It was a rough weekend for small store owners and employees across the North Side.
In one set of crimes, an armed robber held up at least five convenience stores in two separate waves, mainly in Rogers Park.
Lakeview businesses, mostly independent convenience stores and liquor stores, were hit with another wave of overnight break-ins on Saturday and again Sunday. These crimes appear to be a continuation of a crime pattern that began last Wednesday.
And, in a shocking incident downtown, a man assaulted a 7-Eleven employee then set the store on fire with an incendiary device as the female cashier locked herself in a bathroom for protection. He escaped, the store is a total loss, and the woman was hospitalized for smoke inhalation. You can read more about that crime here.
Here’s what we’ve found out:
The robberies involved a single gunman who displayed a handgun to rob stores of cash and other items. He punched at least one store employee, but no serious injuries were reported.
Hold-ups were reported on the 2200 block of West Devon around 11:30 p.m. Saturday, around 12:20 a.m. Sunday on the 1300 block of West Morse, and around 12:30 a.m. Sunday on the 1400 block of West Pratt.
Then, two identical robberies were reported around 10:40 p.m. Sunday on the 6800 block of North Sheridan and around 11 p.m. on the 6600 block of North Clark.
The suspect is a Black male who stands bout 6-feet tall, weighs about 180 pounds, and may be driving a car or SUV. According to two reports, he wore a ski mask, gloves, and a winter cap with black athletic clothing.
In the burglaries, two men driving a white SUV broke into five stores to steal cash and merchandise in Lakeview. Incidents were reported in:
- the 400 block of West Belmont around 5:30 a.m. Saturday
- the 3200 block of North Southport around 6 a.m. Sunday
- the 2100 block of West Belmont around 6:10 a.m. Sunday
- the 3100 block of North Broadway around 7:05 a.m. Sunday
- the 3800 block of North Clark sometime Sunday morning.
Similar break-ins were reported on the North Side early last Wednesday and again early last Thursday. CPD issued a community alert about those crimes after detectives determined that the same people were likely responsible for all of them.
The Clark Supermarket at 6647 North Clark, which was targeted by an armed robber on Sunday night, was also targeted in one of the break-ins last Thursday, according to CPD reports. Among last week’s other store break-ins were:
- Fine Food and Liquor, 3642 North Ashland, at 1:35 a.m. Wednesday
- Unspecified liquor store on the 4900 block of North Damen at 2:28 a.m. Wednesday
- J & B Liquor, 1959 West Lawrence, at 2:41 a.m. Wednesday
- Ideal Minimart, 6900 North Clark, at 2:42 a.m. Thursday
- Edgewater Food and Wine, 1105 West Bryn Mawr, ad 3 a.m. Thursday
- Breakers Pantry, 5343 North Sheridan, around 3:35 a.m. Thursday
- Best Buy Liquors, 1932 West Montrose, at 3:55 a.m. Thursday and at 3:40 a.m. on December 8
Area Three detectives are handling the investigations. They can be contacted at 312-744-8263.