Two tourists among victims in fresh wave of downtown armed robberies

Update 8:28 p.m. on August 30, 2021 — Area North detectives issued a community alert regarding Sunday’s robberies. In addition to the cases detailed in our original story, the alert includes one additional robbery in the 600 block of North Fairbanks. Police said that robber occurred “in the morning hours.” The alert said the group consists of three or four Black males and one Black female, but no additional descriptive information was given.


At least six armed robberies were reported in River North and Streeterville during two sprees early Sunday and again just after midnight Monday, according to CPD records. No arrests have been made, but there are strong similarities between the crimes that suggest the same group of people is responsible for them.

Most recently, two tourists were robbed at gunpoint as they walked on Erie Street Near Rush Street around 12:40 a.m. Monday. The man and woman, both 29, said a white SUV pulled up and four men got out and demanded their property at gunpoint, according to CPD spokesperson Kellie Bartoli.

The couple complied, and the men fled west on Ontario in the vehicle, which may be a Mercedes, Bartoli said. Chicago police gave the couple a ride back to their Michigan Avenue hotel.

Less than ten minutes earlier, three men wearing ski masks stepped out of a white Mercedes and robbed a man at gunpoint on the 400 block of North New Street in Streeterville, according to a separate CPD report. They were last seen heading west on North Water Street after the robbery.

At least three similar robberies were reported in the area Sunday:

Around 3:12 a.m., two 26-year-old men were walking in the 400 block of East Illinois when a white SUV with tinted windows pulled up, Bartoli said. Three offenders, two men and a woman, got out wearing ski masks and displaying two firearms while an accomplice stayed in the driver’s seat.

According to Bartoli, the victims handed over their valuables, and the robbers fled east on Illinois then south on Lake Shore Drive in the SUV.

At about the same time, another man reported that two offenders displayed a gun during a robbery on the 100 block of West Superior, but he wasn’t sure about what kind of car they were using.

Two more robberies, both involving three or four armed men wearing ski masks who stepped out of a white Mercedes SUV, were reported between 5:30 and 5:50 a.m. — one outside the Merchandise Mart at Wells and Kinzie, the other on the 100 block of West Hubbard.

Area Three detectives are assigned to the investigations.

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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