Cops need video to build cases against Lincoln Park robbery wave suspects, alderman says

Three teenage boys that investigators believe are responsible for a series of robberies and car thefts in a small section of Lincoln Park are now on electronic monitoring, according to the local alderman. Now, police need to find videos of the robberies to help build cases against the suspects.

Even after the recent arrests, though, similar crimes continue to occur in the area.

The crime hotspot is roughly located between Fullerton Avenue, Diversey Parkway, Clark Street, and Lakeview Avenue. Since June 1, more than a dozen robberies have been reported in the area, all involving young men who targeted women, mostly in the afternoon and evening. Other incidents were also reported in the nearby Lakeview neighborhood.

Investigators believe the same offenders stole dozens of idling cars from the same area of Lincoln Park as well as near the intersection of Belmont and Clark in Lakeview. Last week, police arrested two 15-year-olds and a 19-year-old woman after a woman was robbed of her car in the 2300 block of North Fullerton. The woman is still in jail. The juveniles, according to an email from Ald. Michele Smith (43rd), are now on electronic monitoring.

After the trio was arrested, CWBChicago reported that the 15-year-olds were two of the three suspects in the robberies and that more than 20 cars stolen from Lakeview and Lincoln Park had been recovered near one of the boys’ suburban homes. Smith confirmed our reporting in her email to constituents.

But on July 1, days after the arrests were made, another 15-year-old was arrested after he allegedly robbed a woman in the middle of the “hot zone.” After the mugging, he went to the Belmont Red Line station and allegedly committed another robbery. Smith said he, too, is now on electronic monitoring.

Yet, thefts of idling cars and robberies of women continue in the area, although at a slower pace than in June.

On Sunday evening, a Chicago police officer noticed an auto theft in progress in the 2400 block of North Clark Street and pursued the offender, who fled from the vehicle. The car, like many others in the Lincoln Park and Lakeview patterns, had been left idling by a delivery driver.

Cops caught the would-be thief, a 16-year-old boy who lives less than four blocks from one of the teens charged with robbing the woman of her car in the 2300 block of North Clark last week.

Then, around 3:30 yesterday afternoon, a 25-year-old woman was robbed of her purse inside a business on the 400 block of West Diversey. According to a CPD spokesperson, she told police that two people entered the store and took her purse as she walked into a restroom.

The thieves ran out, and a witness followed them to the 700 block of West Diversey until police arrived. But the woman was unable to identify the individuals, one of whom was a 17-year-old boy, as the offenders. She found her purse when she returned to the store, but items were missing from inside, the spokesperson said.

Smith, the alderman, said police are trying to find surveillance video of robberies in the area to help them build cases against the teens who are on electronic monitoring.

Some of the dates, times and locations of robberies are:

June 1 at 2:27PM, 2700 block of N PINE GROVE AVE
June 1 at 9:41PM, 2500 block of N LAKEVIEW AVE
June 2 at 7:57PM, 2600 block of N HAMPDEN CT
June 3 at 3:56PM, 400 block of W DEMING PL
June 4 at 12:30PM, 400 block of W ARLINGTON PL
June 15 at 1:14AM, 2600 block of N CLARK ST
June 18 at 12:35PM, 2600 block of N HAMPDEN CT
June 18 at 12:58PM, 2400 block of N LAKEVIEW AVE
June 19 at 10:30PM, 400 block of W WRIGHTWOOD AVE
June 19 at 3:11AM, 2400 block of N ORCHARD ST
July 1 at 9:40PM, 2600 block of N HAMPDEN CT
July 1 at 10:46PM, 2700 block of N HAMPDEN CT

Video footage and other tips can be submitted online at CPD’s TipSubmit site.

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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