“Don’t walk alone at night” used to be one of the safety chestnuts police offered to citizens across the country. Now, it seems Chicago robbers consider groups of people walking together to be a convenient way to cut down on labor.
Early today, 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.
Three men and two women were walking on the 600 block of West Arlington around 3 a.m. Sunday when a group of four robbers approached them, according to a CPD spokesperson.
The spokesperson said that two robbers displayed handguns as the crew took wallets and phones from all five victims. None of the victims was injured.
Witnesses said the robbers were Black males in their teens who wore hoodies, according to a friend of the victims. That aligns with descriptions broadcast on CPD radio frequencies in the area.
The hold-up is very similar to an armed robbery on the 800 block of West Barry in Lakeview around 11:45 p.m. Friday. In that case, a group of five men and three women between the ages of 25 and 30 were walking when a dark-colored sedan pulled to a stop alongside them, according to Chicago police.
Three gunmen stepped out of the car and demanded the victims’ purses, wallets, and phones, police said. The victims complied, and the offenders fled in the vehicle, which a fourth person drove.
Police also received a call from another man who reported being robbed in the same location around the same time, but it was not immediately clear if he was with the group or if he was targeted separately.
About five minutes later, 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.
The offenders took the victim’s purse and wallet from her hands and fled in the sedan.
EMS took the woman to Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center in good condition with bruising to her head.
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 who were 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.
Some victims described the offenders as Black men who stand 5’8″ to 6-feet tall wearing masks. The blue sedan is a Honda Civic that was stolen on Wednesday, a CPD report said.
On Saturday, CPD issued a community alert linking the earlier robberies to a series of hold-ups across Lakeview and Lincoln Park this month. In addition to Saturday’s crime spree, the same robbery team is suspected of robberies and carjackings:
- On December 1 in the 1000 block of West Barry at 8:15 p.m.; the 1600 block of West Cornelia at 8:53 p.m.; the 1400 block of West Cornelia at 8:55 p.m.
- In the 2200 block of North Fremont at 9:30 p.m. on December 3. A gunshot was fired by one of the offenders during that Fremont crime, police said.
- In the 800 block of West Newport at 10:40 a.m. on December 4
- On December 6 at 8:50 p.m. in the 2200 block of North Lincoln and at 9:47 p.m. on the 2300 block of North Clark
- On December 8 at 9 p.m. in the 1000 block of West Addison and again on the same block at 9:07 p.m.
According to the community alert, the suspects are a group of two to five Black males between 13- and 25-years-old who wear ski masks and dark hoodies.
Anyone with information about the group can contact Area Three detectives at 312-744-8263 regarding crime pattern P21-3-136B.