Armed robbery of North Center AT&T store may be part of growing crime pattern

The armed robbery of an AT&T store in North Center on Friday evening appears to be related to a series of similar hold-ups at cellular stores stretching from West Town to Wicker Park to Lakeview.

Just before 8 p.m., a man wearing a ski mask entered the store at 4000 North Lincoln and displayed a handgun while announcing a robbery. He collected boxes of phones from the storage room, then exited through the back door while telling an accomplice to pull around with their getaway car, according to CPD records.

He was described as Black, 6’3″ tall, wearing a black hoodie.

The suspect’s physical appearance and technique are similar to other recent phone store robberies.

The AT&T store at 4000 North Lincoln. | Google

On Tuesday, an armed man robbed the Verizon store at 1652 North Milwaukee in Bucktown around 7:50 p.m. He forced the store employee into the back of the store and loaded a black bag with phones.

He ordered the store worker to wait five minutes before calling 911 and then fled the scene.

Police who responded to the scene described the robber as a possibly Hispanic man wearing a mask, a blue hoodie, and black shoes.

Last Wednesday, May 18, an armed man robbed the AT&T store at 2006 West Chicago in West Town. He collected boxes of phones and ran out the back door around 7 p.m.

That robber was described as a Black male who stands about 6’3″ tall. He wore red sweats, a black hoodie, and white shoes. Witnesses said he fled in a newer Toyota Camry that waited for him in a nearby parking lot.

On May 11, an armed man robbed the Verizon store at 3019 North Clark in Lakeview.

He confronted an employee with a handgun around 7:50 p.m. and forced the victim to the back of the store. He filled a bag with phones and fled through the rear entrance, according to police.

The Lakeview robber is described as Black, 6’2″ tall, wearing a mask and a black hoodie.

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