A 73-year-old woman is among nine people targeted as another wave of armed robberies rolled through Bucktown, Wicker Park, West Town, and the West Loop on Tuesday evening. The crimes may be linked to similar sprees on Monday night and early Tuesday.
Last night’s string of crimes began with the armed robbery of four people who were walking on the 1600 block of North Wood at 9 p.m.
A group of robbers approached them from behind, displayed guns, and demanded their valuables before escaping in a black SUV that was waiting nearby, said Kellie Bartoli, a CPD spokesperson. The victims, women ages 73, 53, and 49, and a 53-year-old man, were not injured.
Police described five robbers between 20- and 25-years-old were involved, including at least one woman. Their SUV is said to be a large and older model with a loud muffler.
About ten minutes later, a similar vehicle rolled up on the 1600 block of North Blackhawk, and four men stepped out. Two of them displayed guns as they robbed a 26-year-old man and a 26-year-old woman who were walking down the street, Bartoli said.
The victims said the robbers were wearing hoodies with gaiters, but no other descriptions were available.
At 9:50 p.m., three men robbed a woman and demanded her debit card PIN at gunpoint as she sat in a car on the 1800 block of West Erie, police said. The offenders escaped in a silver SUV and later used the woman’s bank card to withdraw $500 from a Chase ATM on the West Side, according to a CPD report.
About an hour later, at 10:45 p.m., three men climbed out of a gray SUV to rob a 37-year-old man on the 900 block of West Washtenaw. Police said the offenders took the man’s wallet, cash, and keys, then headed south in the SUV.
The victim told police some of the robbers appeared to be as young as 12-years-old.
Finally, at 11:36 p.m., a gunman pistol-whipped a man and stole his red 2014 Toyota Camry on the 1400 block of West Fulton, police said. The car later crashed into several vehicles on the 900 block of South Western, and its driver ran away on foot, according to witnesses.
The West Town community area, which includes neighborhoods like Bucktown, Wicker Park, Noble Square, Ukrainian Village, and part of the Fulton River District, has seen a continual stream of armed robbery and carjacking sprees over the past month.
According to newly-published CPD statistics, major crime categories saw double-digit increases during the last four weeks of October in two police districts that serve the area and surrounding communities.
The Shakespeare (14th) District saw an 81% increase in major crime compared to the same days last year, with robberies up 88% from 24 to 45, police CompStat reports show. Thefts were up 126% from 43 to 97, and burglaries increased from 25 to 37. Year to date, major crime is up 8% in the district.
In the Near West (12th) District, overall major crime increased 23% compared to the last four weeks of October 2020. Robberies were up 14% from 58 to 66, burglaries increased from 30 to 35, and thefts jumped 47% from 88 to 129, according to the CPD data report. Year to date, major crime is up 13% in the district.