Wave of armed robberies reported downtown Friday evening

Chicago police are investigating a burst of armed robberies that occurred in the Loop, Streeterville, and the Near North Side on Friday evening. Most of the hold-ups appear to be related and might be part of an ongoing robbery pattern that detectives warned the public about this week.

Friday night’s spree may also be linked to an armed robbery in Streeterville earlier in the day. In that case, two men confronted a woman with a handgun and took her purse near Ohio and Fairbanks around 2 a.m. The robbers were wearing ski masks and escaped in a gray Buick SUV, according to a CPD report.

Another robbery occurred in Streeterville around 9:14 p.m. Friday. A 36-year-old woman was on the 600 block of North St. Clair when two men pulled her purse away, said Officer Alex Aguas, a CPD spokesperson. The men fled in a black Nissan sedan that was driven by a third man who was armed with a handgun, according to Aguas. Once again, the offenders were reportedly wearing ski masks.

The approximate locations of Friday’s robberies. | Multiplottr

Minutes later, three men robbed a 24-year-old woman at gunpoint as she walked on the 300 block of West Walton, Aguas said. They took her purse and fled in a gray SUV.

Next, four robbers confronted 29-year-old man as he walked on the 300 block of South State around 10 p.m., said Aguas. The crew robbed him at gunpoint and escaped in a silver SUV.

Police also received calls from at least two other robbery victims in the Loop around the same time. But the local police district did not have any patrol units to handle the calls, according to dispatch records. Officers who were dispatched over 30 minutes after the initial reports could not find victims.

Earlier warning

Area 3 detectives issued a community alert this week about an armed robbery team that had committed at least three hold-ups in River North and Old Town.

Each time, between one and four offenders wearing ski masks took the victim’s valuables at gunpoint and fled in a black vehicle:

  • Four masked men confronted a man with handguns on the 500 block of North Franklin around 12:45 a.m. Monday.
  • Last Saturday, a three men forced a 28-year-old man to withdraw money from an ATM at Fifth Third Bank, 33 West Huron, around 1 a.m.
  • A masked man displayed a gun and took purses and wallets from victims at the BP service station, 1647 North LaSalle, around 10:30 p.m. Friday, April 8.

According to the alert, the suspects are Black males between 20- and 40-years-old who stand 5’10” to 6’2″ tall. Anyone with information about the crimes can contact Area Three detectives at 312-744-8263.

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