 6 p.m. Sunday, police said.

CPD’s alert said the groups consist of Black males and females between 15- and 25-years-old. Anyone with information about the crimes can contact Area Five detectives at 312-744-8263 regarding crime pattern #P21-3-099.

Police have been struggling to contain an outbreak of violent attacks and muggings by small groups in the downtown area for much of the summer.

In mid-June, a pack of robbers who rode Divvy bikes surrounded a bicyclist in the Loop and took his bicycle by force. Charges were filed against one adult in that case. The crime was also captured on video:

The same crew targeted another victim within minutes. That victim told police seven males surrounded him and took his Divvy bike on the 100 block of North Dearborn, CPD spokesperson Sally Bown said. Those offenders struck the bicyclist in the face, knocking him to the ground. They continued to beat the man, and one of them rode away westbound with his Divvy bike, Bown said. Other members of the group also reportedly fled on Divvy bikes.

Within days, another group of robbers attacked yet another Divvy rider on the 100 block of West Monroe. Police seized two guns, and prosecutors charged two adults with robbery and weapons violations.

This month, roving bands of teens and young adults have beaten and robbed bicyclists and pedestrians alike, usually during evening hours. One woman was critically injured in an attack on August 14.

Police arrested six teenagers after another wave of attacks unfolded in the Loop two nights later. Four of them were released without being charged, another was released after being ticketed for carrying a BB gun, and the sixth was held on an unrelated warrant, police said.

Within hours of their release, more attacks unfolded in the Loop. No arrests were made.

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