3 juveniles questioned in connection with a wave of North Side robberies are back on the streets, source says

Bad news, folks.

On Monday, we reported Chicago police were questioning two men in connection with a series of armed robberies that unfolded over the weekend on the North Side. Evidence is growing that the crew responsible for the weekend’s wave of hold-ups is part of the group that committed dozens of robberies earlier in the month, including the shooting of Dakotah Earley in Lincoln Park.

It turns out police actually arrested a third person, too. All are juveniles. And they have all been returned to the streets, according to a source.

Cops arrested the suspects Monday after they ran from a Honda Civic that was stolen during a robbery spree on the North Side Sunday. The car was used in more robberies Sunday night and early Monday across Lakeview and Rogers Park.

Monday afternoon, as CPD tracked the Civic from the air and ground, one teen bailed out of its driver’s seat and ran into a house on the 1500 block of South Drake. That home is about 50 feet from where cops located the stolen BMW used by the robbery crew that shot Dakotah Earley earlier this month, according to a CPD analytical report provided to CWBChicago.

A Chicago police sergeant stands near the Honda Civic. Inset is a photo of the gun police said they recovered at the scene. | CPD

The Civic’s other two occupants continued driving the car and cops arrested them after they jumped out of the vehicle near the Harrison (11th) District police station. Prosecutors charged one of them with unlawful use of a weapon after cops saw him running from the stolen car with a gun in his hand.

The second teen who ran from the car is charged with theft of lost or mislaid property. That’s a charge commonly used when someone has stolen property like robbery or burglary proceeds.

The third suspect was released without being charged with anything, the source said. Police arrested him for unlawful use of a weapon in April.

A source with knowledge of the investigation said they were “baffled” by the decision to release the trio.

Two sets of robberies over the weekend, one in Rogers Park and West Ridge, the other in Lakeview and Rogers Park, have been linked to the stolen Honda Civic.

In a CWB story posted this weekend, a law enforcement source pointed to parallels between the weekend robbery sprees and a similar wave of perhaps 30 robberies across the North Side that unfolded earlier in May. Those similarities included the robbers’ willingness to fire a handgun at victims, commission of several crimes in one night, an orange face mask, and the general tactic of confronting individuals and small groups of people who are walking during the late night and early evening hours. Now, the 1500 block of South Drake seems to be another parallel.

In another notable case, Chicago police arrested a 17-year-old boy on the 1500 block of South Drake in February after linking him to the carjacking of a 77-year-old woman near Wrigleyville last year.

This month’s robberies bear many similarities to another violent robbery surge that hit the North Side late last year. After two people were shot in separate armed robberies two hours apart in Boystown on December 28 and 29, the hold-up crew moved its activities north to Edgewater, where armed robbers shot a witness during a hold-up on January 13.

17-year-old boy is charged with the Edgewater shooting and several of the robberies that occurred in the wintertime spree.

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CWBChicago was created in 2013 by five residents of Wrigleyville and Boystown who had grown disheartened with inaccurate information that was being provided at local Community Policing (CAPS) meetings. Our coverage area has expanded since then to cover Lincoln Park, River North, The Loop, Uptown, and other North Side Areas. But our mission remains unchanged: To provide original public safety reporting with better context and greater detail than mainstream media outlets. Our editorial email address is news@cwbchicago.com