Chicago — The armed robbery crew that targeted a 70-year-old woman in Lincoln Park on Wednesday afternoon has committed several similar holdups and carjackings in the past five days, including at least one more on Wednesday night in Bucktown, according to Chicago police and a law enforcement source.
The group appears to be taking advantage of victims who have just parked their vehicles on the street or in residential garages, according to an alert from the Chicago Police Department. CPD linked three crimes to the crew, but the source said police believe there are several additional cases.
A blue SUV, possibly with a Wisconsin license plate, has been used in many of the crimes, which CPD said are committed by two to four Black males between the ages of 18 and 25. A source said that the stolen cars have often been spotted heading west on the Eisenhower Expressway, and the SUV has been seen heading toward the city from the West Side before new crimes unfolded.
The first hijacking occurred at 11:34 a.m. Saturday, December 10, in the 1500 block of West 18th, according to the police alert. Three men placed two guns to the woman’s head and took her Lexus, a CPD report said.
Three robberies and carjackings occurred Tuesday — two in Bucktown and another in Noble Square:
- At 12:45 a.m., a man approached a woman from behind as she exited her car in the 2000 block of North Hoyne. He displayed a gun, took her property, and drove away with her gray Honda Civic, a Chicago police spokesperson said. The crew responsible for the crime may have traveled in a dark-colored sedan, similar to a Chevy Malibu, with green license plates.
- At 8:10 p.m., a 48-year-old woman was targeted as she entered her home from a connected garage in the 1700 block of North Winnebago. As she opened the door to her house, a man ran into the garage, displayed a handgun, and took her valuables, the CPD spokesperson said. The offender did not take the woman’s car.
- At 11:17 p.m., two men confronted a 22-year-old woman near her car in the 1200 block of North Cleaver. One of them displayed a gun and ordered her to surrender the keys to her white 2023 Genesis G70, police said. He then drove away with the car, heading east. A witness reported that the robbers jumped out of a blue SUV that stopped suddenly in the street.
According to CPD’s alert, another hijacking occurred in Austin in the 2200 block of West Race around 8:16 p.m. Two men jumped out of a dark-colored SUV and took a woman’s Mercedes at gunpoint.
Two more cases were reported on Wednesday, beginning with the armed holdup of a 70-year-old woman as she walked her dog in the 1300 block of West Webster at 11:20 a.m. The crime was captured on surveillance video:
A gunman jumped out of a blue SUV, leveled a handgun at the woman, took her purse, then returned to the car. Moments later, a second surveillance camera showed the blue SUV pulling up to the corner of Webster and Wayne. Two men jumped out of it, got into the victim’s SUV, and stole it.
Her SUV was used to commit another violent robbery and carjacking in Bucktown a little after 10 p.m., said Ald. Brian Hopkins (2nd).
According to CPD, a 46-year-old man was struck in the back of the head with a pistol as he got out of his 2021 Volkswagen Jetta in the 2000 block of West St. Paul. Two men took his keys and wallet at gunpoint. One drove away with his VW, the other fled in the woman’s Jeep.
So far, Chicago police have not announced any arrests in connection with the crimes.