A newly released surveillance video shows a serial armed robbery team mugging a man at gunpoint in Wicker Park on Friday morning. Minutes after the footage was recorded, Chicago police officers spotted the robbers in their getaway car nearby, but a CPD supervisor ordered the cops to stop following the vehicle.
Since then, at least 16 more robberies have been reported in waves of crime on Sunday and Monday mornings across Wicker Park, West Town, and the West Loop. Chicago police have said they believe at least two armed robbery teams are actively working the area.
The video, first broadcast by Fox Chicago, shows three men robbing a 30-year-old man in an alley behind the 2300 block of West Wabansia around 11 a.m. Friday. In the footage, the victim appears to stop aside to let a car pass him. But the car is full of robbers who jump out and physically restrain the man while holding him at gunpoint.
He manages to slip away after pushing one of the offenders. As the victim runs down the alley, one of the robbers levels a handgun in his direction, but no shots are reportedly fired. Watch:
“He held a gun up to my head. He showed it to my face and then he went beside me and he said, ‘I’m going to kill you unless you give us your wallet,'” the man told Fox Chicago.
The same group grabbed and robbed a 50-year-old woman in the 1800 block of North Winchester within minutes of the Wabansia robbery, a CPD spokesperson said. The woman’s purse strap broke, and the robbers couldn’t get it from her before they fled the scene, according to police.
Detectives have publicly linked robberies on the following dates and times to the same group:
- 1300 block of North Parkside Ave on August 22 at 1:40 p.m.
- 4700 block of West Le Moyne Ave on August 22 at 1:46 p.m.
- 2000 block of North Campbell Ave on September 4 at 8:10 p.m.
- 5900 block of North Central Park Ave on September 4 at 8:40 p.m.
- 2000 block of West Potomac Ave on September 4 at 9:05 p.m.
- 2800 block of North Maplewood Ave on September 5 at 11:30 p.m.
- 2800 block of North Campbell Ave on September 5 at 11:34 p.m.
- 1900 block of North Spaulding Ave on September 5 at 11:50 p.m.
- 1700 block of West Ellen St on September 6 at 6:58 p.m.
- 1200 block of North Wood St on September 6 at 7:01 p.m.
On Friday, cops spotted the car, a black Kia with a taped-up rear passenger window, at 11:09 a.m., moments after the second robbery, according to police radio transmissions. They followed the vehicle until it reached the Kennedy Expressway.
Shortly after midnight Sunday, another string of eight armed robberies and carjackings began in the area. By the time it was over, hold-ups were reported from the West Loop to Wicker Park to Albany Park and Edgewater.
Eight more robberies were reported across West Town, Wicker Park, and the West Loop from Sunday evening into Monday morning.
So far, police have not issued any new warnings to the community about the ongoing crime wave.