At least nine robberies were reported in two waves Wednesday evening and early Thursday across Wicker Park, Bucktown, West Town, and the Near West Side, according to CPD reports. The same areas have been hit repeatedly by bursts of robberies since October 11. But, so far, no arrests have been made.
It is not clear if the same group is responsible for the latest hold-up sprees, but all of the crimes involved groups of men who confront victims on the street at gunpoint.
One wave of robberies started around 6:40 p.m. Wednesday near the intersection of Bloomingdale and Winchester in Bucktown. Three offenders got out of a car, pistol-whipped a man, and took his property while displaying two handguns, according to a CPD report. They then drove away north through an alley behind Winchester.
Then, around 8 p.m., three armed men who traveled in a black Volkswagen Jetta targeted three people in successive hold-ups in Little Italy and Tri-Taylor. Robbers used a similar car to commit armed robberies in Wicker Park and Bucktown on Sunday morning.
When the crew targeted a man on the 800 block of South Leavitt shortly before 8 o’clock last night, he pulled out a knife, and they all went scurrying back to their Jetta. A few minutes later, they stopped on the 1400 block of West Lexington and robbed a woman — and then robbed another person who was nearby.
Later, five more robberies were reported in Wicker Park, Bucktown, and West Town. They all involved three armed men who traveled in an older black Honda CRV:
- Around 10 p.m., a Logan Square man was robbed at gunpoint by three men who confronted him on the corner of Paulina and Cortland in Bucktown. They took his iPhone and backpack, then drove away.
- At 12:15 a.m. Thursday, three masked men displayed guns and took a man’s car keys and valuables on the 1600 block of West Pierce in Wicker Park.
- Two men jumped out of a dark SUV and robbed a man at gunpoint near the 1000 block of North Ashland around 2:30 a.m.
- At 3:10 a.m., the 25-year-old girlfriend of an off-duty suburban police officer was robbed at gunpoint by a man who stepped out of a black SUV on the 1400 block of North Honore, according to a CPD report.
- About 10 minutes later, a man got out of a black SUV and robbed a 35-year-old woman as she walked on the 1000 block of North Damen in West Town, CPD spokesperson Karie James said.
On Sunday morning, a group of armed men traveling in a stolen, dark-colored Volkswagen threatened one victim with a gun and robbed two others within about 10 minutes Sunday morning in Bucktown, according to CPD:
- Around 10:50 a.m. when a gunman confronted a 68-year-old man on the 2000 block of North Honore, Officer Michelle Tannehill said. The victim was able to run into a nearby home to escape and call the police.
- About five minutes later, three men robbed a woman at gunpoint on the 1800 block of North Winchester. According to a police report, two of them displayed handguns and took the woman’s phone, then fled.
- Then, at 11 a.m., three offenders confronted a 22-year-old man as he walked away from his parked car on the 1800 block of North Honore, Tannehill said. They displayed handguns and demanded his valuables before driving away in a dark-colored Volkswagen, according to Tannehill.
More than a dozen armed robberies have been reported around Wicker Park and Bucktown since October 11. Some of them have been violent, and others involved carjackings, according to CPD records.
Around 10:30 p.m. last Thursday, two men stepped out of an older light-colored Lexus to rob a man on the 1200 block of North Wolcott in Wicker Park, according to a CPD report.
Then, just before 11 p.m. that night, two men brandishing handguns stepped out of a silver sedan and robbed a man and woman on the 2100 block of West Webster, police said. The offenders made the victims lie on the ground and took their phones, wallets, and other valuables.
Police said the suspects in the second robbery were two Black males between 25- and 30-years-old who wore face masks, sweatshirts, and jeans.
Three crimes were reported last Monday, October 18:
- Around 10 p.m. on the 1400 block of North Bosworth, two men stepped out of a dark sedan wearing ski masks and approached a 26-year-old man who had just parked his car. The victim ran after the offenders displayed handguns and demanded his property, but he fell, and the offenders caught up with him, police said. One of the attackers punched the man in his face, and they took his phone, backpack, and keys before returning to the sedan. According to a CPD report, the robbers forced the victim to provide his PINs before they left the area.
- About 30 minutes later, two men stepped out of a dark sedan, possibly a blue Infiniti, and approached a 23-year-old man on the 1200 block of North Hoyne, according to Kellie Bartoli, a CPD spokesperson. Once again, the victim tried to run away, but the men chased him and caught up to him when he fell. Bartoli said they displayed handguns, went through his pockets to take valuables, and then returned to the car they arrived in.
- A 24-year-old woman was robbed and carjacked by three men who confronted her on the 1500 block of West Chestnut after they stepped out of a dark-colored sedan around 10:59 p.m. The woman was walking when one of the men walked up to her with a handgun pointed in her direction. Bartoli said he announced a robbery, took her purse, then fled in her white 2017 Nissan Juke. The victim was not injured.
The victims have consistently described the robbers as Black males in their late teens to mid-20s who wear ski masks.