A group of street robbers and auto thieves that ran rampant in a small section of Lincoln Park earlier this month returned Saturday, robbing two more women. And they escaped in an SUV that was stolen from the same neighborhood on Friday evening.
The crew has typically targeted women — one was 77, another was 65 — during the afternoon and early evening hours. They went on hiatus for two weeks after Chicago cops tried to pull them over as they fled the area on June 4. Now, they’re back.
Around 12:35 p.m. Saturday, a man pulled a 48-year-old woman to the ground and robbed her as she was unloading groceries on the 2600 block of North Hampden — just steps from where another woman was robbed a couple of weeks ago.
“There were so many people outside,” a neighbor of the woman said Saturday. “She was unloading her truck and he came out of his car double-parked across the street.”
The robber escaped in a silver 2020 Dodge Durango that was stolen Friday evening from the 2300 block of North Clark, according to a CPD report.
Then, at 1 p.m., a man jumped out of the same SUV and approached a 26-year-old woman who was walking on the 2600 block of North Lakeview Avenue. He grabbed the woman, forcefully took her purse, and returned to the Durango, which headed north.
A 911 caller reported seeing two suspicious men walking up and down the streets near Wellington and Pine Grove just minutes before the first robbery unfolded on Saturday. The caller said they thought the men were going to rob someone, according to CPD radio traffic. An officer was dispatched to the area, but he did not report finding anyone.
Before Saturday, the most recent robbery associated with the group occurred at 12:30 p.m. on June 4 in the 400 block of West Arlington Place. A CPD spokesperson said two offenders grabbed “personal belongings” from two women and then fled in a stolen blue Kia.
The Kia was taken from an Amazon driver who left it running and unattended on the 500 block of West Wrightwood the day before. He told police he had a gun in the car.
Police spotted the Kia in the neighborhood shortly after the June 4 robbery, but its driver sped away when cops tried to pull it over on Fullerton Avenue.
On June 3, two muggers knocked a 77-year-old woman to the ground and took her purse by force on the 400 block of West Deming, police said. She refused medical attention. The robbers escaped in a dark blue Nissan Rogue with Florida plates that had been stolen from the 2300 block of North Lincoln, according to a police report.
The first robbery in the pattern occurred around 2:20 p.m. on June 1 in the 2700 block of North Pine Grove. The victims in that mugging were a 65-year-old woman and her 40-year-old daughter. It was captured on video. Watch:
Similar robberies of women were reported the same day on the 600 block of West Addison around 8:50 p.m. and on the 2500 block of North Lakeview around 9:40 p.m. On June 3, a 31-year-old woman was robbed by two men who pulled her purse and phone away in an alley behind the 2600 block of North Hampden.
Police issued a community alert about some of the robberies on June 6, but no media outlets reported on the crime pattern.
CPDs alert described the robbers as two Black males between 15- and 25-years-old.
All of the robberies have taken place in the Town Hall (19th) Police District, where officers have handled 153 robberies this year through June 12, up 49% from this point last year. CPD’s latest CompStat statistics report shows robberies in the district are up 53% compared to 2020, 49% compared to 2019, and 12% compared to 2018.