In Chicago’s Town Hall (19th) Police District, robbery reports are at a five-year high. CPD’s latest internal stats report shows robberies in the district, which patrols Lakeview and much of Uptown, Lincoln Park, North Center, and Lincoln Square, are 63% higher than last year and 16% higher than 2018.
On Saturday, the district saw at least two more armed robberies. And around noon, a high-profile search for three suspected armed robbers in Boystown drew a lot of attention, but cops came up empty-handed.
Most recently, two men displayed pistols to rob a victim who was walking in the 700 block of West Oakdale around 9:45 p.m. Saturday. After getting the victim’s phone, wallet, and keys, they ran north on Halsted.
Earlier in the day, four men, three of whom displayed handguns, robbed three victims in Boystown, according to Chicago police.
A CPD spokesperson said the victims, all men in their early to mid-20s, were on the corner of Waveland and Broadway when the group confronted them and demanded their property around 3:25 a.m. The robbers fled west on Waveland after stealing the victims’ wallets and phones.
Officers on the scene described the offenders as Black males aged 16 to 20 and standing 5’8″ to 6 feet tall. They were thin and dressed in dark clothing with masks.
Around 11:35 a.m., a driver called 911 and reported that two masked men pointed a gun at him and tried to open the door of his Infiniti in the Walgreens parking lot at Waveland and Broadway. That’s the same corner where the three men were robbed earlier in the day.
Police were also waved down by a delivery driver who saw three men, including one with a gun, running through an alley near the Walgreens. And one of the cops said he saw the trio with a gun as they ran toward an apartment building in the 700 block of West Addison.
CPD closed down the intersection and called in the police helicopter to search the building’s roof. The fire department came with a ladder truck so cops could access the top of the building, too.
But, after searching the complex from top to bottom, no arrests were made. And, in all of the excitement, the driver who originally reported that someone tried to carjack him left the scene.
Robberies are just part of the problem Town Hall cops are dealing with this year. Overall crime in the district is up 71% compared to last year and 23% compared to 2018, according to CPD’s August 21 CompStat report. All seven of the major crime categories in the CompStat report are up over last year. Murders up 300%, sexual assault up 6%, robbery up 63%, aggravated battery up 38%, burglary up 35%, theft up 87%, and motor vehicle theft up 104%.
About the only thing that’s down in Town Hall is the number of cops assigned to work in the district. There are 287 officers this month, down from 311 last year and 366 in August 2020.
Ten years ago, the area was patrolled by nearly 500 cops.