After writing news accounts of nearly 50 armed robberies since early last month, we’ve pretty much run out of new ways to tell the stories of the nearly-nightly hold-up sprees that have hit Lakeview and Lincoln Park particularly hard.
At least five more people were robbed — and three of them were pistol-whipped — Tuesday evening in separate armed robberies around the neighborhoods. Start-to-finish, the crime spree lasted about 28 minutes, according to CPD records.
How bad is the robbery situation? According to CPD’s just-released weekly statistics report, robberies in the Lakeview-based 19th (Town Hall) District were up 375% last week compared to the same week last year, with 19 robberies reported.
In the neighboring 18th (Near North) District, which includes much of Lincoln Park, robberies were up 220% compared to the same week last year, with 16 hold-ups reported.
Tuesday’s robberies began around 10 p.m. on the 2100 block of North Fremont. Three men wearing ski masks stepped out of a dark SUV crossover, robbed at least one victim of his phone wallet and keys, then drove away. A CPD spokesperson said an official account of the incident was unavailable as of 5 a.m.
The second robbery was reported at 10:20 p.m. on the 1000 block of West George, Officer Hector Alfaro said. According to information from the scene, the robbers were sitting in their SUV in an alley, and they waited for the victims to walk past their vehicle. They then stepped out and told the victims to “do what you have to do.”
The robbers struck the male victim, age 30, in his face with a handgun during the assault. Alfaro said a 25-year-old woman with the man was also robbed.
Finally, around 10:30 p.m., a man and woman, both age 38, were walking on the 1200 block of West Montana when three armed men with handguns stepped out of a dark-colored car and demanded their property, according to a CPD statement.
Both victims were pistol-whipped, police said.
The offenders took the man’s shoes, wallet, and phone along with the woman’s purse and phone. Both victims declined medical attention.
Among the more recent robberies reported in Lakeview and Lincoln Park:
A 23-year-old woman reported that two men approached her with a handgun as she walked on the 600 block of West Oakdale around 10:20 p.m. Monday, CPD spokesperson Kellie Bartoli said. They took her property and ran away westbound on Oakdale.
Police are also investigating a robbery that unfolded near the DePaul University campus in Lincoln Park around 3:20 p.m. Monday. In that case, a man told police that an offender implied that he had a weapon and demanded the victim’s cash and wallet as the victim walked through an alley on the 2400 block of North Lincoln, Bartoli said. The victim’s age was not available.
A group of carjackers battered and chased a 59-year-old victim near Oz Park on Monday evening, police said. The group shoved the victim to the ground and demanded his keys. When he tried to run away, the hijackers chased after him until he surrendered the keys, Bartoli said. They then drove away with the man’s car.
Early Sunday, a group of armed men robbed five people who were walking together in Lincoln Park — a crime that is nearly identical to one in nearby Lakeview, where eight people were targeted as they walked together on Friday night.
About five minutes after the Lakeview group was robbed, a 34-year-old woman was pistol-whipped and robbed by three armed men who exited a blue sedan on the 600 block of West Melrose in Boystown, according to a CPD report.
Then, around 12:10 a.m. Saturday, two armed men exited a blue sedan to rob a 28-year-old man and a 26-year-old woman walking on the 1700 block of West Wrightwood in Lincoln Park, police said. The robbers demanded the victims’ phones and wallets, then fled in the car with at least one accomplice.